I was on Facebook this weekend and saw a quote that changed the way I thought about nerves: “Unless you’re nervous, you’re not gonna do a good job.”

I love this quote.  It immediately made me think of a conversation I had with Karen this summer about what my future career looks like.  It more or less went like this:

Karen: “Are you comfortable speaking in front of people?”

Me: “No, but that means I’m going to end up doing a lot of it.”

Since public speaking makes me nervous I know it’s going to be a big part of my future career.  It’s just how I’ve perceived the universe working in my life.  It’s like some sort of cosmic challenge that’s begging to be conquered.

I read a great article on the topic of stage fright ( It suggests that if you’re not nervous before a performance you cannot achieve “the zone”, the natural ease and flow of a performance.  It advises to find a sweet spot of nervousness before performing because too little or too much can be debilitating.

Here’s what gets me about this: too little stage fright can be as bad as too much.  This got me really excited because it made me start thinking about nervousness and stage fright as necessary rather than a hindrance.

In light of that, the quote above makes me feel so much better.  If I stop thinking that nerves get in the way of communication but rather fuel it, I can focus them on what I’m actually communicating whether it’s a song, a presentation, or speech.  Nerves are the necessary fuel for my energy and enthusiasm, and by extension a successful overall message.

This all seems to be in conjunction with what I am learning from Brene Brown–that you can be scared and brave at the exact same time.  In fact, if you are completely comfortable, there’s a good chance you are not being brave at all.

Check out other articles/videos on this topic:

1. What Every Musician Ought to Know About Stage Fright:

2. How to Make Stress Your Friend: