Performance Anxiety

What Is Performance Anxiety?

Performance anxiety can be experienced physically ( in our bodies)  and mentally( in our minds) and may happen because we are worried (anxious) about performing something well or at our best, usually in front of others. Essentially, it's a specific type of anxiety that we experience when we want to successfully complete a task or skill, especially when there is evaluation involved. 

What Does Performance Anxiety Feel Like?

When experiencing performance anxiety, some common physical symptoms include dry mouth, racing heart, increased sweating and other physical sensations when thinking about or at the time of performing or presenting. You may even feel stiffness in your body or "like jelly". You may have racing thoughts of concern or doubt about your ability to successfully perform a given task. 

Who Gets Performance Anxiety?

EVERYONE! Whether you're professional at something or not. We've all experienced some degree of anxiety about being evaluated on something by others, especially if there's high steaks! In the case of performance anxiety, performance is a broad term, referring to giving a presentation or speech, conducting a medical procedure, and it can also refer to the performing arts such as acting, dancing, singing, playing an instrument or doing a comedy routine. It can also refer to sports performance. 

What Causes Performance Anxiety?

We can experience performance anxiety for a variety of reasons. Some people may have underlying diagnosable mental health related conditions that include but are not limited to general anxiety or social anxiety which can affect their concerns of performing. In general, performance anxiety results from our negative thoughts about our ability to successfully carry out the performance. 

What Can I Do About My Performance Anxiety?

The short answer is for you to have confidence in your ability to do what you need to do. As I mentioned, everyone's situation can be different, so the process of working through performance anxiety should be individually crafted for each person as well.  Contact me to learn more.

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