Updated: Jun 22
Photo: by Lindsay Neilson, Instagram@lindsaydaniella
When I sang background for all of these amazing celebrity artists, I was vaguely aware of the differing schedules we had. So, of course, if we were on tour, there would be a soundcheck at some point and then a show, but there were so many other pieces that I sometimes witnessed and sometimes didn't, such as the constant interviews artists had to do and various other things that really took a lot of time.
Recently, I watched a YouTube video of Ariana Grande talking about being on the red carpet and how anxious that used to make her, and it gave me pause as to why she would be anxious on a red carpet. I've never known Ariana Grande to be an anxious performer. But this got my attention.
Anxiety is formed by a number of things; it's a mixture of feeling that you don't know how to do something or fear of the unknown. So in this case, she might have been anxious about what the journalists would ask her; would she be able to answer the questions correctly, what would the blogs and journalists say about how she looks. She even referenced a moment when she wiped something from her eye and that moment was captured in a picture and a rumour was spread that she was crying when she wasn't. I can see how when you're not in control of your image, how that would form anxiety.
As someone who has definitely suffered with anxiety before, what I can say is that anxiety keeps you in a trance; it's a chokehold of fear that causes you to have obscured vision based upon the unknowns; of life and the future. It's caused by feeling out of control.
The way that I decided to get free from anxiety was to decide that there was nothing worth me feeling anxious for. I literally one by one started to let go of every single attachment, every single thought, and every single belief that was keeping me stuck in fear and anxiety.
I decided to get super present and only think about the present moment.
Anytime my mind strayed to thinking about the future, I just brought my mind back to the present moment. I was so deeply present that I was able to hear how loud the water was when I was washing the dishes. When I was wiping the kitchen countertop, I was able to notice how many bits there were that I was wiping up. I got super, super present. Whenever anxiety tried to creep in, I would guide myself back to the present moment.
It strikes me that anxiety presents a reality that simply isn't true. It presents the reality that you are doomed; that you have something that isn't here yet that you need to fear; that you need to be concerned about falling flat on your face as a professional. If you stumble over your words in a presentation, it will cost you an image of looking competent; or if you say the wrong thing in a meeting, then what will people think of you?
It really comes down to this. How badly do you want to be free and what measures are you willing to take because the anxiety chokehold is not reality. It's the strangulation of creative air supply, and you will not see things clearly. Your body will quake as if the thing that you fear is happening right now. It's a future-casting time travel device which catapults you out of the present moment and into a future that isn't even here yet.
My question to you is: are you willing to let go of the things that cause you anxiety?
Perhaps you're somebody who was like me; somebody that tried to present an image of having it all together when secretly I was really suffering on the inside, or perhaps you lie awake at night worrying about your career, your future, and your success. The present moment is where your power is.