Performance Anxiety

Performance anxiety is a phobia. If you suffer from it you will be familiar with the symptoms that can range from feeling as if you have sandpaper in your mouth, to feeling as if time has slowed down as your heart races at twice it's usual BPM! Your hands are sweaty, your thoughts are confused and you may even feel as if you want to throw up. The anxiety can hold you back from career promotions or from enjoying the creative pursuit you love most.  Many of those who suffer with performance anxiety can have high expectations of themselves and others, are high achievers and perhaps carry a strong inner critic. Unfortunately the very thing you are afraid of can be triggered by the performance anxiety and you can find yourself freezing, going bright red and becoming flustered and confused, unable to think in an exam or concentrate, perhaps even having a panic attack. Typically these types of situations can trigger a sufferer:

  • Public speaking, be it to an auditorium, school speeches or simply at a work meeting

  • Stage performance (dance, music, acting etc)

  • Exam or test performance anxiety

  • Driving License test (some people have been known to sit it over a dozen times because of performance anxiety)

Giving a Speech

Anticipating how you are going to feel when the anxiety kicks in can be worse than the initial anxiety and you can find yourself palpitating just entering the room where the event previously took place. Some people take Beta- blockers when they know they have to perform, but many don't want to. Hypnotherapy can help with performance anxiety. It involves a similar treatment I use for anxiety or phobia. It's all about calming the nervous, building your confidence and re-wiring those neural pathways.

After we have done hypnotherapy and suggestions to make you more confident and fearless, we then immerse you in the very things that you may have difficulty with. As we move through these challenges, you are protected by knowing it's just in the imagination. We work through any fear that comes up and teach you how to control and respond to the fear. By practising in the imagination we are building new neural pathways that will serve you in real life.

Sometimes we have a part of us that is like a protector. This protector believes it needs to keep you hypervigilant you protect you from danger. This protector may feel that you are unsafe on stage or in the public eye and may not feel comfortable with you changing. Negotiating with this protector, who sets off the anxiety alarm, can be an important aspect to the healing.

Performance anxiety is a relatively easy one to crack with hypnotherapy. If you need some help to give you the confidence you need to feel calm and at ease, contact me:

Diana Joy Hypnotherapy


"I have to do presentations regularly at work and I just had the worst anxiety thinking about having to do it. When I spoke I would get this rush of blood to my head and I couldn't think. I felt like my face was beetroot and I spoke really fast and it seemed to me that everyone could see how nervous I was. It was really embarrassing as I like to do my job well and it's expected of me that I can handle this in my position. I have a team of people working for me. It was getting worse and I found I was taking days off just to avoid having to do it. I got anxiety just thinking about it and developed insomnia the night before speaking.  Diana worked with me and helped me to understand the incidents that had lead to this fear. It hadn't come out of nowhere - there were reasons that I didn't even realise. She helped me to grow my confidence and gave me tools to work through my fear of public speaking. Diana is very practical in her therapy style. She is also really intuitive and caring. I am so grateful I went as I feel I have discovered so much about myself and that it has changed me way beyond the issue I went to her for. 

Kim F