Zayn Malik has been experiencing acute stage fright and anxiety about performing. According to The Mirror, Zayn has admitted he’s had this problem ever since leaving One Direction. It seems strange for this condition to suddenly surface in someone who has performed for huge crowds all over the world; but, apparently, the break with One Direction seems to have stirred something very deeply in Zayn.
Brian McFadden explained to The Mirror how he felt when he dramatically walked away from the boy band known as Westlife 12 years ago. He still believes he did the right thing for himself at the time. He also suggests Zayn Malik quit show business, and give himself a break.
“It’s only now, more than a decade later, that I can really understand what happened. We had it all – money, fame, beautiful women, amazing cars – but in the end it just wasn’t making me happy. At the end, I found I was taking myself away from everyone. One day I just jumped on a plane to Australia without telling the others because I couldn’t stand any more.”
Zayn Malik managed to make his first solo album with no problems because he was not in front of a large crowd. Now, his stage fright has become a real problem as he tours with his new solo album. Malik has already canceled at least a couple of performances because of this extreme stress, which lets up only once he decides not to go on stage.
Brian McFadden relates a similar story. He, too, experienced a sudden onset of uncontrollable stage fright after leaving Westlife. Brian still doesn’t understand what caused his sudden fright.
“After Westlife, I struggled with stage fright myself. For years I was fine and then, out of nowhere, it just hit me. I don’t know what brought it on, but I just started to feel like everyone was looking at me everywhere I went and it made me very uncomfortable. My personal life was everywhere and it felt like people were judging me. One day I performed in front of 10,000 people with Delta and they booed us, it was like my worst nightmare.”
Now, Zayn Malik is going through something similar, and Brian McFadden has recognized the symptoms right away. However, McFadden’s solution is not recommended by the experts.
Stage fright is not helped at all by giving in and avoiding the situation, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. One must break the cycle of avoidance.
“Avoidance may give you immediate relief, but it reinforces your fear in the long run.”
Still, Brian McFadden says quitting for a while worked for him. He no longer feels stage fright and his career is making a comeback. He just took a 12-year break. During that time, he had kids and grew up quite a bit. Now, he’s able to go on the stage again.
Zayn Malik needs a solution and fast. He’s facing tour dates and is reportedly too scared to go on stage. Should he just run away? He’s an adult at 23-years-old, so he’s trying to be responsible. But, at least a couple of times, he hasn’t been able to overcome his fears.
Stage fright is a form of social phobia and it can be crippling. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association Of America, the problem can be symptomatic of deeper anxieties such as self-doubt. Unfortunately, that feeling can lead to even more erosion of self-esteem and confidence. The path to a cure involves discovering the underlying fears and learning self-acceptance.
Brian McFadden did offer other advice that might help Malik. McFadden Suggested Zayn makes friends with people not inside the music industry.
Zayn Malik needs ordinary friends he can trust, Brian McFadden contends. People who don’t have money invested in Zayn would be easier to trust, according to McFadden.
“That world makes it hard to relate to friends outside the business. For years I didn’t even carry a wallet or keys because literally everything is done for you. You find the only people around you are industry people and you can’t work out who is really trustworthy. I have never believed in therapists as such, but I managed to make one or two very good friends outside the industry and talked about all my problems. One worked in the oil business – we were in such different worlds that it really worked. They’re the people who helped me turn everything around. That’s probably what Zayn needs – ignore all the showbiz nonsense and find people who he can really trust.”
Whether Zayn Malik keeps performing, goes on a break, or quits as Brian McFadden suggests, Malik must find a way to resolve these social anxiety issues before they get any worse.
[Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images]