Zayn Malik must take 'baby steps' to get over anxiety, says expert

By | On June 13, 2016

Zayn Malik, who pulled out of appearing on stage at the Capital FM Summertime Ball, needs to take “baby steps” to get over his performance anxiety, says a psychological specialist.
Peter Kinderman, a professor of clinical psychology at the University of Liverpool, said that anxiety is a common experience that happens in stressful conditions.

The president of the British Psychological Society said he sympathises with the former One Direction singer because of the “enormous” pressure he will be under.

“If you have had a difficult and challenging situation that can be seen as a very negative setback, to get back to where you were before, normally the advice is baby steps first,” he added.

“Build your confidence back up in stages would be the advice. I feel some sympathy for people who are in the public gaze because celebrities are under a very great deal of pressure.”

Zayn pulled out of the music event at Wembley Stadium on Saturday which would have been his first live UK solo stage performance.
In a message on his Instagram account he apologised “to everybody I’ve let down” and explained that his anxiety about performing live “has gotten the better of me”.
Prof Kinderman said it may be the case that pulling out of one performance might then make it more difficult to go into the next show – causing an “anxious loop”.
“The thing about big performances is that those are quite challenging because the classic advice for people having anxiety problems is to build up your confidence in graded exposure,” he said.

“For a performer that is a bit more difficult because it is easy in the beginning of your career to play gigs to your friends and neighbours and then move on to the local pub.” 

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