The Outside Eye
Actors often talk about an 'outside eye' looking at them and judging them. It can prevent them from being present in the moment and therefore spoil their work.
The outside eye is an imaginary critic and it's not just actors and other performers who feel it's gaze. People sometimes refer to a monkey or a parrot sitting on their shoulder, watching and whispering a negative commentary to them in their ear.
It all amounts to the same thing - a destructive emotional force which leads to physical tension. It's irrational, unfair and unwanted but left unchallenged it can become a habitual visitor.
Constructive criticism, practice, self-examination and study are all positive ways to improve performance and it's also a very good idea to rid yourself of unwanted habits, both physical and mental. Lessons in the Alexander technique can help with this.
William Hurt said 'The Alexander Technique has helped me to undo knots, unblock energy and deal with almost paralysing stage fright'.
When you learn to stay present there's no room for the outside eye:)