Adults and teens are experiencing anxiety and depression more than ever before as we struggle with a new world order that’s based on social media, cellphones, and internet access. That’s why I am encouraging anyone reading this today to stand up for their mental health and do what they need to do to heal, grow, and let go of past traumas.
I know what you are probably thinking – how could public speaking help me work through trauma? Won’t that make it worse? In essence, you would think so. However, I am here to tell you the opposite. At The MOTH in London and other storytelling events in Berlin, I have been able to get up on stage and share my personal experiences, traumas, and hardships with as many people as possible. Although these topics are very personal to me, there is something cathartic about sharing them with an audience. By speaking existence into them, they no longer hold my mind captive, and the love I receive back from the audience as they react to my story always gives me a huge boost in self-esteem. Looking at them heals what happened to me. It is without a doubt one of the most rewarding things I have ever done.
Fears at First
Now, I don’t want you to think this was easy for me to do. It was terrifying to go on stage at first. I didn’t want people to boo me out or tell me I was a loser.
But eventually, I silenced that doubt and got up on that stage and poured my heart out. When I was done, I couldn’t believe how good I felt. I realized these fears holding me back were merely my subconscious trying to bring me down. You have to disconnect from that negative voice in your head holding you back.
Now don’t think you need to be able to craft a compelling story or stand-up routine for an audience without help.
This is what I recommend:
- If you see yourself more as a storyteller, listen to the MOTH podcast as often as you can. Over time, you will truly feel it changing your mindset. Or if you prefer stand-up, listen to your favorite stand-up comedians over and over again. Study how they set-up their jokes.
- Read the book No, Really, We Want You to Laugh: Mental Illness and Stand-Up Comedy: Transforming Lives, which will break down everything you need to know about a live “spilling your guts” kind of performance.
- I worked with professional performers along the way to hone my storytelling craft. Never be too proud to ask for help with that. I chose stand-up comedians, but there are also many professional storytellers who offer to coach. If you’d like recommendations email me.
Spilling your guts on stage can be the most rewarding thing you ever do. Trust me.
Now where stages are still closed it is the perfect time to write and practice your stories or standup routine. If you have a link to a YouTube clip, where you went on stage with one of your most troubling stories and you’d like me to share it here on tenderhearted guardians, contact me, and I’d be happy to add it to this blog post.