Before we go ahead and discuss the various ways that will help you overcome performance anxiety, it will be better if you understand what it actually means. Performance anxiety is the anxiety, fear, or persistent phobia which may occur in an individual who has to perform in front of an audience, whether actually or potentially. Though often termed as stage fright, it need not necessarily involve a stage, such as in case of performing in front of the camera. More than often, performance anxiety occurs by the mere anticipation of a performance. This performance could be anything, right from speaking in front of public to singing, dancing or even acting. It could even be performing well at office or doing a particular task with panache. People with performance anxiety generally have the following symptoms: fluttering or pounding heart, tremor in the hands and legs, sweaty hands, diarrhea, facial nerve tics, dry mouth, erectile dysfunction and in rare cases, even hyperventilation. However, there is nothing much to worry, for performance anxiety is both treatable and evadable. There are various ways in which one can learn to diffuse the anxiety to a large degree. Herein mentioned are some easy ways to overcome performance anxiety.
Overcoming Performance Anxiety
Talk About Your Fear
Fear is quite normal to experience, but what is not normal is it influencing or overpowering you. Bear in mind that dwelling over the problems will only lead to further stress and anxiety. The only way to deal with this is by talking about your insecurities and anxieties to a trusted friend or colleague. In case you get an anxiety attack while doing a certain project at your workplace or the night before you are to give a public speech, instead of yielding to it, talk about it to your friend or colleague and ease off the pressure. Remember, isolating yourself will only make things worse. The encouraging words of your friends and colleagues will motivate you to get rid of the fears.
Look From A Different Perspective
At the times when we face excessive job pressure to perform well and things seem to be out of control, what we actually need is a healthy perspective of the situation. In such circumstances, it is best to remove yourself emotionally from the situation and evaluate the same objectively. There is no harm in taking help or direction from a colleague. In fact, putting things into perspective from someone else’s point of view might just turn out to be helpful.
No human being is perfect. As such, trying to attain the benchmark can only cause more problems. What's more, the aim of getting the perfect score can lead to excessive pressure which can only worsen the situation. As such, aim for the best but enjoy the little success that comes your way. Even if you commit a mistake, learn from it and move on. Always remember that en-route to success you will have to meet with failure quite often.
Avoid Negative Self-Talk
Each one of us indulges in self talk whether consciously or unconsciously. While constructive self talk motivates us to perform well, destructive or negative self talk makes us feel unworthy. As such, it is very important to keep a check on the kind of self talk we are indulging in. If you are constantly filling your mind with negative self talk, remember that it would have destructive effects on your performance. As such, avoid the negative babble at all costs.
Focus On The Task Than Outcome
A major crime that most of us commit is that instead of focusing on the task, we direct all our energies to the outcome. Result—a perplexed state of affairs with bouts of anxiety, stress and tension continue to bother us. A good way to deal with this is to think about the present rather than the future. Don’t let the outcome of a performance nag you down right in the beginning as this would affect the presentation. Shun away all your thoughts of the outcome and concentrate on the quality of the performance instead.
Give A Damn
Don't take it negatively. When we say give a damn, give a damn about what people have to say or what the outcome would be. Just give in your 100 percent in what you are doing. If you are having any negative thoughts, just turn away from them. Relax and indulge in deep breathing exercises. Just enjoy the day or the performance and think of the same as just another event of your life.
After the successful completion of a particular task, enjoy and celebrate your success. Remember to pat yourself on the back for the sincere effort and hard work, even if no one else does. Acknowledging success is an effective way to build self confidence and get motivated to perform better. You can also acquire the habit of keeping a “Success Journal” by writing down any and every victory and success. This way, the next time you are given the task, you wouldn't have anxiety pangs striking you.
Hope these simple tips will help you in overcoming performance anxiety and performing well.