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What is Performance Anxiety?

, Psychologist, liyap.com1.8K reads

Before we start to define the topic of this course, we first need to remind ourselves of the broader definition of anxiety. After all, the path to dealing with something, always weaves through understanding it.

Anxiety there are many definitions of this precarious word, but the one that is broadly accepted, is that anxiety is an unpleasant feeling that we experience in a situation with an unknown outcome, where we are unsure in our abilities to cope. Often the context of this feeling is so general, that we are unable to attribute anxiety to anything in particular. This phenomenon is commonly known as free floating anxiety, or generalized anxiety disorder.

Where Does Anxiety Stem From?

But how did this peculiar experience of anxiety come to be in our lives? According to some authors, anxiety is rooted in early childhood, as we first experienced the fear of separation from our parents or caregivers.

In the next few chapters of this course, we are going to examine some facts, issues, and challenges, which, if not properly addressed, could lead to a disorder. However, if we are able to recognize them and learn to accept ourselves, we are setting ourselves up for success and happiness.

What is Performace Anxiety?

Performance anxiety, also commonly known as stage fright, is often what we feel, when we are unsure in our ability to do something, or when we evaluate a situation as extremely important. If you have ever struggled with performance anxiety, it is highly likely that you have asked yourself one or more of the following “what if" questions:

What if I embarrass myself in front of everyone?"

What will they think of me?" or ‘"How will they see me now?"

“What if I am never able to become as good as him/her?"

“What if I never make it?"

“What if I fail?"

Everyone Has Experienced Performance Anxiety

If you are nodding in agreement with the questions above, you are not alone. The vast majority of people have struggled with these or similar questions, at least once in their lives. But here comes the million-dollar question – if we have all felt this way at times, how can some people get over the negativity and move on, while others become stuck in anxiety? This is, indeed, a tough question, which we will address in later sections.

The Product of Our Thoughts

However, before we can do that, we first need to learn more about performance anxiety. The examples above, as well as thoughts similar to them, are doubly unpleasant. First of all, the experience of anxiety itself is quite bothersome. Add, on top of that, confusion on why anxiety is experienced, and you are left with someone who feels lost and afraid.

One of the most important things to remember, is that anxiety is a reflection of our imagination. It is about how we subjectively, and often unrealistically, picture a situation that has not happened yet. What this means, is that we negatively evaluate and foresee the future. Sometimes that is the main reason why we give up, even when the right opportunity is right in front of us. Anxiety can be a heavy burden, which keeps us from seeing realistic positivity and opportunity.

Taking a Decisive Step

Put it this way, the challenge of anxiety may seem obvious and easy to resolve. However, for those who live with anxiety, it is a heavy burden to carry – unintentionally, irrationally, on a subconscious level, we accept to struggle with anxiety, rather than deal with it.

Do you think you can choose differently? We bet you can! Right now, at this very moment, you can choose to change your life. Even your next thought can be a step in the right direction, you just have to want it!

Full reference: 

(Jan 15, 2016). What is Performance Anxiety?. Retrieved Jan 18, 2021 from Explorable.com: https://explorable.com/what-is-performance-anxiety

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