People often relate performance anxiety to sports, creative arts, public speaking, on-stage performance and, of course, sexual activity.
But here's something that might surprise you: You do not need to be on stage or writing a book to have performance anxiety. In fact, you might experience performance anxiety when you set out to tackle day-to-day tasks. When that anxiety takes hold and "blocks" you from accomplishing anything, it's called procrastination. Blocks can exist in small form and keep you from daily progress in your life.
Being mindful of these 6 things during your day-to-day activities can help you get past your performance anxiety. Here's what you should be aware of:
1. Your Worth
Is your sense of worth, personally or professionally, tied to the outcome of your task? If it is, you are definitely going to avoid getting the task done because there's no better way to scare yourself than to judge your worth based on an external outcome.
2. Fear, Shame and Judgment
Fear, shame and judgment are all part of the human experience. If you're not feeling them you are likely dead. Allow yourself to feel these three feelings and take action anyway.
If you wait for the absence of fear, shame or judgment, you will be giving yourself indefinite performance anxiety. Know that you can feel fear, shame and judgment and still perform quite well. Actually, over time performing will reinforce your sense of confidence and your fear, shame and judgment will start to feel less powerful.
Be inclusive of these three feelings. Resisting them is what gives them more power and gives you more performance anxiety.
3. Ability to Follow Through
If completing a task leads to another task that you don't feel capable of handling, you will also avoid it. Another way to scare yourself is to go into the unknown, feeling totally incapable of what is coming your way.
If you are able to remind yourself that you have resources at your fingertips, advisors and that you have the ability to problem solve and learn in real time, you can allow yourself more ease about following through.
4. Attachment to Outcome
If you are attached to a specific outcome, it can be very challenging to push any project forward. You do not have control over the outcome. Instead focus on the task at hand, what it requires of you and commit to doing it for the sake of doing it - not for the sake of the outcome.
If you cannot commit to doing something to simply experience the act of doing it, then rethink the process and engage in a process that better suits your creativity, skills and resources.
5. Order of Priority
If you leave things that you don't enjoy doing till the end of the day when you are tired, you must likely will push it back to the next day and possibly continue that cycle for awhile.
Building a habit of doing things you don't like doing first thing in the morning when you are fresh and energetic will help you avoid any kind of angst about the lingering to-do item that's hanging over head all day long.
6. Commitment and Accountability
Be committed to yourself by holding yourself accountable. If you need to put reminders on your phone, make lists or create a system to follow, jump to it. If you cannot keep yourself accountable, no one on your team will want to keep you accountable either. You will soon be the weakest member of your team.