Total Mental Freedom

"I have worked with Nicholas numerous times and I can honestly say he has helped me with ‘performance anxiety’ more than anyone has! He is really on the leading edge of a new way of thinking -a way of thinking (or maybe even ‘unthinking’) that no one else in the music field is focusing on. I can't recommend him highly enough."

Mercedes Smith

Principal Flutist, Utah Symphony

Peak Performance, Simplified

Because don't you have enough to think about already?

You've probably heard the saying, “Less is more”? I think it's great advice for all of life. When it comes to performance psychology though, doesn't it often feel like the mantra is, “More is more”?

Find a pre-performance/pre-game routine. Manage the pressure. Focus on this, not that. Channel your energy into something positive. Quiet the monkey mind. Get in the “zone.” Visualize success. Do affirmations. Center. Reframe your nerves as excitement. All in the name of cultivating “mental toughness”. And all on top of everything else you already have to think about as an athlete or performer!

 

I don’t know about you, but I’m exhausted just reading that! Is it any wonder so many people struggle? 

Tell me: When you’ve felt “in the zone” or like you were “on,” what was that experience like? Most artists, athletes, and public speakers I know say something like:

 

  •  “It felt like I wasn’t thinking, working, or doing anything.

  • It felt so organic - like everything just flowed out of me.”

 

In other words, it felt effortless – like you weren’t the one making it happen.

 

Isn't it fair to say that we perform better in all aspects of life when we have less on their mind and aren’t pushing so hard? So knowing that, does it make sense to you to give yourself more to think about and do?

I wonder if cultivating "mental toughness" actually makes things tougher on us?

If it's okay with you, I'd like to take some things off your plate! Because if you're struggling to perform consistently at your best, I don't think it's an issue of you not working hard enough, doing the wrong techniques, not caring enough, or something being fundamentally wrong with you.

 

If anything, you're probably working too hard. But only because you were taught to do that. And I'm here to tell you there's way less to do than you think. Less really is more. And when you're not so preoccupied trying to think and feel the “right” things, you're free to just show up, be in the moment, and do your thing - no matter how big the stage and high the stakes.

My philosophy, in a nutshell:

I DON'T HELP PEOPLE FIND THE "RIGHT" MINDSET FOR PEAK PERFORMANCE. 

I HELP THEM PERFORM THEIR BEST NO MATTER WHAT MINDSET THEY'RE IN. 

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“Working with Nicholas has not only reduced the impact of performance anxiety on my career, but has also inspired creative thinking about all aspects of my life. Our conversations touch on philosophy, spirituality, art, connection, and the innate beauty of being human. In my experience, seeing beauty at the center of everything creates more room for play in life - we are experimenting and improvising all the time and there is space for each of us to join in. Most importantly, Nicholas has helped me see that, even in the difficult moments, I am always ok.”

JENI HOUSER, SOPRANO

How It Works: (all sessions are online via Zoom or in-person):

  • We'll meet for an initial conversation to explore your goals, talk about any deadlines/upcoming events you're preparing for and create a program together that will maximize your success.

  • Programs generally run between 1-3 months with regularly scheduled sessions and support/resources between sessions.

If you’re ready, I’d love to help get you on the road to mental freedom!

Wait... who are you to talk about mental performance?

Let’s put it this way: When I say, “I get it”, I mean it.

  • For over a decade, I performed as an opera singer, singing at the Metropolitan Opera, the English National Opera, and many other respected companies throughout the US and Europe. I also won most of the major opera competitions in the US.

  • On the flip side, I’ve gotten horrible reviews, been rejected more times than I can count, and completely bombed some of my performances and auditions. And I overcame a severe case of stage fright myself; I’d have panic attacks, vomit, and shake before almost every performance. So yeah, I know what the lows feel like!

  • AND - I also know firsthand how thrilling it is to perform at your best more consistently and not let nerves or self-talk stop you from doing work you’re proud of. And I’ve worked for 15 years helping others shine - especially when the lights are brightest and stakes are highest.

  • Current and former clients include athletes on local, regional and national teams, classical musicians at many of the top orchestras and opera companies in the US and Europe, Broadway performers, Hollywood actors, TV actors on series such as Orange is the New Black, students at major performing arts conservatories/colleges, and high school students who are poised to become the next generation of great athletes and performers.

  • I’m currently in my sixth season on faculty for mental wellness and mental performance at the New World Symphony in Miami, arguably the top orchestra training program in the United States.

  • I’m frequently invited to speak on mental performance at conservatories/colleges, artist training programs, festivals, conferences, and on podcasts.

Speaking of podcasts...

Click on the photo to check out one of my favorite podcast interviews I’ve done about performance anxiety for the Mind Over Finger Podcast!

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