Did you know that anxiety isn’t a bad thing? In fact, you need anxiety to perform well. Think about it, having anxiety means you care. The worry in the back of your mind is what propels you to performing well. The key is finding the right dose of anxiety.
There is a fine line between “excitement” and “nervousness”. Sometimes the two emotions are hard to distinguish because they often bring on similar physiological responses (e.g. butterflies in the stomach). These physiological responses or “arousal level” if we want to be scientifically technical are important in performance. People usually fall in one of two categories when they are not performing at their best–not excited enough (too little arousal) or extremely nervous (too much arousal).
“I’m not motivated.” Sometimes the drive isn’t there. Feelings of indifference and subsequent low anxiety will hinder your performance. If you don’t care about the task at hand, then your body won’t get in game mode. There are things you can do to help you get motivated, such as listening to music or watching a motivational video that gets you pumped up. For more motivational tips, click here. Find a routine that will get you excited
“I’m a nervous wreck!” On a scale of 1-10 with 1 representing “not at all nervous” and 10 representing “extremely nervous”, how nervous are you? If you are anxious to the point where you can’t deliver your best performance, then you are too nervous. Being overloaded with worry and fear can hinder your performance. There are things you can do to help you relax, including deep breathing exercises and meditation. For more relaxation tips, click here. Practice these exercises to learn how to control your anxiety.
“I’m in the zone.” You are right where you need to be when you have just enough arousal to propel you to your best performance. You need to worry enough to care about the task, but not to the point where anxiety crushes you. So how do you know if you’re in the zone? The first step is to evaluate your anxiety baseline (too much or too little) and notice whether or not you’re performing at your best. Ask yourself both how nervous and excited you are on a scale from 1-10. Are you motivated enough? Or are you too anxious? Once you get an idea of your tendencies, you can implement either motivational or relaxation techniques to help you perform your best.