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23rd September 2023

What is Performance Anxiety?


Written by: Kazi Afra Adiba

The sudden influx of feelings of fear/worry/stress before or during performing a particular task is known as performance anxiety. 

- the fright of humiliation in front of others while carrying out a task

- the fear of failing or feeling incompetent

- the pressure of performing to a superficial standard

- being perfectionists where one remains fearful of any slip-ups

Common symptoms:

- Feeling light-headed or dizzy

- Dry mouth

- Rapid heartbeats

- Sweating

- Shortness of breath

- Shaking or chills

- Blurry vision

- Zoning out or feeling withdrawn 

Tackling performance anxiety: 

Getting jitters before any event is quite common for everyone.  However, if the anxiety hinders the overall well-being and performance of the task, it becomes concerning. Learning and recognizing the triggers may help prevent these outbursts beforehand. Some ways of dealing with performance anxiety could be:

- Rehearsing on your own to boost confidence

- Giving yourself a positive, and guided pep-talk pre-performance

- Practise deep breathing to calm your nerves

- Visualising a successful performance to uplift yourself

- Avoid frequent intake of caffeine

- Stay hydrated and well-rested

And most importantly, be present in the moment. Always try to take things one step at a time instead of dwelling on everything simultaneously. 


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