The Fear, And Self Sabotage

March 2, 2009
Estimated reading time:
2 minutes

In exactly a week, I'm doing my first comedy show. I'm really excited about it, but even now I'm more nervous than I've ever been before - more so than when I had to give a presentation in front of my class, more nervous than when I went for my interview at Cambridge (which I didn't get into), more nervous than the first time I talked to a really hot girl (who I also didn't get into).

It's a completely irrational fear - the worst that can happen is that I'll be talking to an audience for 5 minutes, they won't laugh, I'll get off stage and then someone else will come and do the same. But I keep having this mental image that it's going to be just like the first scene in 8 Mile.

His palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy

There's vomit on his sweater already, mom's spaghetti

He's nervous, but on the surface he looks calm and ready

To drop bombs, but he keeps on forgetting

What he wrote down, the whole crowd goes so loud

He opens his mouth, but the words won't come out

He's choking now, everybody's joking now

The clock's run out, time's up, over, blow!

And while me throwing up on stage could be very funny (for all the wrong reasons), I can't stop thinking about it. And it's having an adverse effect on me. I'm starting to sabotage myself. I'm not practising my routine. I haven't performed it for any of my friends. I'm so afraid of failure that I'm shying away from the challenge I've set myself. I've done it before - during exams, when I'm afraid of one particular class, because I'm not as good at it, I shy away from it, concentrating on what I'm good at instead of really challenging myself and working on it.

I need to smash through the fear. I need to step up to the plate, take my own fucking advice and make it happen. Enough with this bullshit.

By the way, if anyone has any great knock-knock jokes, I'd love to hear them.

Related posts

Did you like this?

I write a semi-regular newsletter called Human Capital, to help you become a better, healthier, happier leader.

Sign up below and you’ll get the very next one. No spam, ever, I promise.