Are you afraid that you are not good enough as you are, in your own or others' eyes? What does performance anxiety mean to you? What situations are you thinking of? How does it feel?
If you want to change your situation, do it in small steps. Set realistic goals and remember that change takes time. Negative thoughts often appear automatically. Try to observe and identify them: stop, reformulate and develop more realistic thoughts. Is there any other way to think about this?
Break thought patterns
Is there any truth to what I'm thinking and saying right now? What can I do about it? Try to break the thought pattern and force yourself to think about something else. Maybe think about three things that make you happy every day.
It can be difficult to fend off automatic thoughts. Performance anxiety can appear when we feel like we don't have control during a task or in a situation. You can try strengthening your sense of being able to make your own decisions.
Think of a situation in your life where you made an independent decision that you are pleased about. What did you think about when you made this decision? What difficulties did you face? Who supported you? What made you finally able to make your decision?
Take care of yourself
Perhaps you have high expectations or place demands on yourself. Perhaps others have high expectations of you. Pick one of the demands you feel right now – is there another way of looking at it? Think about what you want. It can be good to talk to others about the expectations they place on you.
How you think about yourself and what you say about yourself affects how you feel and how you act. What words do you use about yourself? Reframe your thoughts so that they become positive. Rather than thinking, "I can't do this", try to instead think, "maybe I can do this".
You can make a difference in how you feel
- Write down words describing what you like about yourself.
- Pay attention when others give you praise or say something positive to you. Don't compare yourself with others.
- Try not to strive for perfection. See your mistakes and failures as a learning process. Ask what went wrong and what you can learn until next time. Did you have the right knowledge beforehand? Could you influence anything in the situation or were there external circumstances that you could not influence?
- Think about what you do. Maybe ask yourself what you have done today that you are pleased with.
- Learn to say no.
You are welcome to turn to the Student Health Service if you would like to get advice or individual support about performance anxiety.