Jan 2, 2016 • 10M

LA 007: 4 Simple Brain Hacks to Overcome Performance Anxiety

 
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Dr John Kenworthy
Hi, I am Dr John Kenworthy, a behavioural neuroscientist and expert Leadership AdvantEdge Coach. And I am thrilled that you've joined me here . My purpose is to Encourage, Develop, Guide and Empower you in the Art and Neuroscience of Expert Leadership so that you build a successful organisation and create a collaborative, high performing team with engaged, joyful employees. We call this: AdvantEdge Joy@Work
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Anxiety is, for many people, most prevalent when you have a need to perform in front of others. Whether you are speaking to thousands in an arena or having a private conversation with your boss. Unfortunately, your anxiety means that you perform less well than you could. So how do you control those feelings? You may be surprised that most professional trainers and speakers and performers (actors, singers, musicians) have those same feelings of anxiety. So how do they deal wit them? This week I'm sharing four simple brain hacks, and I really do mean simple, to overcome performance anxiety. Visit my Your Brain on Stress and Anxiety video on YouTube I've been prompted in part, because of the responses I have been receiving about a little video I made just over a year ago now. It's entitled Your Brain on Stress and Anxiety, and it's garnered just shy of a hundred thousand views on YouTube alone now. Which is incredibly humbling, but also a little concerning. Humbling because it makes me somewhat proud that a little whiteboard video I drew and produced has been watched quite so many times just on YouTube. But it has also been a little disturbing. If you read some of the publically visible comments, you'll get an idea of the types of questions I've been getting over the past year from those who are suffering from stress and anxiety. Some very serious stress and anxiety as well. So, a quick caveat if I may. I am not a medical doctor and, if you are suffering from long-term stress or anxiety, please do seek professional help. The four simple ways I am sharing today will help anyone with any degree of stress and anxiety, but I am focused more on people in business or work who suffer stress and anxiety because they are about to perform in front of others. That does not mean that these simple ways won’t help whenever you feel anxious, they will. So use them. And if you have yet to watch my little video, you should do so now or later, and whilst you're over at YouTube, subscribe to my channel as well and do please share with at least 3 people you know will benefit from learning there. The four simple ways I am sharing today will help anyone with any degree of stress and anxiety, but I am focused more on people in business or work who suffer stress and anxiety because they are about to perform in front of others. That does not mean that these simple ways won’t help whenever you feel anxious, they will. So use them. And if you have yet to watch my little video, you should do so now or later, and whilst you're over at YouTube, subscribe to my channel as well and do please share with at least 3 people you know will benefit from learning there. Back to today. 4 Simple brain hacks to overcome performance anxiety…. But before I begin on how we overcome performance anxiety, let us understand just what is happening when we get anxious.  But before I begin on how we overcome performance anxiety, let us understand just what is happening when we get anxious.  I was just seven years old when I first experienced acute stage fright. I was due on stage to sing (in my beautiful soprano) in the finals of an inter-church competition. But the room was just so huge. There were more than a thousand people out there. And this was the finals. Something I’d been preparing for and practicing all year. But this song was difficult and required that I hit the high notes perfectly. I froze at the side of the stage. It was as if my shoes had been glued to the floor. My thin shirt was soaking with sweat at the armpits, and I began to shake. My singing coach (aka church choir master) came over and urged me on stage. I got out there and stood, like a rabbit caught in the headlights. I kept my head down and made myself as small as I could, so they couldn’t see me and then the pianist started the piece. The first bars repeated five times as I desperately tried to start singing. Not a chance. I turned and ran from the stage and burst into tears. "It's just stage fright," th