Created to help you overcome your performance fears and shine in the spotlight!
PerformanceAnxiety.com was originally started by Janet Esposito (MSW, LCSW) in 1999 to help people who have a fear of public speaking or performing through her publications, workshops and personal coaching. More than 20 years later, this website has grown to be the main resource for anybody who needs to perform in high-anxiety situations. We help readers learn about stage fright, social anxiety & performance anxiety so that they can overcome their fears and perform at their best in any situation.
Learn more about PerformanceAnxiety.com here...
PerformanceAnxiety.com can help if you:
- Have an immediate surge of fear when you learn you need to do public speaking or performing
- Attempt to avoid giving presentations or performances because of performance anxiety
- Suffer from a lot of anticipatory anxiety thinking about your presentation or performance ahead of time
- Experience stage fright and feel very self-conscious being "in the spotlight"
- Suffer constantly from Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) and related conditions
- Worry about embarrassing yourself in front of others, fearful that people will see how anxious you are and that you will lose credibility and respect
- Feel a lot of inner turmoil and have missed opportunities because of this fear
Get started by looking through our performance anxiety guides, covering topics from diagnosing your performance anxiety through to our reccomended exercises, products and medications that can help you overcome your anxities & stage fright. Our blog also contains a lot of helpful articles about everything related to performance anxiety.
What is Performance Anxiety?
Performance anxiety is the fear someone experiences before and/or during a specific type of performance. When someone has performance anxiety, they might fear that the performance will be a failure even if they are well prepared.
Often, the fear is tied to the potential humiliation or rejection that might result from a failed performance. And although performance anxiety can exist around any type of task, it is usually more prevalent among people that have to perform under pressure.
Musical performers, actors, public speakers, and professional athletes are some of the professions where performance anxiety is common. This is why performance anxiety is also known as stage fright. To learn more about what performance anxiety is, including what the symptoms and causes are, take a look at our What is Performance Anxiety article.
Glossophobia, or 'Fear Of Public Speaking'
Did you know that Glossophobia, the medical term for a fear of public speaking, is said to be the number one fear reported in surveys of American adults, topping such fears as the fear of flying, financial problems, sickness, and even death?
Fear of public speaking is reported to be the number one fear of American adults, with many people experiencing tremendous suffering because of it. This fear often takes a huge toll on peoples' effectiveness in the workplace and in other settings as it stops them from fully expressing their thoughts and ideas in front of others. This fear afflicts not only the timid and socially anxious, but also those who are otherwise seen as confident and outgoing. Many people go to great lengths to avoid speaking up in front of groups, either formally or informally, or they are less effective if they do speak up.
A parallel fear exists for people working in the performing arts and entertainment fields, such as singers, musicians, actors, and actresses. Even very talented and accomplished performers may suffer from intense performance anxiety and feel tremendous fear when anticipating or giving performances (or they may avoid performances altogether).
While a mild level of performance anxiety is perfectly normal when one is called upon to speak or perform in public, many people suffer from a much higher level of fear and dread. They may experience symptoms of panic, such as heart palpitations, rapid breathing, sweating, trembling or shaking, feeling dizzy, unsteady or lightheaded, feeling detached, and feeling a loss of control over their ability to manage the fear. They may also experience blushing or heat surges, sweating, difficulty concentrating, and thought blocking. Often they experience intense anticipatory anxiety prior to the speaking or performance event, sometimes days, weeks, or months ahead of time.
This fear strongly affects an individual's professional life and prospects for career advancement. Many people have given up professional opportunities for advancement if the new position calls for more public speaking or public performance. Some people have left a job or have not gone on for higher education to avoid facing their fear. There is clearly much lost potential for individuals, and for society, due to this fear.
Having this fear also takes a big toll on the person's self-confidence and self-esteem, as many people feel embarrassed and ashamed to have such a fear. They may try to keep their fear hidden as much as possible, though they are often afraid of being "found out." They are often intensely uncomfortable and self-conscious with being "in the spotlight" and having others focus attention on them.
A deep fear associated with public speaking or performing is the fear of embarrassment and negative evaluation by others. Many people feel terrified of making a fool of themselves in front of others and fear that people will view them as inadequate in some way. There is often a fear of harsh judgment from others, and a fear of loss of credibility and respect if others find out just how afraid they are. Many people who suffer this fear tend toward perfectionism and are afraid to make mistakes. They are afraid to let others see their fear and vulnerability, fearful of not being seen as strong and in control.
While a person can often successfully avoid situations that require public speaking or performing, the avoidance behavior itself actually worsens the fear. The person comes to believe that he or she cannot handle speaking or performing situations and that avoidance is the only solution. While the avoidance initially provides a feeling of great relief, it erodes the person's confidence and belief in him or herself and thus greatly limits and constricts the person's life choices.
If you can relate to the feelings and experience of someone who has stage fright, please know that you have come to the right place to get help! This website is dedicated to revealing a range of methods to help ease and lessen your performance anxiety so you no longer feel controlled by this fear.
You do not have to suffer any longer from this fear. I hope to hear from you soon so I can help you find the solutions you are looking for to address this incredible challenge in your life.