Put simply, performance anxiety is the fear of failure around a specific task.
Anyone from a professional athlete to someone preparing to take a test or give a presentation in front of an audience can experience performance anxiety.
Simply anticipating a stressful event can cause performance anxiety. For example, if you are anxious about math, you may experience performance anxiety just knowing you are going to have to do math at some point. The more a person is anxious about math, the more they show increased activity in the area of the brain responsible for the feeling of being threatened. You may even experience physical pain all in response to just thinking about math!
Repeated experiences of performance anxiety can lead to developing a neurological response to the task.
Many people who experience performance anxiety often do not experience anxiety in any other area of their lives, but have a strong fear of humiliation, shame, or failure in response to the triggering task.
Performance anxiety often presents with symptoms such as light-headedness, feelings of tightness in the chest, racing pulse, nausea, and trembling in the hands, knees, and voice.
While performance anxiety can be limiting, create a lot of stress and duress, and lead to feelings of being overwhelmed, with increased awareness and Brain-Science and Emotional Intelligence based tools, techniques, and strategies you can not only survive, but thrive.