Performance Anxiety – Follow Me Back to the Beginning.


Can I just say – I know you’re not going to read this.

That’s okay. This is not for you. And it’s going to be a very, very, very long post. It’s not even a post. It’s a blog. It’s a blog with no home.

It’s a blog about an ‘Aha’ moment for me and although I believe this post will potentially have some value to a few, not my audience as I currently sit. I’m not blaming you for your boredom and lack of interest.

I’m not consistent. Not consistent, in my expressions, tastes, even spheres of interest

for this to reach,

 inspire engagement to the people who might think they follow me….

But don’t really.

So why am I writing it? Primarily if I’m honest – for SEO purposes, but since I’ve found out on a JHA marketing call (Yes that’s right, you can pick up the breadcrumbs if you can find them before the birds) that not even the AI bots like entirely AI  produced content. The AI bots are developing so quickly, they are objecting to the dull, dead, rhythmless formatting that the lesser AI bots are producing. The AI bots are so developed that they’re not even keen on largely produced AI content)

There are standards to uphold.

What is beginning to emerge if you’ve ever watched that old 80’s film The Fly, with Jeff Goldblum is a strange metamorphosis between human and AI, we’ve been caught in that time machine with an AI, or am I getting confused between Kafka’s beetle and poor little Gregor? Have we just turned into a beetle? Tell me I’m not a beetle with a dream of performing on stage confidently. (Now, I’m really laughing at it all. And If you do find me, let me know)

So the advice is to use AI for ideas primarily, for inspiration so I’m back to it….

My first love.

Human expression.

Writing. Entirely.

If I ever tell you I love anything more, I’m lying. This is where I’m the most honest and also where I can be the most liberated…where else can one move from one part to another seamlessly, satisfyingly without hurting anybody at all?

Not even myself.

And when nobody reads it at all even better. It’s the perfect crime. A free confession! And I can do it all again next Sunday or Tuesday or Thursday. Whatever day I want.

So…Me and the rest of Me want to get back to the matter in hand if that’s okay?

The ‘Aha’ moment….I was talking about.

So, I was working with a client this week who struggles with performance anxiety, he’s a young boxer who has had an extraordinarily difficult time and seems incredibly inspirational to me…I don’t mind telling you I felt moved by his account and want to do whatever I can to help him move from stuck to thriving.  

I do genuinely love my clients the ones who find me and want to change their lives for the better. How can you not love this openness, this trust?  

But this bit is not about my empathy or care, this bit is about business, this really is about SEO (it really is). So I want to say here that he wanted to Improve his confidence to perform and perform boxing more confidently and reduce performance anxiety.

I can’t go into the particulars but essentially I’m treating the client for anxiety around performance that stems from events that occurred in childhood.

It so happened that earlier that morning, I’d been listening a training video on the MMHA platform and listened to Mike Mandel explain how a child is so suggestible that often watching someone else have a traumatic or unpleasant experience can trigger a reaction in the child themselves.

And the thing is, I’ve watched this video of Mike Mandel’s on phobias at least twenty times, in the past, but had never picked up this particular nuance. That is the thing about developing as hypnotherapists, the more clients we have, the more we can grow from out training. It is indeed an exquisite art and I hope I shall only fall in love with it deeper as I go along.

So, as this client was sharing the impact of some memories from events that had happened or he’d seen in relation to his own first memories of performance anxiety, I was taken to a moment of my own quite unexpectedly

Or rather a sudden flash of realisation enabled me to draw a parallel to a memory I’d recently shared.  

The post had reflected on a memory of my dad where he criticised a play my sister had written. It had been an expression of crushing intellectual brutality on his behalf that had caused great emotional drama within our home and I suspect inside my sister’s head and possibly now as it turns out

my own.  Who would have thought something that didn’t happen directly to me could have had such a profound impact on my own processes when it comes to performance much later in my life when I performed as a stand-up comedian.

Funnily enough, actually it’s not funny at all. The first time I went to see a hypnotherapist was just before a gig I was due to perform at on the same bill as Harry Hill. It was a big deal to me to be performing on a bill with him and I didn’t want my anxiety to get in the way of the performance. The gig went very well, nothing to do with the hypnotherapist who I didn’t connect with at all. And Harry was and is a fine man that played a protective role with a sleazy promoter that night, a kindness that I will always remember him for and one he will have no recollection of.


That’s what some people say in hypnosis when they get that life changing moment of revelation, that lighting flash of insight and inspiration.


I’ll say it again. In case it’s true. You see it suddenly occurred to me, that this event, not the stage event with Harry Hill as an adult but the event with my dad criticising my sister, may have been a trigger to my own performance anxiety.

or certainly what is sometimes referred to as a subsequent sensitising event.

I know it seems, when you look at it in the cold light of day, a little far-fetched to believe that something so innocuous as a criticism levelled at my sister for her artistic expression could have any lasting impression on me.

But, it’s possible. The vehemence was what struck my younger self. And why did I even remember it as a worst memory?

Perhaps because I preferred to see my dad in his more usual stance of compassionate and generous and the fact that a piece of art could emote in this catastrophic way…very rejecting. But maybe it was just because my Dad’s intellectual opinions mattered to me. I emphasise intellectual here. In becoming an adult his political positions seemed so ludicrously incongruous to me that I didn’t mind having an opposing view point.

The fact remains it’s plausible that in helping a client today follow back a source of his own debilitating performance anxiety, I uncovered an origin of my own.

Dad, if you are here, I know that you loved me and you loved all of us and I don’t wish you to have been any different from how you were in any way shape or form. This is not me criticising my up-bringing. I like the intricacies, complexities and all the dysfunctions. I like being me. It’s fun. I’m okay with it all even when I complain.

I’m merely writing a journal and completing a boring SEO task that will lead more people seeking to improve their confidence with hypnosis to my door. That is all and as someone in hypnosis once said “have fun doing it.”

To book a call with me and discuss how hypnotherapy can help you improve your confidence in performance in sport of speaking follow this link to my calendar.