Do You Suffer from Performance Anxiety?

Do You Suffer from Performance Anxiety?

27 June 2023

This is it! It’s your big moment – you finally get to pitch your ideas to your boss and industry peers.

You’ve been preparing for this moment for so long, but your brain freezes, and your mind goes blank. The crowd seems supportive, but it doesn’t make a difference. Everything you’ve rehearsed so many times disappears, and you feel like a deer in the headlights. Sound familiar?

Believe me, you’re not alone. Performance anxiety is fear about one’s ability to perform a specific task. “Stage fright” is rampant in our society and affects almost everyone, from the beginner to the most seasoned professional. In fact, the fear of public speaking, or glossophobia, affects an estimated 77% of the population, making it more common than the fear of heights, fear of flying, or fear of enclosed spaces.

Feelings of pre-performance dread can even strike seasoned performers. Miley Cyrus who has been entertaining audiences since she was a child, told People magazine that she still experiences stage fright, saying: Though I try to keep it cool, I’m actually always kind of freaking out at all times.”

The anxiousness felt prior to an important task can involve a racing heart, dry mouth, shaky hand/voice/lips, sweaty palms, nausea, and even changes to your vision. Turns out that performing in front of others can turn even the toughest into a sweaty, shaky human shaped jelly in a skin suit! Unfortunately nerves, anxiety and fear are some of the negative forces that can hold us back.

Fortunately, there are a few science-backed ways on how to deal with performance anxiety:

  • Remember your true north. Remind yourself why you are doing what you’re doing and allow this to guide you through the anxiety into a state of confidence.
  • Get excited. Reframe your anxious thoughts into enthusiasm and prepare as best you can for the big day.
  • Act like a Pro. Reassure yourself that you are safe and you’re doing a great job.
  • Ditch the morning latte. Loading up on caffeine will increase your heart rate and possibly make you jittery. Sugar, caffeine, as well as processed foods can contribute to anxiety. Instead nourish your body with healthy foods for sustainable energy.
  • Breathe mindfully. Oxygen is like magic. However, because we need it to live, we don’t even think about breathing it in. And so, when we are nervous, without realizing it, we take shorter, shallower breaths which exacerbates the cycle of anxiety. So, with eyes closed and lips pursed, slowly exhale for as long as possible. Once your lungs are empty, pause for a count of ten. Then slowly inhale taking in as much air through your nose as possible. When your lungs are full, pause before repeating the process.
  • Visualize your success. Avoid self-doubt and imagine the audience laughing and cheering, and you feeling good.
  • Look good. When you look good, you feel good. Simple as that.

So, save this article and review it before your next big thing.

We wish you the best of luck. You’ve got this!


DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms or need health advice, please consult a healthcare professional.

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