Overcoming Performance Anxiety

Overcoming Performance Anxiety

Everybody suffers from anxiety at some point or another. Anxiety is just a normal part of everyday life. It can actually be a useful emotion in helping us to cope with stressful situations. Other times, anxiety can be out of control and interfere with our ability to function normally in stressful situations even if the stress is just manufactured in our minds.

There will always be reasons to feel anxious. All ages experience anxiety. Children feel it in school before a test; even young babies feel it when separated from their mothers. Adults have plenty of opportunities to feel anxious whether it is from a job, finances, romance, or due to being self-conscious.

Sometimes anxiety comes about because people have to do something they fear doing. One of the most common anxiety-producing experiences is when it comes to public speaking. Many people fear being in front of the public, either as a speaker or just as someone being singled out or noticed in a crowd.

Do you have a fear of speaking in public or performing on a stage? If so, you could be suffering from a type of performance anxiety. Do you have any of the following apply to you? If so, you may have performance anxiety.

  • Worry about looking foolish in front of other people and being laughed at?
  • Worry that people can see how nervous you are?
  • Suffer from stage fright if you have to speak in front of others or perform onstage.
  • Experience anxiety in advance of the event simply from anticipating your fears.
  • Feel immediate and intense fear upon learning you need to perform in public.
  • Attempt to get out of public performances or not show up if you can’t get out of it.
  • Missed out on opportunities because of your fear of being in the public spotlight.

Performance anxiety is actually all in the mind of the sufferer. After all, not everyone fears going on stage, there is no danger in doing so. The fear comes from imagined dangers such as feeling like you are not smart enough or good enough to avoid ridicule. So the way to overcome your performance anxiety is to change your way of thinking.

There are four steps involved in overcoming performance anxiety. Let’s take a look at them below.

Step one: Self Assessment

  • Get to know yourself, both as a person and as a performer.
  • Identify the problem thoughts that are holding you back and creating anxiety.

Step two: Exposure and Preparation

  • Find opportunities for limited performance exposure but not to the point your anxiety kicks in.
  • Practice your speech or performance. Tape it and watch yourself. Practice until you have it down pat. Always be totally prepared before giving your performance so you feel confident.
  • Learn relaxation techniques and practice them right before your performance.

Step three: The Performance

  • Visualize the audience as friends and family that wish you well.
  • Don’t think of yourself. Think of the audience.
  • Stay calm and enjoy yourself.

Step four: After the Performance

  • Don’t criticize yourself no matter what happens.
  • Congratulate yourself for doing your best.
  • Reward yourself for making progress

Train yourself to change your thoughts and instead of worrying about what people will think, just go ahead and imagine they are thinking good things about you. Imagine yourself as self-confident and thoroughly capable of completing the performance. As you change your thinking, you will see your performance anxiety start to slip away.

Motivation is Consistency in Action

Motivation is Consistency in Action

We all exercise for the results.  Different people are looking for different results or outcomes.  Goals vary from weight loss, athletic performance, endurance, strength, toning, and bodybuilding to more flexibility, etc.  Here are 10 tips for motivation and consistency to get results and achieve your goals.

  • Exercise with a Buddy  

Try working out with a friend, spouse, or co-worker.  It’s harder to skip a workout if you know someone is counting on you. The buddy system brings a social element to exercise which makes it more fun.  

  • Set a New Goal 

An initial goal sets a foundation on which future training goals are based.  Setting a goal, such as entering a 5K race or rock climbing, may never have entered your mind.  But after your initial goal is met, you will see new, interesting, and fun adventures in fitness you never thought possible.

  • Change Your Routine  

Just a slight variation can take you to a new level in your workout.  We use periodized training, a systemized approach involving progressive cycling of various aspects of training protocol, in 6-week intervals to avoid plateaus, and boredom and for maximum effect.  If you feel you are at a standstill, train three times a week for 3-4 weeks and experience the difference.

  • Treat Yourself to a Variety 

 A heart-rate monitor, jump rope, Physioball, medicine ball, and other exercise equipment can help you work out more effectively and make your workouts more fun and challenging. Try adding a sport to your activities instead of always working out in the gym.  

  • Try Something New  

Personal trainers will challenge you with exercises you’ve never tried before.  Training with different trainers also provides variety plus you learn from the experience of a team of trainers.  If you always walk on a treadmill, try riding an exercise bike or an elliptical trainer.  If you always lift with machines, try free weights instead.  

  • Track Your Progress  

Keep an exercise log.  This will help you track your goals, monitor your progress, and adjust your routine as necessary.  Occasionally, test your maximum strength to determine your progress in total strength.  By using a ten-rep strength test, see how much weight you can bench press and leg press in ten reps. Use your first measurement of weight and reps as a benchmark and every three to four months, retest your strength.  

  •  Reward Yourself 

When you reach a goal or milestone, treat yourself to something special – a massage, an evening out, new clothes, or some other indulgence.  Studies show rewards are a key to staying motivated.

  • Remember the Benefits  

Do you know how good and healthy you feel after a workout?  Make a mental note of that feeling.  Use that memory to motivate yourself the next time you’re thinking of blowing off your workout.

  • Go Easy on Yourself  

Stuff happens – doctor’s appointments, sick kids, illnesses.  Don’t let a few missed workouts turn into a month of unfulfilled resolutions and move you further away from your goals.

  • Plan and be Ready to Exercise  

Schedule your workouts like you schedule meetings and doctor appointments.  Write your exercise time in your palm pilot or day planner. Pack your duffle bag with your gym clothes the night before you go to work or school. Or have an extra duffle bag in the car ready to go just in case you forget your gym clothes.

How To Develop Perseverance

How To Develop Perseverance

Perseverance is continuing to do something in spite of obstacles or difficulties. It is one of the best qualities to have because with perseverance success in your endeavors is almost guaranteed.

To persevere we need to have faith that we actually can succeed. If we don’t believe success is possible for us, we will not be motivated to continue. But this is the dilemma. If we don’t have much belief in ourselves, we will quit our efforts more readily, and when we quit, we obviously do not succeed and that seems to give credit to the idea we couldn’t succeed anyway.

Sadly, this can develop into a regular habit. If on the other hand, we believe we will succeed, we will not give up. We may encounter great difficulties or even defeats, but because we believe we’ll ultimately succeed, even with failures we just change our tactics or adjust our goals a little and continue to try. Because we keep trying and adjusting we greatly improve our chances of success. This is the essence of a self-fulfilling prophecy.

So at the heart of success, is the ability to persevere. But how do we encourage this quality in ourselves?

Be aware of your desire to give up too early, and of the truth, that persistence will almost always lead to success. When you start a new endeavor, make a promise to yourself that you will try it for a specific period of time and won’t quit before that time is up. Make the interval of time short if you need to, but no matter what, keep your promise and do not quit before the allotted time.

When the deadline arrives, you can then decide if your strategy is working and if you should continue in the same manner, or if you need to make adjustments to your strategy. Allow yourself to abandon one strategy in favor of another after you’ve given it a fair trial, but never quit on your goals. Only change your strategies.

It’s Time to Check Your Vision

It’s Time to Check Your Vision

Have you been having trouble achieving a specific goal? Are you allowing other less important things to get in the way of accomplishing what you really want? Then, it’s time to do a VISION check. Just as it is important to get our eyes checked regularly to assure that we will be able to see clearly, it is equally as important to do a VISION check to be certain that our goal is on track.

  • Vivid Picture

Have you created a vivid picture in your imagination as to what your completed goal will look, feel, and sound? Have you added lots of sensory detail, paying particular attention to what emotions you will experience when you have achieved your goal? Many people omit this step or they make a half-hearted attempt at it. As a result, their completed goal is not real to them so it becomes very easy to get distracted by day-to-day events. This step takes time and thought which is why many people don’t do it. However, if you don’t have a clear picture in your mind as to what you are trying to accomplish, how will you ever attain it? Developing a clear, vivid picture is critical if you want to achieve your goal.

  • Inspired

Are you inspired by your goal? Does thinking about it make you smile? If not, then go back to your vivid picture and change it until you are excited about it. Goals take effort. They often require that we change and do things that may be a stretch for us. If the goal isn’t something you really want in the first place, then why bother trying to achieve it?

When you come up with a goal, don’t limit yourself by what you think you can accomplish. Decide what you truly want. Many people have achieved enormous success in their lives because they had big goals. When you are inspired enough by your dream, you will find a way to make it a reality.

  • Sustained Belief

Do you have a sustained belief you will achieve your goal? If you don’t expect to accomplish your goal, then you probably won’t. Sometimes it takes extraordinary courage to believe, in the face of all evidence to the contrary, we will be successful. Things go wrong. Problems come up. It is easy to get discouraged. That is the time when you most need to have sustained belief. You can get through the difficult times if you believe you can. People rise to the level of their own beliefs. When you believe you will be successful, then you will achieve success.

  • Identify

Do you identify with your goal now even though you have not yet achieved it? We must begin to identify with the person we want to become. Once or twice each day, play the picture of your completed goal in your mind. Live your goal in your imagination and experience all of the wonderful emotions that go with it. As you continue to do this, you will find that your thoughts and behaviors become more aligned with the person you will be when you achieve your goal.

  • Observant

Are you observant as to what actions are taking you closer to your goal and those that are moving you further away? When we create an action plan for our goal, some of the ideas included in it will work and others won’t. After you take a specific action, observe the result. If it is positive, then continue to do it. If you don’t get the result you expected then modify it and try again. By being observant about what is working and what isn’t, you can adjust your strategy as needed so you will continue to move closer to your goal.

  •  Never Give Up Attitude

Have you adopted a never give up attitude? Have you made a decision that you will not quit no matter how long it takes to achieve your goal? If you don’t have this attitude you might find that obstacles overwhelm you. They might be too difficult to overcome and there is a strong likelihood that you will quit before achieving what you want. However, when you adopt a never give up attitude, there is a power and conviction within you that will carry you through until you reach success.

So if your VISION is fuzzy, don’t worry. By making a few adjustments, you will be able to clearly see your goal to completion and experience all the joy and satisfaction that are part of the package.


Excellence Is Never An Accident

Excellence Is Never An Accident

“Excellence is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction, skillful execution, and the vision to see obstacles as opportunities.”

The above anonymous quote was displayed prominently in an office, where, oddly enough, it seemed to attract very little attention. In any case, it has made enough of an impression to invite a look at these words of wisdom and see where these words may apply.

When embarking on a road trip, unless a bout of aimless wandering around the country is the intent, it is essential to have a destination in mind and a map. Most people in the world are living someone else’s agenda. Stated differently, most people are on a path of aimless wandering – much like a traveler without a specific destination or map. It would be most valuable to look at different areas or aspects of life and ask, “what is the intention here?” Consider the areas of family, business, spiritual practice, financial means, retirement, education, self-development, health, and social interaction. Most people, by their own admission, are not living fully actualized lives and full potential. One main cause is a lack of clear and focused intention and direction.

Without clear direction, “sincere effort” is impossible. Perhaps effort becomes sincere when a clear intention is established. Most people merely do an adequate job of trying whatever it is they’re doing because they are relatively uninspired by the task. The sincere effort stems from high intention. It flows naturally. Look at the areas of life where one is just “hanging out” or “clocking time.” This indicates insincere effort – an opportunity to create a more focused and clear intention!

As humans, we tend to see in purely linear “cause and effect” terms. “When given lemons, make lemonade” is certainly simplistic, but most people who are successful have had to become adept at taking some perceived challenge and using it as an opportunity for benefit, value, and profit. This comes from introspection, the counsel of open-minded and visionary people (of which there are few).

Each of these steps, when applied, provides an opportunity, challenge, impact, and benefit. With these steps in mind, it is a matter of will to trade in mediocrity for excellence!

Creating The Best Year Of Your Life

Creating The Best Year Of Your Life

At the end of each year, and on their birthdays, many people take time to reflect and look ahead. If you’re one of these people, or if you would like to start getting the benefits from a little self-reflection, I have some great questions for you.

These questions can be looked at once a year, once a month, or whenever you’re looking for some direction in your life. I invite you to take a good hard look at your life more than once a year. You’ll get a lot more out of your life if you’re more conscious about what you’re creating.

These questions have been designed to help you to take time to complete the year and to formulate the new year from a clean slate. By working on the following questions, you will complete this year powerfully so you can have the room to build a new “me” for the new year.

Looking At This Past Year:

  1. What do I want to be acknowledged for?
  1. What did I accomplish?
  1. What did I want to accomplish that I did not accomplish? (Do I still want to do this?)
  1. What did I say I would do that I didn’t do? (Do I still want to do this?)
  1. Who do I need to be in communication with? 
  1. What were my biggest disappointments?
  1. What did I learn? – List 3 lessons that will make the most difference if you remember them this year?

(See them as guidelines for next year).

Changing Patterns:

  • How do you limit yourself and how can you transform these actions to be powerful?
  • What do you say to yourself to explain your failures? (These false beliefs are your limiting paradigm).
  • List your limiting paradigm.
  • List your new paradigm which must be personal, positive, present tense, powerfully and simply stated, pointing to an exciting future.
  • Read your new paradigm out loud when you awake and before going to sleep each day. Teach your subconscious that this is your paradigm.

Looking Ahead:

  • What are your personal values? What is most important to you in your life? What drives you?
  • What roles do you play in your life? Rate each role on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the most important.
  • Where is your life out of balance? If you could put one problem behind you, once and for all, what would it be?
  • Which role is your major focus for next year? ( In what role do you want a breakthrough performance?
  • If you could put a checkmark by one of these roles at the end of next year showing, showing that you felt good about how you are playing that role, which one would it be?)
  • What are your goals for each role?

The way that this works is that for at least a week or two you ask yourself the above questions. I write them down and do it in writing several different times. Then after doing that for all of the above questions you answer one final question:

What do I want to accomplish and who do I want to be in the coming year?


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