With stage freight and the fear of speaking in public ranking as the number 1 phobia globally, it is essential to do all you can to not only understand what the fear entails, but also how you can combat it! So, keep reading to know everything about performance anxiety:
Did you know that 3 out of 4 people suffer from some form of performance anxiety? As this condition can range from being a mild form of anxiety that gets your adrenaline up before you give a speech, to a stronger form that leads to panic attacks, it is essential to nip it in the bud before it grows worse.
While most researchers aren’t quite sure about why one suffers from anxiety, performance anxiety in particular has been linked with a few tangible causes. These causes range from psychological fears to one’s environment and the impact it has on one’s mental health. Some of these are as follows:
One of the most common causes linked with the development of performance anxiety is the fear of humiliation. Individuals with low self-esteem believe that they are bound to offer up a sub-par performance, which will lead to ridicule that’s likely to follow them for life. While many performers find themselves doubting their ability to perform from time to time, the exaggerated belief in long-term humiliation is what separates healthy nerves from performance anxiety.
Mild to moderate levels of performance anxiety are typically fuelled by low confidence. This factor can fluctuate amongst performers, with confidence being linked not only to an intrinsic belief in oneself, but also additional factors like not feeling prepared, being uncomfortable with the material one has to perform, being uncomfortable with one’s own body, and so on. Even in such cases, treatment methods like hypnotherapy can help individuals overcome their doubts and perform to the best of their abilities.
Victims of abuse are prone to developing a range of anxiety disorders, with performance anxiety being one of them. While victims of emotional abuse are often told they just aren’t good enough, victims of sexual abuse also shy away from garnering attention, which is why public speaking becomes a huge bone of contention with them. Coming to terms with the abuse is the only way to get past it and grow more comfortable with the idea of performing in front of audiences.
Did you know that performance anxiety can develop even in seasoned performers following a traumatic event? Having delivered a ‘bad’ performance in the past and facing ridicule as a consequence can be quite traumatising. The stigma and shame associated with the even can stay with people for life, making it hard for them to feel comfortable performing in the future.
As stated earlier, performance anxiety isn’t just limited to a fear of performing on a stage. It is essentially a fear of speaking to an audience, no matter how large or small that may be, and can be treated on par with a fear of public speaking. The inability to express yourself confidently can impact your life in many different ways such as:
One of the best ways to develop great coping mechanisms that reduce your psychological and physical response to stage freight is by participating in hypnotherapy. Hypnotherapy focuses on helping you understand how your mind functions with respect to your beliefs, habits, values and life experiences. With just a few sessions, you can be in control of your emotions and physical responses while under stress and improve your performance exponentially. After all, doing so is all about knowing your trigger points and taking control over them to handle pressure, no matter what!