How to Perform with Freedom

One of the most comment things that performers talk to me about is wanting to let go and perform with freedom. Whether you are a public speaker, a singer, an actor or any other sort of performer, you probably understand that letting go and leaning into the performance is the best way to achieve great things.

But how do you achieve this and why is it so hard at times?!

This episode digs into this and shows you what it takes to let go.

Podcast 41 - How to Perform with Freedom

The Courageous Performer Podcast

How to Perform with Freedom

If you would like to learn how to let go and perform brilliantly, so that you can feel confident (even without being able to guarantee the outcome!) then go to to find out how to work with me.

Read the episode transcript here:

[00:00:00] Hi, I'm Hattie Voelcker from Find Your True Voice and today I want to talk to you about letting go when you perform because that's what most people want to do. They want to be able to go out, let go of their insecurities, let go of their fears and just connect with the audience. Do what they do because the vast majority of the people I talk to, whether they're singers, dancers, actors, public speakers, networkers, whoever they are, they know their stuff and they kind of know.

They know their stuff. They doubt it at times, don't we all? But in reality, they know, they know their stuff. So it's not really about your expertise that we're talking. It's about your ability to access that expertise. To do what you know you can do when people are watching you. And so the idea is you want to be able to let go of your nerves and insecurity.

Totally get it? That's exactly what I teach. The difficulty is in reality. In order [00:01:00] to let go of your fears and your insecurity, you have to let go of control. That, now if I were to say, right, what I want you to do is let go of all control, and I spoke about this last week in my podcast, that would probably really have you worried.

Worried that you were going to mess up, worry that you wouldn't do the things you wanted to do, worry that it wouldn't go the way you wanted it to, because I bet you want control and you want freedom at the same time. But the trouble is those, they fight. Control and freedom cannot live in the same place.

What most people think and listen to last week's podcast, because this will explain in a little bit more detail what I'm meaning here. When I'm talking about letting go of control, I'm not talking about letting go of the desire to do well, letting go of putting the work in. I'm talking about letting go of Micromanaging [00:02:00] or even just managing what you do and last week I talked about how you replace that with choice because the trouble with control is it brings tension and control as I said last time brings anxiety And so the more you seek to control, actually the more anxious you will become.

So by holding on to control, you're actually holding on to tension, anxiety, worries, and fears, and overthinking. Now, I like to call my courageous club sometimes, and the people who do my, Fearless Performer Program, Overthinkers Anonymous, because So many people come saying my issue is overthinking, I overthink, I self sabotage, and it's entirely common and all of that overthinking comes back to this desire to control.

Now, if instead, and I've used this analogy before, if instead you think about yourself like a surfer, that you're not controlling the board, you're not controlling the waves, you're not [00:03:00] controlling the wind, you are responding to that. Your ability as a performer is not down to your ability to control everything.

It's about your ability to express and respond. And that's whether you're a singer, dancer, public speaker, whatever you are, it's that ability to express yourself and respond to the scenario. And that can be respond to the fact that you suddenly can't remember where you are, what you're talking about. You suddenly, something goes wrong in the room.

Suddenly you have a bit of feedback if you're a public speaker, maybe you're asking questions and you have a strange question. It's that ability to trust. So really the antidote to fear and insecurity, is not control. It is choice. And then I'm layering on top of that. It's trusting in your ability.[00:04:00]

to choose. Trusting that when you give yourself the chance to choose, you will make the best choice you are able to with the information you have at hand in the circumstances you are in. And this means kind of pulling yourself back together, or putting yourself back together, because when we don't trust ourselves, what often happens is we start to parent ourselves, we start to boss ourselves around, we start to tell ourselves what to do, and then that often promotes resistance in ourselves, and we've divided ourselves into two, we've divided ourselves into a parent part, and a child part.

The parent part doesn't trust the child part, and the child part feels bossed about by the parent part. But the reality is it's just you. So if the parent part of you is capable of making a wise choice or thinks it is, actually, how do you trust that when you say, right, I'm just going to make a choice [00:05:00] here, you will make.

A good choice just because there's a part of you that, you know, the part of you, the parent part of you that you do trust will make a good choice. Sometimes the parent part, when it gets stuck in the you should do this, you should do that, drives a decision that actually isn't wise in the circumstances, is driven by other people's expectations.

And in fact, if you tap into who you really are, you'll make a better choice. So it's allowing yourself and trusting yourself to give yourself space to make choices in these, in these situations. If you try and put in control, then you'll start to overthink because that's where overthinking comes from, that desire to control.

Freedom comes from trust. So if you trust that whatever happens You will survive. Whatever happens, you're a grown up and you will deal with it. That way lies freedom. That way lies connection with [00:06:00] your audience. So the real key to letting go is trust. Is trusting that you have done all the prep. And that you are ready for this.

Now, the reality is whether you've done all the prep or you haven't done all the prep, you are where you are. So you've done all the prep. You're going to have time to do. So this is where you're at. And an attempt to control where you haven't done the prep still makes things worse. It doesn't mean you will do a better job when you try and control because you haven't done the prep.

in an equally bad situation and you make it worse by attempting to control. If you, how many times, actually let me put this question to you, how many times have you been asked to wing it and you've been surprised by how well it's gone when you haven't had time to prep? And that's the amazing thing that when you are forced into a situation where you have to trust your subconscious, you just gotta go for it.

[00:07:00] If you can lean into that and trust it, Then you will do a good job. If you find in those scenarios where you are asked to wing it and you go into this feeling completely out of control, then do you see how control in that scenario makes it worse? Well, control in every scenario makes it worse. Because it takes away from that trust it then if you don't have the trust you have doubt and if you have doubt you start to overthink and you have a desire to control because it makes you feel vulnerable and you create this downward spiral so think about it this way However well prepared you are, when your performance comes, is as well prepared as you are.

There's nothing you can do about it at that point. What you can do is then lean in and trust that you will do the best job you can. And that you will do the best job you can by trusting your subconscious to do that. And that when your conscious mind starts to get involved, that's when overthinking happens, that's when tension occurs, that's when trying to control [00:08:00] occurs.

And it always makes it worse. So no matter how, what stage of preparation you're at, lean into trusting that your subconscious has got this and you will find it will work better. And then you will find that you will be able to let go and lean into enjoying your performance and your anxieties will reduce as a result of that.

So how do you let go and enjoy your performances? By trusting that you've got this. that your subconscious has got this and that by telling yourself you haven't got it and you can't do it, you'll only make things worse. So lean in and enjoy it. so I hope that helps. Thank you very much for listening.

I'm Hattie Voelcker from Find Your True Voice.