I want to say that a scenario is at once exciting, but also fills me with apprehension. While I could say, "That's both exciting and fills me with apprehension," I would like to use a single word in this place.

But it's a positive sort of apprehension. The sort of apprehension you might feel before going on stage to perform - obviously people are there to see you and so unless you really screw it up it will go well, but still.

  • 1
    I don't think apprehension is ever positive. And I can tell you from my own experience, it's never a "good" feeling to have before going on stage to perform. Once there I lose the apprehension as I warm to the performance. I think the positive pre-performance feeling would be simply excitement.
    – Robusto
    Sep 6, 2015 at 12:39
  • @Robusto I agree. imho apprehension has no positive meaning. It's like anxiety.
    – Centaurus
    Sep 6, 2015 at 13:02
  • So something like a positive apprehension, then :) Sep 6, 2015 at 13:04
  • Try tension. But I think you'll need modifiers too.
    – user116032
    Sep 6, 2015 at 19:00

3 Answers 3


Words such as invigorating, energizing, or exhilarating might be used to describe the positive adrenaline rush that can result from stress and apprehension.


"eagerness" has a positive connotation and seems to fit.

eager - "feeling a strong and impatient desire to do something or for something." MW, "having or showing keen interest, intense desire, or impatient expectancy." TFD

  • "the young actor was filled with eagerness to go onstage"

  • "She was eager to get started"

  • "These students show eagerness to succeed"

  • That expresses being filled with anticipation. The question is for a verb describing the object of the eagerness. Sep 6, 2015 at 13:19

Before going on stage to perform, you feel

geared up

15c. to arouse or excite, as with enthusiasm or expectation: The employees were geared up for a hard battle with management over working hours. -Random House

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