Since first writing this piece about performance anxiety, I did get my bike drivers licence.  And it was a very different experience from when I went to get my car drivers licence all those years ago.

Being overly self-conscious is often a part of developing performance anxiety, and if you are anxious about how you will perform, or are performing in the moment, then you can become self-conscious too.  It's a chicken and egg situation - what comes before what?  

What's more useful than that question to focus on, is to direct your thinking into more effective strategies to overcome performance anxiety.  Or better yet: prevent it.

Here's a summary of my five tips to prevent performance anxiety (you can read the full article here):

1. Take your sense of worth off the table

Don't link your self esteem to your performance. Rather have your performance be an expression of the value you inherently have, as your contribution to the task at hand.

2. How much meaning are you giving to this?

The amount of stress and anxiety about performing well is directly linked to the amount of extra meaning you give to the task.  So be realistic and just focus on doing your best.

3. Where are you focusing?

Take the spotlight off you, and rather focus your energy on the task at hand and the contribution you want to make (and not on what you think others might be thinking about you).

4. Confidence comes from practice. Have you prepared enough?

The only way to build confidence is to prepare and then to act, to do.  So make sure you have done your prep and then go do your best.

5. A little nervousness is useful

Use the energy of the emotion by channelling it into your preparation, and also into you doing your best.  A little nerves helps keep us on our toes, which is useful.


Here's to you doing your best and adding your value to the world!