People can experience performance anxiety in all kinds of situations.

In work it may be – job interviews, performance appraisals, public speaking, speaking up at meetings, suggesting ideas to your colleagues or presenting an idea to clients.

There are many performers – actors, musicians, artists who describe feeling anxious before a show.

Sports performance – Anxiety can affect your performance at sports – (racing, golfing, team sports)

Grace’s story

Grace is an accomplished pianist and singer since a young age. She performs at one off places most of the time and worries that something out of the ordinary will happen. She particularly feels anxious before auditions.

Michael’s story

Michael is a successful mountain bike racer who has won races in his age group nationally, a few years ago, and has found he takes the races more seriously, worrying that he will lose his place as first in the country. He finds the more seriously he takes it the more likely that he misses a turn or has an accident during a race. A few months ago he crashed during a race and is recovering from a fractured wrist. He knows he can do well but doesn’t know how to get back to feeling “in the zone”

Sam’s story

Sam is a new graduate in business and marketing and when she was at university she would sometimes feel a bit nervous about doing presentations. Since entering what she calls “the real world” at the law firm she works at, she is often nervous to the point of throwing up before a marketing meeting with the lawyers and the marketing team. She has been tending to avoid speaking up and if someone says her name she tends to blush, which causes her to feel more embarrassed.

When Performance Anxiety doesn’t look like anxiety

Performance anxiety sometimes doesn’t look like anxiety. It’s usually because you are avoiding it. The feelings go away and you feel soooo relieved…..

Many people say it’s easier to just not to do it. I agree. It is easier to just not do it.

But it doesn’t help you overcome the fear and anxiety. In fact you’re more likely to generalise the fears to more and more related situations.

Avoidance or procrastination develops because we don’t like the yucky feelings of being anxious.

And when you finally do the practice or performance it can be too SCARY to even try which is REALLY limiting.

And takes the fun out of it.

So, what to do about it ?

Imagine, that instead of feeling fear or dread, you could instead REALLY believe that you are capable? How different would your world and experiences be?

What different decisions would you make – because you believed in yourself?

What opportunities would arise because you believe you CAN?


Psychologists know how:

1. Mapping out how you got to anxiety

2. Changing your self talk

3. Changing your core beliefs and processing negative experiences with eye movement desensitisation (EMDR) and visualisation or hypnosis

4. Exposure therapy/ practice the doing in small gradual steps

We helped Grace, Michael and Michaela, I wonder who you may know that could do with our help 🙂

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