‘How do you know if you’re alive if you’re not nervous anymore”

I’m performing and hosting a poetry slam for the Fingal Poetry Festival tomorrow night. As usual my whole week has been consumed with thinking about it, rehearsing it and getting nervous about it. On top of the normal nerves is the fact that I haven’t been on stage in 2 years. But then no one else has either.

I know I need to be nervous. As one of my song writing idols Brandon Flowers… ‘How do you know if you’re alive if you are not nervous anymore”. And once I’m up there on stage I always love it or at least love the buzz it gives me after I come off. But there is always that sneaky voice that says ‘Oh no this is a different nervous’ ‘This is full fucking make a show of yourself on stage nervous’! My heart pounds, my head get fuzzy and I’m ready to run.

I’ve developed lots of ways of dealing with this through the years. Grounding exercises, super power poses, voice exercises, practicing ALOT, reminding and reasoning with myself of how I do love it when I get up there, giving out to myself for being such a wuss and that I need to ‘Feel the Fear and get the fuck up there anyway’.

This week I found a new addition for my list of ways… in the unlikely teachings of Nietzsche who I always thought was a dark nihilistic philosopher and I should avoid reading anything by him. A friend told me about this podcast Philosophize This which breaks down the teachings of philosophers in plain easy to digest words and phrases. This is perfect for me. I love overthinking and analysing the meaning of life but can’t listen to or absorb big highfaluting words. My mind goes blank and my head hurts.

The episode was called the Will to Power. And the podcaster Stephen was basically saying (from Nietzsche) that we are all driven to experience our true authentic selves. This is the power that we are constantly and consistently embroiled with throughout our lives. And its only through repeated failures that we ever learn and figure out who our authentic selves truly are. We need to take risks and throw ourselves into things. To relish experiences be they successes or failures with our whole hearts and never run away from them.

I consistently put myself in situations where I am throwing myself on stage in front of an audience or sharing writing and poetry that reveal way more about myself than I would ever dream of saying in a normal conversation.

So I’m still nervous yes, shitting it, definitely but now with the utmost belief, be it a success or failure, that doing it is inevitable. My Will to Power.


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