Do you master your technique in practices but when it actually counts the skills are nowhere to be found? Do you find yourself obsessing over your previous mistakes? Feeling overwhelmed with nerves or anxiety before a game? The main reason why you struggle with these issues is because you try to just talk yourself through it – try harder, you can do this and so on. Unfortunately, mastering this type of performance anxiety for good needs to be fixed at the core of the problem.
Whether you find yourself underperforming in sports, music or stage performances or choking when speaking in front of others, the issues are the same.
Our minds can trick us in high-stress situations and just seem to hijack our bodies. While we practice and train to mechanically perform the complex motor skills of our sport, instrument or craft on the unconscious level (activating what is sometimes called muscle memory), when we jump from performing on that powerful level back to the conscious mind, or thinking level, the choking under pressure happens and it appears that all you have learned in practice was only an illusion.
Adult expectations coming from parents, coaches or fans, whether real or simply perceived, can be severely stressful and overwhelming. Your performance anxiety can manifest in a number of ways – a sudden resistance to play or participate in a sport or craft that you previously loved. You can even be plagued with headaches or stomachaches or even have an injury that doesn’t seem to feel better with rest. Often you can find yourself losing sleep or being overcome with severe fatigue or even depression.
When performance suffers, you may resort to cognitively thinking through the mechanics of your actions to try and remedy the situation, but switching to the consciousness rather than relying on muscle memory can actually further tank your performance.
So, in essence, the harder you try to figure out how to get out of the performance hole, the further you find yourself stuck in it!
You have probably even sought additional training on how to perform better. You have probably tried to will yourself to “shake it off” or “get in the game” – beating yourself up even further. Have you even found yourself trying to study an athlete whose performance inspires you but instead the comparisons you make just eat you up and make you feel even less capable?
At some point you have to decide to believe in your training, know that you are ready and trust that your body can do what it has prepared to do.
You have to make a decision to play for yourself and have fun. Stop comparing your performance to that of other athletes you respect…you will only see their highlights, while obsessing over your own missed opportunities.
While you may see some temporary success trying the above tips, to have permanent victory over these problems, you need to go a level deeper. Your nervous system is being fired off in these situations and that is what is affecting your ability to perform when the chips are down. You need to go to the control mechanism of the nervous system and stop the triggers. Performance = Potential – Interference. In working with me, we will utilize my proven R.A.C.E. Formula process to clear out the interference and beliefs you have around the way you perform or what people think of you so that you can perform at your highest ability in any situation!
If you are continually wrestling with debilitating performance anxiety or are continually re-living all of your mistakes, let me help you get your thinking on track so that it just becomes part of how you operate instead of something you have to “try” to overcome. I have a proven, systematic process that takes care of any of these types of consuming thoughts that hijack your performances and keep you from experiencing the exceptional performance you trained for!