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Perform Well




"ALL THE WORLD'S A STAGE AND ALL THE MEN AND WOMEN MERELY PLAYERS."
   


These are words spoken by Shakespeare many years ago, and indeed, he spoke truth if you count the many ways most of us are called on to perform regularly, for example: 
* Making a presentation at work

* Making a sale
* Interviewing for a job
* Passing an important exam
* Playing in a golf or tennis match
* Attending a social event with people you hardly know
* Performing in a recital or play


Being "on stage" or being "the center of attention" is comfortable, even enjoyable for a few fortunate people.  For others it is NOT comfortable, but at least tolerable.  For some, however, it is an AGONIZING, nearly PARALYZING experience, no matter how knowledgeable or well prepared they are!  For them, performance anxiety or "stage fright" may be a serious constraint limiting their career or social life.

Performance Anxiety is a pervasive sense of dread that something bad is going to happen either when you are in the spotlight or when you are doing something for which you feel pressure to perform well. It can be accompanied by a variety of symptoms:

* Physical symptoms: heart racing, body shaking, difficulty breathing, sweating, nausea, dry mouth,  dizzy, voice distortion, blushing

* Mental symptoms: mind going blank, not able to concentrate, catastrophising, negative or self-critical thinking, indecisiveness, decrease in confidence

* Emotional symptoms: fear, panic, terror, embarrassed, guilt, irritable, worried, on-edge

* Behavioral symptoms: procrastination, insomnia, easily startled, agitation

Performance Anxiety involves the fight, flight, or freeze response, a biological, automatic response that has been hardwired into your body and mind, and gets activated under extreme stress.  It serves a valuable purpose in an emergency, but it definitely gets in the way when you are trying to "wow" an audience or impress a prospective employer.   What makes performance anxiety so difficult is that as you worry over and over about your performance, literally, you are rehearsing anxiety and are programming your mind and body to experience anxiety precisely when you need to perform well. 

I offer a program combining coaching, counseling and education to help you learn to manage the anxiety that may accompany being "on stage," and to help you learn how to get into your "peak performance zone." Skills learned can facilitate the following:

* CLARIFICATION: Develop a clearer picture of factors, conscious and unconscious, holding you back from performing the way you desire.

* CLEARING OUT: Change underlying beliefs that could be negatively affecting your performance.

* CONTROL: Learn practical strategies for controlling symptoms of anxiety when you are called on to perform.

* COMPETENCE: Fine-tune or maximize your skills.

* CONFIDENCE: Learn how to turn your anxiety into a source of positive energy in which you feel secure in the knowledge of your ability to perform well regardless of distractions.

* COMPASSION: Let go of negative self-criticism often the culprit in undermining confidence, and learn how to give yourself encouragement and compassion.

I would love to help you become more confident and calm in your performances.  Call 847-781-1407 or email vicki@vickieatontherapy.com for more information or to schedule an appointment. 

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