How Singing Live Helped Zendaya Overcome Her Anxiety: ‘I Slowly Built My Confidence Back Up’

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Zendaya can’t help but replay the moment stage fright took over her body.

“I used to struggle with anxiety pretty bad,” the actress-singer writes in a blog post featured Tuesday on her website and app about overcoming her anxiety. “It only happened when I sang live, not when I danced or did any other live performances, and it stemmed from a bad experience I had while singing on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in 2013.”

Being one of her “first live TV performances,” Zendaya, 20, remained scarred for quite some time thereafter.

“ mic pack went out and I had to perform my song ‘Replay’ even though I couldn’t hear anything in my in-ear monitor,” she says about the incident. “It wasn’t my best performance and I’ve never let myself live that down. I had mad anxiety ever since that.”

Ironically, it was actually singing that helped Zendaya overcome her anxiousness. All it took was a great performance with an even greater stage partner.

“I DID figure out how to bury my anxiety, though,” she says. “I’ve tried focusing my energy on other things, like making movies. And I took my time and slowly built my confidence back up before I went back out on stage to sing live.”

“Luckily, when I performed ‘Let Me Love You’ with Mario on the show Greatest Hits last year, it went really well,” she continues. “It was still a little nerve-wracking, but it was cool.”

Zendaya’s advice to those who, too, struggle with remaining calm, cool and collected?

“Sometimes you just have to take a step back so things stop stressin’ you,” she says.


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