How to beat performance anxiety

Overcoming Performance Anxiety in Music, Acting, Sports, and More

Written by Hedy Marks

In this Article

  • Performance Anxiety Symptoms
  • Performance Anxiety Causes
  • Performance Anxiety Treatments
  • Overcoming Performance Anxiety: Tricks of the Trade

If you dread the thought of getting up in front of a group of people and performing, you are not alone. Millions of people suffer from performance anxiety, commonly called "stage fright." In fact, most people would rather get the flu than perform. Athletes, musicians, actors, and public speakers often get performance anxiety.

Performance anxiety can prevent you from doing what you enjoy and can affect your career. Worst of all, performance anxiety can negatively affect your self-esteem and self-confidence. Although it may be impossible to totally overcome performance anxiety, there are many things you can do to control your emotions and reduce anxiety.

Performance Anxiety Symptoms

Being the center of attention and having all eyes on you can be stressful. Your body reacts to this situation in much the same way as it would if you were being attacked. Your body's "fight-or-flight" mechanism kicks in, which is why symptoms of stage fright are similar to symptoms that occur when you are in real danger.

Performance anxiety symptoms may 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
  • Vision changes

Performance Anxiety Causes

Simply put, stress and anxiety about performing in front of people causes performance anxiety. Confronting your fears and vulnerabilities, accepting yourself for who you are, and not feeling like you have to prove yourself to others, is the first step toward overcoming performance anxiety. Keep in mind that nobody is perfect, nobody expects you to be perfect, and it is OK to make mistakes.

The second step is learning how to redirect your negative thoughts, beliefs, images, and predictions about performing in public. Doing this is not as difficult as you might think.

Performance Anxiety Treatments

Here are 10 tips to help you overcome your fears and shine on stage, on the field, or at the podium:

  • Be prepared: practice, practice, practice.
  • Limit caffeine and sugar intake the day of the performance. Eat a sensible meal a few hours before you are to perform so that you have energy and don't get hungry. A low-fat meal including complex carbohydrates -- whole-grain pasta, lentil soup, yogurt, or a bean and rice burrito -- is a good choice.
  • Shift the focus off of yourself and your fear to the enjoyment you are providing to the spectators. Close your eyes and imagine the audience laughing and cheering, and you feeling good.
  • Don't focus on what could go wrong. Instead focus on the positive. Visualize your success.
  • Avoid thoughts that produce self-doubt.
  • Practice controlled breathing, meditation, biofeedback, and other strategies to help you relax and redirect your thoughts when they turn negative. It is best to practice some type of relaxation technique every day, regardless of whether you have a performance, so that the skill is there for you when you need it.
  • Take a walk, jump up and down, shake out your muscles, or do whatever feels right to ease your anxious feelings before the performance.
  • Connect with your audience -- smile, make eye contact, and think of them as friends.
  • Act natural and be yourself.
  • Exercise, eat a healthy diet, get adequate sleep, and live a healthy lifestyle.

Keep in mind that stage fright is usually worse before the performance and often goes away once you get started.

Overcoming Performance Anxiety: Tricks of the Trade

There are also mental tricks you can play to help you perform with less anxiety. These include:

  • Focus on the friendliest faces in the audience.
  • Laugh when you can, it can help you relax.
  • Make yourself look good. When you look good, you feel good.

These tips should help reduce performance anxiety. But if they don't, talk to a counselor or therapist trained in treating anxiety issues. You may benefit from more intensive therapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, to help overcome performance anxiety. In addition, beta-blockers such as propranolol that lower the heart rate and block the effects of adrenaline are sometimes used by people with performance anxiety.

Confronting your fears and learning ways to reduce and manage them can be empowering. Not only will it make you feel good about yourself, you may discover that you are a more confident performer, too.

Anxiety & Panic Disorders Guide

  1. Overview
  2. Symptoms & Types
  3. Treatment & Care
  4. Living & Managing

Sexual Performance Anxiety: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments

Written by Stephanie Watson

In this Article

  • Causes of Sexual Performance Anxiety
  • Symptoms
  • Overcoming Sexual Performance Anxiety

Sex is supposed to be enjoyable, but it's tough to have fun if you're constantly worrying about how well you're doing. If you want to put the sparkle back in your love life, learn why sexual performance anxiety might be happening to you and get some tips to put yourself at ease.

Causes of Sexual Performance Anxiety

Sex is more than just a physical response. Your emotions have something to do with it, too. When your mind is too stressed out to focus on sex, your body can't get excited either.

Lots of different worries can lead to the problem:

  • Fear that you won't perform well in bed and satisfy your partner sexually
  • Poor body image, including concern over your weight
  • Problems in your relationship
  • Worry that your penis won't "measure up"
  • Concern about ejaculating too early or taking too long to reach orgasm
  • Anxiety about not being able to have an orgasm or enjoy the sexual experience

These things may lead your body to release stress hormones like epinephrine and norepinephrine.


Your state of mind can have a big impact on your ability to get aroused. Even if you're with someone who you find sexually appealing, worrying about whether you'll be able to please your partner can make it impossible for you to do just that.

One of the effects of the stress hormones is to narrow blood vessels. When less blood flows into your penis, it's more difficult to have an erection. Even guys who normally don't have any trouble getting excited might not be able to get an erection when they're overcome by sexual performance anxiety.

Sexual performance anxiety isn't diagnosed as often in women as it is in men, but it can affect arousal in women, too. Anxiety can prevent women from getting lubricated enough to have sex, and it can take away the physical desire to make love.

Anxiety can take you out of the right mind-set for sex. When you're focused on whether you'll perform well, you can't concentrate on what you're doing in bed. Even if you are able to get aroused, you may be too distracted to reach orgasm.

Sexual performance anxiety leads to a cycle of troubles. You might become so anxious about sex that you can't perform, which leads to even more sexual performance anxiety.

Overcoming Sexual Performance Anxiety

If you've got sexual performance anxiety, see a doctor -- someone you're comfortable enough with to discuss your sex life. The doctor will examine you and do some tests to make sure a health condition or medication isn't the cause of your problems.

During the exam your doctor will ask about your sexual history to find out how long you've had sexual performance anxiety and what kinds of thoughts are interfering with your sex life.

Medications and other therapies can help treat erectile dysfunction and other sexual problems that have physical causes. If a medical issue isn't to blame, your doctor might suggest you try one of these approaches:

Talk to a therapist. Make an appointment with a counselor or therapist who has experience in treating sexual problems. Therapy can help you understand and then reduce or get rid of the issues that are causing your sexual performance anxiety. If you worry about premature ejaculation, for example, you can try some techniques that help you gain more control.

Be open with your partner. Talking with your partner about your anxiety can help ease some of your worries. When you try to reach a solution together, you may draw closer as a couple and improve your sexual relationship.

Get intimate in other ways. Learn how to be intimate without sexual intercourse. Give your partner a sensual massage or take a warm bath together. Take turns pleasing each other with masturbation so you don't always have to feel pressured to perform sexually.

Exercise. Not only does working out make you feel better about your body, it also improves your stamina in bed.

Distract yourself. Put on some romantic music or a sexy movie while you make love. Think about something that turns you on. Taking your mind off your sexual performance can remove the worries that stop you from getting excited.

Finally, take it easy on yourself. Don't beat yourself up about your appearance or ability in bed. Get help for sexual performance anxiety so you can get back to having a healthy and enjoyable sex life.

Sexual Conditions Guide

  1. Basic Facts
  2. Types & Causes
  3. Treatments
  4. Prevention
  5. Finding Help

how best to deal with it at work

I was tense, restless, nervous and restless when my company first introduced a policy of daily review of tasks. For the next 4 hours after the announcement of the policy, my heart was panting.

It was so obvious that my colleague asked me, "Queen, are you okay?" All I could do was nod.

Yes, it would seem that my fear and anxiety is a sign of incompetence or unethical work behavior that may be revealed in the process. But that's not it at all. nine0003

Because even after the daily task performance review started, the company has not found a loophole on my part.

The fact is that from the first day I started working, I worked to give the company the best. Tried to be efficient and competent as well as meet my deadlines.

So what really happened?

Why such anxiety even when I am doing a good job?

What is it called, and why does some part of me still make me feel that repeating my daily tasks is not good for me? nine0003

It's called performance anxiety, and the truth is...

It's normal

I've learned that performance anxiety is normal and can happen to anyone. And besides the job review part, it can be felt during interviews, presentations, brainstorming sessions, and even work meetings.

But this is normal, does not mean that it is right and should continue. Because its negative impact outweighs the positive. In the sense that it can lead to feelings of paralysis, timidity, and difficulty completing tasks. nine0003

Realizing this made us think about how to get rid of this feeling. And having a way out, I am now free and bold as an eagle.

If you feel this way, you too can be free, bold and more confident, as I have followed me closely in this article.

Because in this article, I've recorded information about performance anxiety at work and tips on how best to deal with it at work.

These tips will help you get rid of self-doubt. nine0003

To get started, let's first understand what Anxiety's performance entails.

What is performance anxiety disorder?

Anxiety disorder is one of the most common mental health problems affecting millions of people worldwide.

In fact, World Health Organization An estimated 260 million people worldwide suffer from anxiety.

No wonder most people find it difficult to endure the constant stress of staying on top of the game in the world. This provided high competition and outstanding performance. nine0003

Unfortunately, performance anxiety can prevent us from achieving what we want to achieve and can quickly derail our careers. In addition, it can seriously affect our self-esteem and self-confidence.

Others generally see people with performance anxiety as ambitious, high-achieving perfectionists who deliver nothing short of flawless achievement, which is ironic. These people contribute a lot to the overall well-being of the company at work. nine0003

Many of us are unaware that people who suffer from performance anxiety experience great internal self-doubt.

In fact, their anxiety stems from a conflict between self-esteem and self-doubt.

If you want to stop worrying about performance, you must first change your mindset.

See also: Preparing for performance testing: 10 things you need to know well

What can cause you to worry about performance at work?


Worrying about performance at work can do you more harm than good. It can ruin or sabotage your career and even put you out of a job for a long time.

And without warning, this can lead to disappointment and even a suicide mission. Some of the symptoms of performance anxiety include fast heart rate and rapid breathing, dry mouth, and a tight throat. nine0003

Other symptoms may include trembling in the hands, knees, lips and voice, sweaty and cold hands, nausea and abdominal discomfort.

To clarify the details, below are some of the implications of performance anxiety in the workplace.

Loss of focus

There is nothing more distracting in the workplace than performance anxiety. When you always feel on edge when you have a task, you can easily lose focus on your work. nine0003

You can spend hours staring at your laptop or switching tabs without doing anything out of fear.

It can be annoying

Feeling anxious about performance can make you irritable, impatient and restless in the workplace. It can save whatever atmosphere you came to work with and even affect your colleague.

Yes, you must forcefully wear smiles when dealing with anxiety, learn how to maintain a good mood in a work environment. You can be annoying when you make your team think that you are uncooperative or emotionally upset. nine0003

Anxiety at work can distract you

People with anxiety at work are constantly in a state of fight or flight and therefore find it difficult to concentrate on daily work tasks.

This means that you either lace up your gloves to protect yourself, or you give up your duties and colleagues.

Kills your career

Social contacts are another source of professional anxiety. This means that when you go to a networking event, you stay in the corner and hope to go unnoticed, and then leave as soon as possible. nine0003

When your colleagues go to lunch, you are too afraid to join them to have lunch and chat. Unfortunately, succumbing to our social anxiety triggers can lead to job stagnation as we avoid circumstances that are important to progress.

How to best deal with performance anxiety at work

Fortunately, there are many things you can do to help manage performance anxiety at work. nine0003

Some of them include:

#1. Be proactive in planning

Since anxiety is primarily about what might happen in the future, planning is a great way to prepare for unpleasant surprises.

Whether you need to make an impactful presentation, present a creative concept or pass a performance evaluation, preparation will save you a lot of time and nerves.

However, you will have a whole new way of looking at things as soon as you write it down. In other words, a well thought out plan of action provides the clarity and direction your nervous mind desperately needs. nine0003

First of all, you will be more likely to control your performance anxiety if you follow the instructions and stick to your strategy.

# 2.

Challenge your thinking

When it comes to anxiety, it's how you interpret circumstances or events that make you anxious and uncomfortable.

One of the signs of performance anxiety is when you are more concerned about how others see us. When you have a personal negative interpretation of other perceptions of you. nine0003

This can be really difficult.

In truth, if you believe that your audience will be tough people who will seek to expose your mistakes and expose your shortcomings, your work will be affected.

So, learn to refute the erroneous thoughts that cause you anxiety. Have a positive feeling that will result from a rational assessment of your overall achievements.

In this way, it can help you become better, inspiring you to do better next time. nine0003

#3. Failure should be rethought.

Since performance anxiety is rooted in the fear of poor grades, it would be a good idea to reframe failure as a positive learning opportunity.

Negative ratings are feared by those who are concerned about labor productivity. This is because we perceive criticism as a clear and irrefutable indicator of failure.

However, failure at work can mean losing a big project to your competitors, being fired, being unable to pay your mortgage, and eventually being on the street. nine0003

See how anxiety-driven thinking can spiral us into a series of worst-case scenarios, each worse than the last!?

On the other hand, failure is part of life; it's part of being "in the game".

If there is one thing that all successful people have in common, it is that they fail more often than you can imagine. In truth, their path to success was more of an obstacle course, and each obstacle made them stronger and smarter. Consider failure as an opportunity to learn. nine0003

#4. Request references

It is very important to expect quality feedback if your anxiety rises when you are unsure of your goal. Constantly trying to clarify action items can not only hurt productivity, but also make less pushy employees feel like a burden to customers.

According to a study by, a quick feedback solution for remote freelancers, feedback that lacks clear and explicit action points can cause anxiety. nine0003

As a result, providing meaningful feedback is believed to be the key to minimizing performance anxiety.

Because you don't know if you're getting it or not, lack of feedback can cause stress and anxiety in the workplace.

Therefore. It is important that you seek the opinion of your boss. Ask for a face-to-face meeting, video calls, or a face-to-face meeting.

No. 5. Remember to be gentle with yourself. nine0075

Forgive yourself if necessary. Also keep in mind that productivity is not always the same as performance.

None of the above tactics will help unless you want to stop blaming yourself for how your anxiety is affecting your productivity right now.

It is unlikely that you will ever be able to completely get rid of the knots in the abdomen that appear out of nowhere, so do not waste time trying.

Instead, focus on modest victories and incremental successes that will give you a sense of success and progress. nine0003

More tips for coping with performance anxiety at work

More tips for coping with work-related anxiety:

  • Get good behavior. Getting enough sleep, eating right, exercising regularly, and not drinking too much alcohol or caffeine can all help keep your mind and body in good shape.
  • Organize yourself. Even if emptying your computer and desk isn't a top priority, staying organized will benefit you in the long run. nine0176
  • Be honest with yourself. Don't take on tasks, projects, or assignments you don't have time for if you don't have enough time.
  • Communicate. If you need help, ask for it. Speak up if you have too much on your plate. Your boss may not realize that you are overworked.
  • Prepare and plan ahead. If you have any important projects, start them as soon as possible and give yourself a minimum deadline. It can also help to anticipate and avoid potential complications. nine0176
  • Set clear boundaries for yourself. Don't take your work home with you. Make it a rule not to check your voice mail or work mail after leaving the office, for example.
  • Stay away from toxic colleagues. Do not listen to gossip and criticism in the workplace.
  • Take a break when needed. To clear your mind, try deep breathing exercises or take a walk. This includes holidays. When you return, you will most likely feel energized and want to get back to work. nine0176


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How to beat anxiety and become mentally stronger - Alternative

Do you constantly worry? Tried almost everything to overcome this, but nothing helps? At first it seemed that everything was over, but then the symptoms returned with a vengeance? Whatever your circumstances, science can help you beat anxiety for good. nine0003

Anxiety can manifest itself as fear, anxiety, inability to concentrate at work or school, problems with work or sleep, and mild anger. In social situations, this can make it difficult to communicate with others; you may feel like you are constantly being judged, leading to stuttering, sweating, facial flushing, or upset stomach.

Sometimes this is expressed in panic attacks, when sudden bursts of anxiety make you feel like your heart is about to stop, you go crazy or lose control. above oneself. Or the symptoms may be different and expressed in generalized anxiety disorder, when diffuse and widespread anxiety consumes you, and you look with horror into the future. nine0003

Most people experience it at some point, but if anxiety begins to interfere with your life, sleep, ability to form and develop relationships, or performance at work or school, you may be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. Research shows that if left untreated, anxiety can lead to depression, early death, and suicide. And while it can indeed lead to such serious health consequences, the medication prescribed to treat anxiety often doesn't work in the long run. The symptoms often come back and you start all over again. nine0003

How science can help

The way you manage or manage things in life directly affects how much anxiety you experience, so it's worth finding ways that work for you to reduce your level of anxiety. Here are some of the best coping skills that have been developed as a result of our research at the University of Cambridge, which will be presented at the 30th European Congress of Neuropsychopharmacology in Paris.

Do you feel like your life is out of control? Do you find it difficult to make decisions - or start things? One way to overcome indecision or start a new project is to “do it badly.”

It may seem strange, but the writer and poet G. K. Chesterton remarked: "Whatever is worth doing is worth doing badly." And he had arguments in this regard. The reason it works so well is because it speeds up the decision-making process and forces you to take action. Otherwise, you could spend hours deciding how you should do something or what you should do, which can be very time consuming and stressful. nine0003

People often want to do something "great" or wait for the "perfect time" before starting. But this can lead to procrastination, long delays, or even prevent it from being done at all. And it causes stress and anxiety.

Instead, why not start "doing it badly" and not worry about how it will turn out. Not only will this make your job easier, but you will also find yourself completing tasks much faster than before. More often than not, you'll also find that you're not doing as badly as you initially thought - even if you do, you can always improve your work later. nine0003

Using "make it bad" as your main approach gives you the courage to try new things, adds a little fun to everything, and doesn't let you worry too much about the outcome. It's about doing it badly today and improving the campaign. Ultimately, it's about liberation.

Forgive yourself and “take your time to worry”

Are you especially critical of yourself and the mistakes you make? Imagine that you have a friend who constantly points out everything that is wrong with you and your life. You will probably want to get rid of it. nine0003

But anxious people often do the same to themselves and don't realize it.

So perhaps it's time to change your attitude towards yourself and begin to forgive yourself for the mistakes you make. If a certain situation confuses you, don't criticize yourself - just let go of the negative thoughts and redirect your attention back to the work at hand or something else.

Another effective strategy is "don't worry too much." If something goes wrong and you have to worry (because you think you made a mistake), don't panic right away. Instead, put your worries aside - choose 10 minutes a day during which you can worry about anything. nine0003

If you do this, you will find that after a while the situation you used to worry about doesn't look so dire. And our anxious thoughts do dissolve very quickly if we don't energize them.

Find purpose in life by helping others

Also think about how much of your day is spent on someone else? If there is very little or none of this, then you are at high risk of poor mental health. No matter how hard we work or how much money we make, we cannot be truly happy until we realize that someone else needs us and depends on our productivity or love. nine0003

This does not mean that we constantly need praise, but caring for others distracts us (from our worries and worries) and makes us worry about others.

Constant concern for others has been proven to be one of the most powerful means of maintaining mental health. Neurologist Viktor Frankl wrote:

For people who think there is no point in living and there is nothing to be expected from life… it is worth finding a way to make them understand that life is still waiting for something from them.

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