Conquering Performance Fears and Anxiety

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Performance fear or performance anxiety takes on several different forms. However, it is associated with the growing awareness and the need to perform according to the standard of your own field of activity, whether it’s your workplace, or an upcoming presentation or speech you must give, or for a specific sports activity. With the pressure to perform ones best, there is always a preconditioned mindset for the person suffering from performance fear that if anything should go wrong, that will eventually impact their performance and reduce it to failure.

Studies are still ongoing to determine exactly the cause of this fear but it is closely coupled to a persons desire to do better at something. As humans, we are not perfect so you need to recognize that experiencing performance fear is considered, completely normal. But some may often have an unrealistic level of fear or misconception about a given situation that impair their logical decision making capacities and can lead to substandard performance.

There are various types of performance fears or anxieties, whether it’s work related, public speaking, or sports event. Therefore, the ways, although similar, in which you deal with a particular fear, will differ as well. Following are some basic methods suggested in order to minimize the level of fear and associated level of anxiety with performing these different tasks.

In sports, the best way to get rid of any performance fears associated when competing at a sports event is to take it easy on yourself. Even the worlds best athletes have their days off, where they may not perform at their maximum potential. When engaged in sports, you cannot expect to win all the time and you must realize your team may lose on occasion. Whatever your sport or related activity, setting realistic goals is the first step that will help you deal with sports performance fears and anxiety. However, you can turn the adrenaline produced by your anxious feelings into energy that you can harness to perform better at your sport. And when you are performing the actual feat, try to enjoy the experience and you will find the process of competition more rewarding.

When Delivering a speech, many people have this fear of speaking in public. Most of that fear is produced by the pressure of having to deliver a flawless speech that is able to communicate the message to the audience effectively. Instead of letting that fear overtake you, harness it into a systematic plan that will ensure you have control over the situation.

Here are a few tips you can apply when preparing to deliver a speech. Be sure you plan ahead and allow time for research for your speech, even if you are an expert in your field. Doing some research can help to confirm your facts and reduce some of your anxiety. Plan ahead the schedule and location where the speech is going to be held. And I’m sure you heard this before, Practice. Practice. Practice.

As for the workplace, there are a few inherently stressful jobs that require a high level of standards for their employees to meet. To stay on top of job related performance anxiety, it is always a good idea to stop and talk about it, with either your boss, co-workers, or family members. Existing in isolation and trying to confront your fears alone could increase your fear thereby increasing your level of anxiety and make the situation worse. It is important to have the support of other people around you. Also, try to change your perspective. There are times where you may experience job inadequacies but view it as a learning curve or just an off day. Aiming for perfection is good but you need to realize that it is unachievable. You should focus on what you can contribute to the company instead of what you are failing to deliver. Is the glass half empty, or half full.

When managing and conquering fear, you need to understand that only you have power over your fear, especially when it determines how well you perform at something. Following are some tips that can be taken in order for you to overcome these fears; Try to identify the source of your problematic perception or anything that could trigger such fears. Once you have identified the external source of your anxiety, look within yourself. Determine how you react to it and why you react in that way. Desist from criticizing yourself or questioning your ability to perform. Instead of letting fear consume you, take the necessary steps and preparations needed for your optimum performance. After completing the performance of your speech, athletic event or job task, do not focus too much on areas of mistakes or failures in a way that it impairs your self-confidence. Instead, look at them as conditions that need improvement in order for you to do better in your next performance.

One final note in dealing with conquering your fears is to seek out some self help information such as articles, audio tapes or videos dealing with this subject. Realize you are not alone in these feelings and many people have contributed some very helpful tactics that will help you to conquer your fear.

 

The author has been studying the reasons for and remedies of our fears to better his own. He believes that all fears can be conquered, which if not dealt with, can hamper a persons ability to achieve all they want from their lives. A video tutorial is available at [http://www.conqure-your-fears.com]

 

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Andre_Beauchamp

Social Anxiety Disorder and Performance Anxiety – Plan Your Presentation

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You have probably heard the phrase that most people would rather die than present the eulogy at the funeral. Yes, public speaking brings on performance anxiety (a form of social anxiety disorder) in most of us. Performing artists, job interviewees, sports people and exam participants are also performers and are susceptible to performance anxiety.

While many of us feel anxious when we have to perform, anxiety itself is not bad. When you are stimulated, scared or anxious a flood of adrenaline and cortisol is released into your body. This prepares
you to give the highest performance, one with excitement and focus. So anxiety does serve a purpose. Most experienced performers feel concerned if they do not feel any anxiety as this can lead to a flat and dull performance.

Performance anxiety is feelings of ‘butterflies in the stomach’ or in severe cases ‘stage fright’. It is the response to ‘fight or flight’.

In some people this reaction is so debilitating that they become paralyzed by fear, unable to speak or think clearly. For someone with social anxiety disorder they may even go to the extent of refusing a promotion at work if there is any likelihood of having to do a presentation at any time.

But there are ways to help prepare to perform and to lower your state of anxiety.

Change your thinking to change the way you feel. If you start thinking about your sweating palms, racing heart and wondering if you will remember your speech your attention is divided and not on the job at hand — that of giving the speech. If you are thinking about the outcome you are distracting yourself from the task. Focus on the task at hand, the presentation you are going to give. Perceive your presentation as a challenge rather than a threat.

You wouldn’t expect someone to tell you that you were useless before you went out to perform but that’s what we tend to do to ourselves — telling ourselves that we are no good at speaking, or that we’ll be glad when it’s all over. This negative self talk needs to change into something positive — “I am well prepared and will show them what I can do.”

A good way to counteract negative thinking is to practice new thinking and create new habits. For each stage of the performance process write a set of positive self talk.

1. Preparation: The time from when you know you are to give your talk until you arrive at the venue.

a. “I am looking forward to this challenge”

b. “If I feel nervous this is natural and means that the performance is important to me”

2. Before: The time before you go on stage.

a. “I have done this in practice and can do it here”

b. Remind yourself of breathing and meditation techniques to calm yourself, and breathe easily.

3. During the performance

a. “Focus on the present”

b. Remember that if you forget something your audience has no idea that it has been left out, after all you wrote the notes.

c. A tip is that pauses are effective in a speech making, use a pause to gather your thoughts.

d. Another tip is to look just above your audience’s heads. It will appear that you are looking at them.

4. After the performance

a. “What can I learn from this performance?”

b. “Next time I’ll do even better.”

The key to your presentation of course is to be prepared. And to practice, practice, practice. Self talk will not help you if you have not prepared and do not know your subject

Many well known performers have admitted to being troubled by performance anxiety. Kim Basinger Stephen Fry, Barbara Streisand, Carly Simon and even the late Pavarotti have all suffered the affliction. These performers have made a conscious effort to control their anxiety and you can too.

 

For more articles by Ceejay Caton please visit http://anxietyattacksymptoms.weebly.com Ceejay’s aim is to help others by sharing information with anyone experiencing anxiety disorders. It may even be a family member or a friend suffering from what is often a frightening experience.

 

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Ceejay_Caton