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Overcome Your Performance Fears shares research & solutions for public speakers, actors, musicians, students, athletes & any high-level performer who wants to perform at their best in the spotlight!

Recent Articles

Propranolol for Public Speaking Anxiety

Can Propranolol Help with Public Speaking Anxiety?

Considering that over 40 percent of US adults state (in certain surveys) that they have a signigicant fear of public speaking, it’s surprising that there isn’t a lot more talk in the media about overcoming and managing one of the nations largest collective phobias! Since the 60s, a heart-medication drug has been the secret tool for public speakers trying to get a handle on their performance anxiety/stage fright issues. That prescription drug is a beta-blocker called Propranolol, which is actually the most commonly prescribed beta blocker drug in the US. In this article, I’m going to take a look at why so many public speakers use Propranolol to help with their performance anxiety issues, I’ll share my personal experience with the drug, and you’ll find out what the side-effects and downsides are, as well as some alternatives.

Robert Downey Jr using beta blockers for anxiety?

Why was Robert Downey Jr Talking About Beta Blockers for anxiety?

During his Golden Globe Award acceptance speech for best supporting actor in the movie Oppenheimer, actor Robert Downey Jr very briefly mentioned beta-blockers in relation to anxiety and stage fright, when he said “I took a beta-blocker so this will be a breeze”. Here we look at why Robert Downey Jr was talking about beta-blockers, what beta-blocker drugs are, how they work for anxiety, what the downsides are, and uncover other celebrities who have also gone public about using beta blockers to help with their anxiety problems.

Propranolol vs Bisoprolol Beta-Blockers for Anxiety

Propranolol vs Bisoprolol Beta Blockers for Anxiety

Both Propranolol (brand name Inderal) and Bisoprolol (brand name Zebeta) are prescription beta blocker medications that were originally designed to block the effects of adrenaline on the heart, helping people manage their heart and cardiac issues successfully. However because these medications block adrenaline, these beta blockers are also used “off script” by some to help them get rid of anxiety symptoms and stage fright. In this article we look at Bisoprolol and Propranolol beta-blockers and see which is best for anxiety symptoms.

Test Anxiety Medications for Exam Anxiety

Test Anxiety Medications for Feeling Calm & Confident on Exam Day

You’re not alone in facing severe stress and anxiety in the run up to exams – no matter what area or stage of life you are in! Test anxiety is when you experience physical, emotional and/or mental symptoms and stress responses in the lead up to an exam, and can have serious health implications, not to mention the likely effect on your academic abilities. Here we investigate why we experience such extreme nerves and anxiety in the run up to exams & tests, and take a look at the different test anxiety medications (as well as some natural alternatives) for getting past test anxiety and excelling in any test or exam.

Nebivolol For Anxiety & Stage Fright

Nebivolol For Anxiety And Stage Fright – Everything You Need to Know

Nebivolol is a prescription beta blocker that is prescribed under the OTC brand name Bystolic in order to treat heart conditions and to assist with cardiovascular conditions like hypertension and irregular heartbeat. Many professional performers like musicians, singers, speakers and actors use beta blockers like Nebivolol ‘off-script’ to help with their performance anxiety and stage fright symptoms before, or during, a performance. In this article we will take a look at the beta blocker Nebivolol, and try to understand why so many celebrities and performers are using the beta blockers to help with their anxiety, see what the recommended dosage is, while also reviewing any downsides and side-effects to the medication. We even take a look at some natural alternatives for those who don’t want to use a prescription medication like Bystolic to help overcome their fears and anxieties.

Public Speaking Tips for Glossophobia

Public Speaking Tips To Overcome Glossophobia

For many, public speaking is literally the scariest thing they could do (many rank speaking in front of large crowds as being scarier than snakes, and for some, even death)! Here we look at a number of tips and tricks that a budding speaker can use to make sure they’re not overwhelmed by their fear of speaking in public, or glossophobia as it’s called in scientific circles.

Metoprolol For Anxiety Reviews

Metoprolol Reviews – Feedback from Metoprolol for Anxiety Users

Metoprolol is one of the most common selective beta-blockers prescribed over 25 million times every year in the US. This prescription beta-blocker commonly sold as Lopressor is used in treating high blood pressure and other cardiovascular conditions. Metoprolol is also commonly used off-script by high-level performers like actors, musicians, and public speakers to overcome stage fright and performance anxiety issues. This article looks at several user reviews of Metoprolol, and we respond after explaining how metoprolol works, what its side-effects are, and whether it has a risk of dependency, finally determining whether Metoprolol is a suitable solution for stage fright and performance anxiety symptoms.

Propranolol Reviews for Anxiety

Propranolol Reviews – Feedback From Propranolol for Anxiety Users

Propranolol is the most common prescription beta-blocker that performers of all sorts (singers, public speakers, company managers & leaders, etc) use off-script to help with their stage fright, performance anxiety and general anxiety issues. In this article we look at several user reviews of Propranolol and share feedback and thoughts on some of the points raised within the Propranolol reviews. If you are considering using Propranolol to help with your anxiety issues, you need to see these reviews and feedback.

Kick Propranolol vs Hims Propranolol for Stage Fright & Performance Anxiety

Hims vs Kick – The Best Place to Buy Beta Blockers For Performance Anxiety Online?

Prescription adrenaline blockers (or beta-blockers as they are commonly called) are extremely popular amongst career and amateur performers alike. They are used “off-script” for helping individuals manage their stage fright & anxiety symptoms, and the most commonly prescribed beta blocker in the US is called Propranolol (commonly sold under the brand name Inderal). Tech-focused startups with the goal of making prescription medications for mental health issues easily, affordably and legally available for the average consumer have popped up in recent years, and two of the most popular are the companies ‘Hims’ and ‘Kick’. Here we share our findings from using both of these performance anxiety medication startups and determine which is better, as well as review what they are actually selling.

Propranolol For Anxiety Ultimate Guide

Ultimate Guide To Propranolol For Anxiety

The beta-blocker Propranolol is the most prescribed beta-blocker in the US, and is (very) commonly used off-script for anxiety & stage fright symptoms by professional performers of all sorts. Many singers, CEOs, orchestra musicians and anyone who is experiencing severe anxiety in the run up to a high-stakes event have used Propranolol to help with their anxiety. In this article we take a look at how and why propranolol works to help with performance anxiety, as well as looking at recommended dosage, downsides and side-effects, as well as several prescription & natural alternatives to Propranolol. Keep reading if you are interested in using propranolol to help with your performance anxiety, as this is the ultimate guide to Propranolol that you’ve been looking for.

Is anxiety neurodivergent?

Is Anxiety Neurodivergent? What The Science & Research Tells Us

Neurodivergence was first identified by an Australian sociologist called Judy Singer in the late 90s. It refers to the idea that differences in the human brain are natural & normal and, in a lot of cases, can lead to meaningful and positive insights and abilities. The question is commonly asked about anxiety: is anxiety neurodivergent? In this article we look at what Neurodiversity and neurotypical are, what the benefits might be and finally figure out whether anxiety is neurodivergent or not.

OTC Xanax Alternatives for Anxiety

4 OTC Natural Alternatives To Xanax That Actually Work

If anxiety is stopping or getting in the way of your routine activities, you are not alone. As anxiety is such a common problem that affects many different people, anxiety disorders are often treated using prescription anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) medications such as Xanax (Alprazolam). While Xanax is one of the most commonly prescribed psychotropic medications in the US (48 million prescriptions in one year alone – 2013) the drug can have serious risks and drawbacks. There are alternatives to Xanax for anxiety, however, and in this article we look at how Xanax works & what it does to the brain, discuss the side effects and cover several Xanax alternatives that are available over the counter (OTC) to see if they are as effective as benzodiazepines but without the drawbacks.

Flight Anxiety Medication

Natural & Over-The-Counter Flight Anxiety Medications to Overcome Fear of Flying (Aviophobia)

If you suffer from flying anxiety, then you’ve probably had stats about how safe flying really is (especially compared to other modes of transportation) or about how rare plane accidents are thrown at you. What most of those people don’t understand, is that you can’t quell phobias and lifelong fears with a couple of statistics. If that was possible, one in six people would not suffer from some sort of fear of flying, and flying anxiety would not be a problem. In this article we look at what flying anxiety is and what the symptoms are, why we suffer from a fear of flying and several over the counter prescription & non-prescription natural medications to overcome flight anxiety.

SSRI vs SNRI for anxiety

SSRIs vs SNRIs For Anxiety – How do SSRIs & SNRIs work and which is better for anxiety?

SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) and SNRI (serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors) drugs are both used to treat depression and anxiety symptoms, but they function slightly differently and come with different methods of action, side-effects and levels of effectiveness. Here we look at what SSRIs and SNRIs are, how they work for anxiety, what the drawbacks & side-effects are for each of them, analyze which is more effective and even look at some natural alternatives.

Gabapentin For Anxiety

Gabapentin for Anxiety: Does Neurontin Work, Recommended Dosage, Side Effects, Alternatives & More

Gabapentin (Neurontin), a prescription anticonvulsant medication, is a synthetic version of the neurotransmitter GABA, or Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid. Originally, gabapentin was created to control certain types of seizures in people who have epilepsy, as well as nerve pain relief solution, and a calming agent for conditions like restless leg syndrome. Gabapentin is also used off-label as a treatment for anxiety symptoms and disorders. Here we look at how Gabapentin works against anxiety, compare it to other alternatives like beta-blockers & natural supplements, consider the side-effects and long-term downsides, and figure out if Gabapentin is effective against anxiety.

Created to help you overcome your performance fears and shine in the spotlight! was originally started by Janet Esposito (MSW, LCSW) in 1999 to help people who have a fear of public speaking or performing through her publications, workshops and personal coaching. More than 20 years later, this website has grown to be the main resource for anybody who needs to perform in high-anxiety situations. We help readers learn about stage fright, social anxiety & performance anxiety so that they can overcome their fears and perform at their best in any situation.
Learn more about here... can help if you:

  • Have an immediate surge of fear when you learn you need to do public speaking or performing
  • Attempt to avoid giving presentations or performances because of performance anxiety
  • Suffer from a lot of anticipatory anxiety thinking about your presentation or performance ahead of time
  • Experience stage fright and feel very self-conscious being "in the spotlight"
  • Suffer constantly from Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) and related conditions
  • Worry about embarrassing yourself in front of others, fearful that people will see how anxious you are and that you will lose credibility and respect
  • Feel a lot of inner turmoil and have missed opportunities because of this fear

Get started by looking through our performance anxiety guides, covering topics from diagnosing your performance anxiety through to our reccomended exercises, products and medications that can help you overcome your anxities & stage fright. Our blog also contains a lot of helpful articles about everything related to performance anxiety.

What is Performance Anxiety?

Performance anxiety is the fear someone experiences before and/or during a specific type of performance. When someone has performance anxiety, they might fear that the performance will be a failure even if they are well prepared.

Often, the fear is tied to the potential humiliation or rejection that might result from a failed performance. And although performance anxiety can exist around any type of task, it is usually more prevalent among people that have to perform under pressure.

Musical performers, actors, public speakers, and professional athletes are some of the professions where performance anxiety is common. This is why performance anxiety is also known as stage fright. To learn more about what performance anxiety is, including what the symptoms and causes are, take a look at our What is Performance Anxiety article.

Glossophobia, or 'Fear Of Public Speaking'

Did you know that Glossophobia, the medical term for a fear of public speaking, is said to be the number one fear reported in surveys of American adults, topping such fears as the fear of flying, financial problems, sickness, and even death?

Fear of public speaking is reported to be the number one fear of American adults, with many people experiencing tremendous suffering because of it. This fear often takes a huge toll on peoples' effectiveness in the workplace and in other settings as it stops them from fully expressing their thoughts and ideas in front of others. This fear afflicts not only the timid and socially anxious, but also those who are otherwise seen as confident and outgoing. Many people go to great lengths to avoid speaking up in front of groups, either formally or informally, or they are less effective if they do speak up.

A parallel fear exists for people working in the performing arts and entertainment fields, such as singers, musicians, actors, and actresses. Even very talented and accomplished performers may suffer from intense performance anxiety and feel tremendous fear when anticipating or giving performances (or they may avoid performances altogether).

While a mild level of performance anxiety is perfectly normal when one is called upon to speak or perform in public, many people suffer from a much higher level of fear and dread. They may experience symptoms of panic, such as heart palpitations, rapid breathing, sweating, trembling or shaking, feeling dizzy, unsteady or lightheaded, feeling detached, and feeling a loss of control over their ability to manage the fear. They may also experience blushing or heat surges, sweating, difficulty concentrating, and thought blocking. Often they experience intense anticipatory anxiety prior to the speaking or performance event, sometimes days, weeks, or months ahead of time.

This fear strongly affects an individual's professional life and prospects for career advancement. Many people have given up professional opportunities for advancement if the new position calls for more public speaking or public performance. Some people have left a job or have not gone on for higher education to avoid facing their fear. There is clearly much lost potential for individuals, and for society, due to this fear.

Having this fear also takes a big toll on the person's self-confidence and self-esteem, as many people feel embarrassed and ashamed to have such a fear. They may try to keep their fear hidden as much as possible, though they are often afraid of being "found out." They are often intensely uncomfortable and self-conscious with being "in the spotlight" and having others focus attention on them.

A deep fear associated with public speaking or performing is the fear of embarrassment and negative evaluation by others. Many people feel terrified of making a fool of themselves in front of others and fear that people will view them as inadequate in some way. There is often a fear of harsh judgment from others, and a fear of loss of credibility and respect if others find out just how afraid they are. Many people who suffer this fear tend toward perfectionism and are afraid to make mistakes. They are afraid to let others see their fear and vulnerability, fearful of not being seen as strong and in control.

While a person can often successfully avoid situations that require public speaking or performing, the avoidance behavior itself actually worsens the fear. The person comes to believe that he or she cannot handle speaking or performing situations and that avoidance is the only solution. While the avoidance initially provides a feeling of great relief, it erodes the person's confidence and belief in him or herself and thus greatly limits and constricts the person's life choices.

If you can relate to the feelings and experience of someone who has stage fright, please know that you have come to the right place to get help! This website is dedicated to revealing a range of methods to help ease and lessen your performance anxiety so you no longer feel controlled by this fear.

You do not have to suffer any longer from this fear. I hope to hear from you soon so I can help you find the solutions you are looking for to address this incredible challenge in your life.