Performance Anxiety: What are the causes?

Were there subjects at school that you felt you weren’t any good at, so that every time they came up you worried about them? Were there times as a child when you were desperate to fit in but felt ignored or shunned?


By Adrian Taffinder

In fact, you may not remember events from the past that were traumatic for you, but they create implicit memories, which then trigger emotional responses in you when you come up against things that make you feel uncomfortable.

This can lead to performance anxiety in business.

Performance anxiety is often debilitating.  It arises in many different situations, and it is not just restricted to public speaking.


Performance Anxiety and Poor Sales

If you must deliver a pitch to a group of industry professionals, or a presentation to your peers, then it’s natural to be nervous beforehand. But what if this nervousness is so intense that it results in a poor performance? And what if this is a repeated pattern that you feel you cannot break out of?

There is a hidden script controlling around 95% of what you do and this is the subconscious mind. If your hidden script contains implicit memories of past traumatic events or reactions, it will cause a stress response in certain situations, thus causing performance anxiety.

This can manifest itself in different ways, some of which may not be immediately obvious.

So, for example, you may have a sales and marketing programme all worked out that you follow diligently, but somehow not enough sales come out of it. Something is causing a blockage. That something is your subconscious mind and its hidden script, in this instance, is telling you you’re not up to scratch, that you don’t deserve success.

This deep-seated anxiety then affects your performance, even though, outwardly, you’re doing all the things you think you should be doing to drive your sales.


Uncovering Subconscious Stress Factors

Just because the subconscious mindset controls much of what we do, it doesn’t mean that it can’t be changed.

The key thing is addressing the underlying feelings triggering the emotional response and getting to the root cause of performance anxiety. You can re-write your hidden script.

Business is not coldly rational and emotion-free, because feelings are what drive us.  Just as you can feel passionately positive about what you do, so you can experience anxiety about how you perform.

The answer lies in what makes up your mindset.

If you want to find out how to improve your performance and remove the barriers to your success, please contact us.