Picture it! You’re on a stage about to give a speech to a crowded audience. Your heart starts racing, your mouth gets dry, and you can feel your hands getting sweaty. All of a sudden you are at a loss for words! It’s happening! You get performance anxiety!
When we think about performance anxiety, the words “stage fright” often come to mind. That’s a form of performance anxiety. If you absolutely dread getting up in front of people and performing you might suffer from performance anxiety.
Performance anxiety can prevent you from doing something that you enjoy. It could also affect your career if you have trouble performing speeches or presentations. More importantly it could affect your self confidence and self esteem.
You’re probably wondering how you can know if you suffer from performance anxiety. According to WebMD, the stressful situation created by being the center of attention can cause your body to physically react that same way it would if you were being attacked. That means it triggers your “fight or flight” response mechanism. According to the same article I found on WebMD, performance anxiety symptoms include:
Racing pulse and rapid breathing
Dry mouth and tight throat
Trembling hands, knees, lips, and voice
Sweaty and cold hands
Nausea and an uneasy feeling in your stomach
The cause of performance anxiety is a no brainer. It’s simply stress and anxiety, about performing in front of people, exacerbated by the fear of embarrassment or shame. So since we know that part of it, how do we combat performance anxiety?
First, you have to learn to accept yourself as you are and know that what other people think doesn’t really matter. Nobody is perfect and it’s fine to make some mistakes. You have to work on your mindset first.
Next, you have to learn how to redirect the negative thoughts you get while performing. You know the ones saying “You suck just sit down.” Yeah, don’t listen to those! They are wrong! When one of those negative thoughts pops into your mind counter it with a positive thought. Say out loud if you can STOP! And then switch those thoughts into a slightly more positive version.
There are other things you can do to combat your performance anxiety. One of which is to practice and be prepared for you performance. You also shouldn’t focus on the things that COULD go wrong and visualize your success. It’s so important to mentally prepare yourself for the task ahead of performing. But what happens, if you prepare and you still get performance anxiety?
You can prepare yourself for when performance anxiety rears its ugly head by taking my course “5 Steps to Taking Control of your anxiety in the moment”. This course will help you learn how to control anxiety in the moment once it has already hit. It will be available very soon.
Be prepared for when performance anxiety hits by clicking here…
Last Week’s Blog On Social Anxiety