Performance Anxiety at Work: How best to Go about it at Work

I was tense, restless, nervous, and fidgety when my company introduced a daily task review policy. My heart was panting for the next 4 hours after the policy was stated.

It was so obvious that my colleague asked me, ‘Queen, are you fine’. All I could do was nod.

Yea, it may look like my fear and restlessness is a sign of incompetency or unethical work behaviour that might be fished out in the process. But that’s not it at all.

Because even after the daily task performance review started, the company didn’t find any loophole from my end.

From the first day I assumed work; I worked towards giving the company the best of me. I tried to be effective and competent and meet up with my deliverables when due.

So what really happened?

Why restlessness even when I’m good at my job?

What is this called, and why does a part of me still make me feel that reviewing daily tasks won’t really favour me?

It is called performance anxiety, and the truth is……

It’s Normal

I realized that Performance anxiety is normal and can happen to anyone. And aside from the part of the work review, it can be felt during interviews, presentations, brainstorming sessions, and even office meetings.

But that’s normal doesn’t mean it’s right and should continue because its negative outweigh its positive impact. It can lead to a feeling of paralysis, timidity, and difficulty in handling tasks.

Realization of this made up to decide to research more on how to kill this feeling. And having the way out, I’m now free and bold like an eagle.

If you have such feelings, you too can be free, bold, and more confident, as I follow closely in this article.

Because in this article, I have put down information about performance anxiety at work and tips on how best to go about it at work.

With these tips in your bag, they can help you disarm self-doubt.

To start, let’s first understand what performance Anxiety entails.

Table of contents

What is Performance Anxiety Disorder?

Performance anxiety disorder is one of the most frequent mental health problems, affecting millions globally.

In fact, the World Health Organization estimates that 260 million individuals worldwide suffer from anxiety.

It’s no surprise that most people find it tough to withstand the continual strain of keeping on top of the game in the world. This has set a premium on competition and remarkable performance.

Unfortunately, performance anxiety can keep us from achieving what we want and quickly derail our careers. Furthermore, it can have a severe impact on our self-esteem and confidence.

Others typically regard people with performance anxiety as ambitious, high-achieving perfectionists who provide nothing less than immaculate achievements, which is ironic. These individuals contribute to the company’s general well-being at work.

Many of us are unaware that persons with performance anxiety experience a great deal of self-doubt on the inside.

Their anxiety stems from a conflict between self-imposed standards and self-doubt.

If you want to eliminate performance anxiety, you must first change your thinking.

Read Also: Preparing for Performance Review: 10 Thing to know well

What Can Performance Anxiety at Work Cause You?

A lot!

Performance anxiety at work can cause you more harm than good. It can destroy or sabotage your career and even keep you unemployed for a long time.

And this, without being told, can lead to frustration and even suicide. Some performance anxiety symptoms include a racing pulse, rapid breathing, dry mouth, and tight throat.

Other symptoms may be trembling hands, knees, lips, and voice, sweaty and cold hands, nausea, and an uneasy feeling in your stomach.

To elaborate more, below are some of the impacts of performance anxiety in the workplace.

Loss of Focus

There is nothing that steals focus at the workplace more than performance anxiety. When you always feel on edge whenever you have a task to accomplish, you can easily lose focus on work.

You might spend hours staring at your laptop or switching tabs without doing anything because of fear.

It can be Irritating.

Performance anxiety can make you irritable, impatient, and restless at work. This can keep any vibe you came to work with and can even affect your colleague.

Yes, you should forcibly wear smiles when struggling with anxiety and learn to keep a good vibe in a work setting. You can be irritating when you make your team believe you’re uncooperative or emotionally distressed.

Work Anxiety can Disengage you.

People with work anxiety are in a constant state of fight or flight and therefore have difficulty focusing on the day-to-day demands of work.

This means you’re either lacing your gloves to become defensive or withdrawing from your responsibilities and colleagues. 

Kills your Career

Social contacts are another source of professional-related anxiety. This means that when you go to a networking event, you stay in the corner and hope to go unnoticed, then leave as soon as possible.

When your coworkers go out for lunch, you’re too afraid to join them for a salad and a conversation. Unfortunately, giving in to our social anxiety triggers can lead to job stagnation since we may avoid circumstances important for progress.

Read Also: Preparing for Performance Review: 10 Thing to know well

How Best To Deal With Performance Anxiety at Work

Luckily, there are lots of things you can do to manage performance anxiety at work.

Some of them include the following:

#1. Be Proactive when Planning

Because anxiety is primarily concerned with what may occur in the future, making a plan is an excellent method to prepare for unpleasant surprises.

Whether you need to give a powerful presentation, pitch a creative concept, or go for a performance review, preparation will save you a lot of time and aggravation.

However, you’ll have a whole new perspective once you’ve written it down. In other words, a well-thought-out action plan provides clarity and direction, which your nervous mind desperately requires.

Above all, you can control your performance anxiety better if you follow the instructions and follow your strategy.

#2. Challenge your thinking

How you interpret a circumstance or occurrence causes you to worry and feel uneasy when it comes to anxiety.

One sign of performance anxiety is when you are more concerned about how others see us when you have a personal negative interpretation of other perceptions about you.

This can be really challenging.

If you believe your audience will be harsh people eager to call out your errors and expose your flaws, it will affect your performance.

So, learn to refute the erroneous thoughts that cause you to worry. A positive feeling will arise from a rational assessment of your total achievement.

Thus, this can help you improve by inspiring you to do better next time.

#3. Failure should be reframed.

Because the fear of bad assessments is at the root of performance anxiety, reframing failure as a positive learning opportunity is a good idea.

Those with workplace performance anxiety fear negative assessments. This is because we take criticism as a clear and irrefutable indicator of failure.

However, failure at work might mean losing a major project to your competitors, being fired, unable to pay your mortgage, and eventually ending up on the streets.

See how an anxiety-driven mindset may send us spiralling into a series of worst-case scenarios, each scarier than the last!?

On the other hand, failure is a part of life; it’s part of being “in the game.”

If there’s one thing that every successful person has in common, it’s that they’ve failed more times than you can imagine. In truth, their path to success was more of an obstacle course, with each hurdle making them stronger and more intelligent. See failure as a chance to learn.

#4. Request Recommendations

It’s critical to expect high-quality feedback if your anxiety rises when you’re unsure of your goal. Trying to clarify action items repeatedly might not only stifle productivity, but it can also make less forceful employees feel like a burden to clients.

According to research, a speedy feedback solution for remote freelancers, feedback that lacks clear and explicit action points might cause anxiety.

As a result, it is thought that providing meaningful feedback is the key to minimizing anxiety associated with productivity.

Because you don’t know if you’re getting it, a lack of feedback can induce tension and anxiety in the workplace.

Therefore. It’s important you ask for feedback from your superior. Ask for a face-to-face meeting, video call, or in-person meeting.

#5. Remember to be gentle with yourself.

If necessary, forgive yourself. Also, remember that productivity isn’t always the same as performance.

None of the tactics listed above will help unless you’re willing to quit blaming yourself for how your anxiety impacts your productivity.

It’s unlikely that you’ll ever be able to eliminate the stomach knots that develop out of nowhere entirely, so don’t waste your time trying.

Instead, focus your efforts on modest victories and incremental advances that will give you a sense of success and development.

Read Also: 10 Ways To Overcome New Job Anxiety And Boost Your Work Confidence Daily

More Overcoming Performance Anxiety at work Tips

More tips on how to handle anxiety interfering with work:

  • Adopt good behaviours. Getting enough sleep, eating well, exercising regularly, and not consuming too much alcohol or caffeine can help keep your mind and body healthy.
  • Organize yourself. Even if emptying your computer and desk is not a top priority, maintaining organized will benefit you in the long run.
  • Be truthful to yourself. Don’t take on tasks, projects, or assignments that you don’t have time to do if you don’t have enough time.
  • Communicate. If you require assistance, ask for it. Speak up if you have too much on your plate. Your boss might not understand you’re overworked.
  • Prepare and plan ahead of time. If you have any important projects, start as soon as possible and give yourself mini-deadlines. It can also assist in anticipating and avoiding complications that may arise.
  • Set clear limits for yourself. You should not bring your work home with you. For example, make it a rule not to check your voicemail or work email after you leave the office.
  • Stay away from toxic coworkers. Don’t listen to workplace gossip or criticism.
  • When you need to, take a break. To clear your mind, try some deep-breathing exercises or stroll. This includes vacations as well. When you return, you’ll most likely feel revitalized and eager to return to work.



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