Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Conquering Fear

Hatfield has her piano recital this upcoming Saturday.

In addition to playing her pieces, Hatfield needs to introduce herself and her piano selections.

She is upset and terrified and has pretty much been crying ever since she found this out this afternoon.

I notice that as she gets older, creeping towards her teen years, she becomes more and more uncomfortable with speaking or reading allowed (in front of non-family). We find that with each passing year, she becomes shyer and less sure of herself in front of others.

I asked her if she is afraid when she dances in front of others, because in these competitions, she is dancing in front of hundreds of people. She explained she is not since she can't see the audience, and she is with her dance team and not alone.

I pointed out that she has played in numerous piano recitals and competitions, so maybe there's something that she does in those situations that could help her. Yet in those situations, she explained, she is so focused on the piano and playing her piece that she can't see or even register that the audience is there.

So her fear is quite specific to speaking in front of others. While I hate seeing my girl in such dismay, I truly believe she must do this and work through her fears.

Does anyone have any been there, done that advice that we could pass along to our girl?


Steph, G's Mom said...

This sounds dumb but Its really not a bad idea. Straight outta the Brady Bunch ( which we just watched the entire series of thanks to netflix)....have her picture the audience sitting there in their undies before she starts speaking. That's GOTTA relax you!

Corey said...

My once totally confident girl is losing confidence as she gets older too, and it frustrates me to no end.

I did public speaking competitions in high school, and I would say 1) practice, practice, practice, in front of a mirror, and not, so that the feeling of standing up and saying what you need to say becomes automatic, rote, easy. 2) remember that the audience is on your side. They WANT you to succeed.

bbbunch said...

What specifically about the speaking part is making her nervous? Is it the pronounciation? (Practice, practice, practice!) Is it the people that will be looking at her? I told Bella they are there to see THEIR kids, and she is just an added bonus. I totally agree with the comment above...they WANT her to succeed. I usually tell my kids about some time in my life when I had to speak in front of others and flubbed up or something (fill in the blank with the scenario), and how I didn't die, and it wasn't the end of the world like I thought it would be. That being said...what is it about speaking in front of others that has SO many people shaking in their boots? You know that old statistic...most people are more afraid of public speaking than death, so they actually would rather die than give the eulogy at their own funeral? Sorry for the run on paragraph ;) Good luck Hattie!!!

Anonymous said...

You could always ask her to think of someone she admires who is good at doing just what she fears - in this case, public speaking. The person could be a character in a movie or someone she knows. She could then make her own movie imagining the person vividly speaking in public... gestures, mannerisms, breathing rate, speech cadance, tonality. She could then incorporate herself into that image. That is, she could imagine herself in that person's body... speaking at that rate, with his or her cadance, breathing rate and tonality. She could relax and imagine it and then practice by herself or with you and make any necessary adjustments until she feels really good about it.