Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Anxiety

My usually not-so-happening blog has been receiving a record number of visitors lately due to a link put up by Rocky at his site to my BBB posting. Wow...I have been Rockybrued and I’m stumped.

Moving on, I am keen to get back to my normal 50-visitors-per-day-and-5-comments-per-posting blog. So, I’m scratching my head to find something to bitch about and as usual, when I need to, I’m blank. So, I’m mulling over the idea of office gossip. Maybe that will lead me somewhere.

My colleague was telling me a minute ago that she’s not feeling well (Sorry N, talking about you now, eh?) Apparently, she gets that every time a trial is coming up. I told her that perhaps it’s performance anxiety. I know I used to have that too, or maybe still have it I don’t know.

In the early years of my career, everytime something big is around the corner, there’ll be not just butterflies, but all sorts of insects and creepy crawlies in my stomach – well, figuratively of course, my life ain’t no Fear Factor!! Then, on the day of the big thing itself, whatever that is, I would be hyperventilating, and I would stumble a couple of times. As I went along I would gain momentum, and it would then become smooth sailing and I’ll emerge a few hours later unscathed.

After that first year of being thrown right in a pool of sharks on a daily basis, I came out stronger and I’ve developed very very thick skin. The butterflies and insects no longer reside in my tummy, but subconsciously, my fear never did go away.

In lieu of the butterflies, I’ll get some sort of an ailment everytime I have to do something major. I may appear all set and confident and my heart is beating normally, but there is always that thing that will appear on the very day itself, a headache or flu, or cough, or even diarrhea. What a bummer!

I have since learned to deal with it. The headache or flu or cough or stomachache may still be there, but once I accept the fact and dealt with it, the physical condition, surprisingly will be lessened somewhat.

According to experts the basic rules to follow when dealing with performance anxiety are these:-

1. Accept the fear- Admit that you are afraid and embrace that admission, but do not let it debilitate you. For the moment, you have to accept the reality and learn to work with it.

2. Focus on your task - Focus on your material and what your task is. Do the best you can.

3. Trust yourself- You have practiced and you have prepared yourself for this performance. So, trust yourself to do it right. Everything will fall right into place.

4. Remember to breathe – good breathing technique is essential. If you are hyperventilating, get a grip! When you control your breathing, you control your heart rate. If your heart rate is normal, you’ll think clearly. When you think clearly, you’ll do well.

5. Just do it – Like the Nike ad, just get out there and do it.

Follow these tips and I'm sure you'll do fine. Or if your fear won't go away despite whatever you do, perhaps it's time to see a shrink.

And please,...... I'm talking about performance anxiety as it relates to public speaking or stage performance or anything like it, not performance anxiety of the other kind.



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4 comments:

papadom_ullalla said...

hahahaha!!!

Had your 15 minutes right? Performance anxiety? Sikit aja lah... Tapi kalau kena public speaking panik gila juga la
Thanks for the tips.

Typhoon Sue said...

ya mr. papadom... glamour sat...

the tips are not much, i was just so anxious to move on from the last post I'd write about anything. Luckily I thought about performance anxiety or else I'd write about my toes!

The Blueberry said...

Hahahaaaa I noticed, you got Rockybrued! Hahahaaa that sure beats being featured in some half-past six morning radio show by three morons kih kih kih...

Thanks for the tips on performance anxiety. I have to admit I get the case of the gigil whenever an event I'm hosting is about to start or when I'm doing a presentation in front of some big shot but I always think of something hilarious as a diversion, that also helps.

Typhoon Sue said...

hahahaha.... guess we both had our share of the limelight for a while, huh? :)

something hilarious? like the classic method of imagining the audience in their underwear? ;)