Performance anxiety is one of the most well-known types of anxiety. Often performance anxiety occurs in students, but even after studying, performance anxiety can remain. Performance anxiety is namely a constant fear of failure. If you get a task of have to perform in any way, chances are that you get a panic attack if your performance anxiety is that severe.
Why do some people suffer from performance anxiety while others do not?
Performance anxiety is more common than one would think. However, we should differentiate between levels of performance anxiety which people experience. Some people are, for example, anxious, while this does not affect their performance. Another extremity is that some people get a black-out and start hyperventilating when they even just think about something that they need to perform, or when they think of the panic attack. This can also cause anxiety symptoms after a while. But why do some people suffer so much from performance anxiety? Performance anxiety namely develops when you put yourself under a lot of pressure to perform well. For example, you find an exam so important that you are anxious about failing. The thought that you might fail is constantly on your mind. This can make it so that you, during the exam, are only thinking about how you are not allowed to fail, meaning that you might get fewer points than you had expected. This thought can sometimes even cause a black-out, because the anxiety builds up. If you fail, you can get the feeling that it is all your fault and that you probably just are not good enough. Performance anxiety often causes lower self-esteem in this way, creating a vicious cycle. The next time you will believe even less in yourself, as you had failed the time before that, because you are not good enough. Other people will also experience anxiety, for example, but they are able to control these symptoms, so that no poor self-esteem is caused and they still can perform according to their own capacities.
Performance anxiety? How do I deal with it?
You can treat performance anxiety by breaking out of the negative cycle of anxiety. Therapy can help you with this. There are different techniques in order to treat performance anxiety. These therapeutic techniques help you to once again make a healthy link between anxiety and performing, so that you are once again in control. 15 Minutes 4 Me developed an online self-help program which integrates these techniques, so that you can get in control of your anxiety from your house. Every day you are guided in order for your anxiety to reduce.
Performance anxiety? Take the anxiety test!
If you want to know to what extent you experience anxiety symptoms and what influence these have on your life, you can fill out the free anxiety test here.