• sarahanncromwell

Why you are not killing it in 2020

A personal note from Sarah-Ann:

2020 has been a really hard year for many people. Whether it’s the Zoom revolution, virtually seeing friends, doing an interview video, working from home, getting a new job or being in your same job but having to do it differently, the newness can be stressful. This isn’t a ground breaking observation however, I know as an Operatic Comedian that understanding the science of how we feel stress and what stress looks like neurologically, the Psychophysiogical study of stress has helped me to own my nerves, challenge them and manage them on stage. I’m hoping this post will resonate with you and empower you to Speak Fearlessly through the changes of 2020 -2021.

Here you go, the reason why you are not representing your true abilities in 2020 and some advice from Diva about how to kick start your Speaking Fearlessly journey.


Humans have two Sensory Systems:

The Parasympathetic which I call Network CALM (imagine a steam train) and

The Sympathetic which I call Network BOOST (imagine a high speed train).

Our natural state is Network CALM, when our brain delivers messages of calm to almost every organ in our body. Our low level stress response is Network BOOST. Many of us respond efficiently to a short trip on Network BOOST, whether it's a deadline set by the Boss or our own check list. Diva and I are no different, when we are are #killingit on stage it’s because we are riding Network BOOST.

Where’s the down side? You are not designed to stay on Network BOOST. External factors like The Pandemic, Lock Down and the USA elections prevent you from getting off. The longer you ride it, the more your stress increases. Your Alter Ego (AE) starts to over react and perceives everything as ‘Threat to human life.’ AE knows that Network CALM is ill equipped to win fights, races or hide and seek and so disables the switch to keep you on Network BOOST. Your brain’s calm messages are now blocked. Diva (my AE) and I used to have regular battles over my CALM/BOOST switch. Lock Down tests our relationship and we’ve had to rely on our Operatic performance training and neuroscience study for survival. It is not a surprise that you feel an increased anxiety about interviews, meetings, presentations, training or company culture change and that you are not presenting your genuine abilities. Thanks to an unpredictable 2020 most of us are stuck on Network BOOST and our Alter Egos are terrified.

In 2020 it is reasonable to feel you are not representing your true abilities because you are riding your BOOST Network and your Alter Ego is catastrophising everything. Take comfort in understanding that brain and body, everybody reacts in the same way. However, you are not stuck. With short daily practice you can build new bits of brain to manage your Alter Ego. You can mend your switch back to Network CALM. You can and will Speak Fearlessly.

Here’s some advice from Diva (my AE) about how to kick start your Speaking Fearlessly journey.

Hi all

I hope you are all riding you Network CALM today? Here are some daily practices to help you and your Human feel safe and be fearless.

Breath deeply.

Be kind to me


Talk to somebody who makes you smile.

Seriously, breath right into you belly button.

Watch or listen to a comedy.

Brrreeeeeeaaaatttthhhhh low!

Hugs from Diva x


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