Say Goodbye to Performance Anxiety

As a mom or mom-to-be, you know it better than anyone: as soon as we see the positive result of the pregnancy test, we want to become the best possible mother for our child. Of course, becoming a parent is a great source of happiness, but it also brings many worries. “Do I have what it takes? Will I be up to the task? Will my baby thrive despite my flaws?”

Unfortunately, this is where many people experience what is called performance anxiety. In short, performance anxiety is a state of apprehension, fear, tension or unease caused directly by the fear of failure.

Want to know how to fight against this phenomenon? Keep reading!

The Sources of the Problem

  • There is a mismatch between the expectations that a person perceives or imposes on themselves and their sense of competence.
  • This discrepancy is linked to the fear of failing, of not being up to it, of being judged or rejected, for example.
  • It can even be associated with a bad overall self-image and a feeling of shame.
  • Performance anxiety is often found in people who are perfectionists and have been very demanding with themselves since their own childhood.

A Few Possible Solutions

  • To regain control over our anxiety, we must first become aware of it.
  • Then, we must identify our fears and beliefs that may be wrong in order to modify them.
  • Some people feel like they are worth something only if they perform well. For them, the value of what they DO is confused with the value of what they ARE. To increase their sense of competence and, at the same time, reduce their performance anxiety, they must relax the perfectionist expectations they have for themselves.
  • Many stress management techniques are good tools to consider when it comes to relieving performance anxiety:
    • Doing breathing and relaxation exercises
    • Laughing
    • Promoting restful sleep and good nutrition
    • Exercising (walking, yoga, running, etc.)
    • Working on thoughts and feelings
    • Practising mindfulness and meditation
    • Learning to let go
  • It is always useful to seek professional help when you feel overwhelmed.
  • Another option: disconnecting from social media for a while. Indeed, we can easily be under the impression that our friends are more successful than us and that they have a perfect family when in fact, it is not the case at all!

In Summary

  • Become aware of your anxiety.
  • Identify your fears and mistaken beliefs.
  • Relax your expectations for yourself.
  • Use stress management techniques that work for you.
  • Seek professional help if necessary.
  • Disconnect from the idealized world of social media.

All experienced parents will tell you this: there is no such thing as a perfect mom or a perfect dad! Everyone makes mistakes, loses patience or has doubts. The key to success: getting up after every hardship and being kind to yourself.