The placebo effect: The proven phenomenon that sugar pills are sometimes as effective as real medication for curing whatever ails the test subjects – headaches, depression, arthritis, you name it.
And sometimes, they’re even more effective than “real” medication.
Why? Because belief is reality.
And that’s even more true when you’re dealing with a problem like stage fright, which is a mental construct to begin with!
I just finished presenting a six-week workshop on how to be confident on stage. In other words, how to find the Zen of the stage. You could say that many of the techniques I presented were nothing more than placebos, because they work only if you believe they work.
Does that mean they’re not real techniques? No. But this is the paradox of mental work: the techniques are real, but they’re real only if you choose to believe in them. That’s it.
Take the “Safe Boundary” concept, for example.
This is the technique of mentally constructing a physical safe zone for yourself. This safe zone lets in only positive energy and shields you from criticism, disinterest, and whatever else a less-than-ideal audience can send your way.
If you believe it works, then it works.
If you don’t believe it works, then it doesn’t work.
It’s that simple.
Many people have been telling me these techniques work. And not only for the stage, but to calm down in other challenging life situations, such as dealing with a tough client, or learning to give needle injections in nursing school.
And sometimes people are a bit skeptical, dismissing the techniques as distractions or ruses.
Does it matter? No. It doesn’t matter what you call it. If you use these techniques, and you choose to believe they’re going to work, I don’t really care what you call it or where you want to place the credit. Call it a distraction, call it a trick, call it a technique.
It doesn’t matter, because the placebo effect is real. That much is proven!
(c) 2010 Adrienne Osborn