Recently I had a beautiful insight that helped me a crazy amount with my nerves on stage.
I always used to have (and still have on a certain degree) an inner judge. We all have our inner judge, it is us telling ourselves we should be better, we are not good enough or we should do everything perfectly right now.
This inner judge showed up in every situation of my life, however, he was especially present in magic.
Before I would go on the stage, I had the feeling that I had to be perfect in what I did and I had to show the audience how good I really am, I had to show them the best magician they have ever seen. These thoughts gave me so much inner pressure that on stage I wasn’t able to fully relax or have fun.
Then recently I did a show at the comedy and magic club in Alkmaar, this was the show where everything changed.
I walked up on stage and I was really nervous, I did my act and it went pretty well. I was even able to use the nerves in a presentation, which was quite nice. However, when I walked off stage I felt terrible. I felt like I completely fucked up and that I gave a really bad performance (even though the audience enjoyed it).
But about 3 minutes after I walked off stage something beautiful happened. I sat down and I started to relax, and certainly, an insight hit me. “I don’t have to be perfect right now, everything I do is part of my journey”. This realization was powerful, it made me feel wonderful. Certainly, I didn’t have to be perfect anymore, everything I am doing is to become better in what I am already doing. It is all part of my journey to become the best version of myself. I did the best I could do at this moment, more I could not have done.
Immediately after this insight, I noticed that I started to have more fun on stage and I became more relaxed in performing.