Mental Health

Beat Performance Anxiety at Work

Performance anxiety at work can not only make you unproductive, but it can also make you hate work. From self-reflection to seeking support, discover ways to manage anxiety and thrive in your professional pursuits.

By URLife Team
21 May 2023

Living at a time where hustling is encouraged, performance anxiety has become an all-too-common phenomenon. Whether it's presenting a pitch to a potential client, delivering a speech, or even engaging in everyday work tasks, the pressure to excel can evoke feelings of unease and self-doubt. Performance anxiety, also known as stage fright, is a state of distress and apprehension that arises when individuals face the prospect of evaluation or scrutiny. While it is natural to feel nervous on occasion, chronic performance anxiety can significantly impact work performance and hinder personal and professional growth.


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The Impact on Work Performance

Performance anxiety can have negative effects on an individual's work performance. The fear of failure or criticism can lead to a range of physiological and psychological responses, such as increased heart rate, sweaty palms, racing thoughts, and diminished concentration. 

These symptoms can result in: 

  • Impaired Decision-Making: Performance anxiety can cloud judgment and hinder critical thinking abilities. It becomes challenging to make sound decisions when the mind is preoccupied with self-doubt and worry.
  • Reduced Productivity: When anxiety takes centre stage, productivity often takes a hit. Procrastination, avoidance, and difficulty focusing become recurring obstacles, leading to missed deadlines and subpar results.
  • Hindered Creativity: The fear of not meeting expectations can stifle creativity. Ideas that would have otherwise flourished in a supportive and relaxed environment are restrained under the weight of anxiety.
  • Strained Interpersonal Relationships: Performance anxiety can strain professional relationships by creating barriers to effective communication and collaboration. Fear of judgment may prevent individuals from seeking help or offering their perspectives, limiting the overall synergy within a team.


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Identifying the Source of Anxiety

Take time for self-reflection to find out what specifically triggers your anxiety. It's a chance to understand your emotions better. Mindfulness practices, seeking support from mentors or therapists, and engaging in self-awareness activities can help you reflect and gain insights.

  • Journaling: Writing in a journal is a powerful way to understand and manage workplace anxiety. By jotting down situations that make you anxious and capturing your thoughts and emotions, you can spot patterns and gain clarity. Journaling provides a safe space to express fears, frustrations, and insecurities, helping you develop strategies to overcome these challenges.
  • Support from Managers: Sharing your struggles with trusted individuals in your professional network can be immensely helpful. Colleagues who have experienced similar challenges may provide insights and practical tips. Mentors can offer guidance and encouragement, drawing from their own experiences. Additionally, managers who are invested in your growth may provide support, understanding, and resources to help manage performance anxiety.
  • Open Communication : When appropriate, open communication with supervisors about performance anxiety can be beneficial. Discussing your challenges and fears allows them to gain insight into your situation and potentially offer accommodations or support. 


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Common Anxiety Triggers in the Workplace

Presentations and Public Speaking: Speaking in front of a group can be nerve-wracking. The fear of judgment or making mistakes can make your heart race and your hands tremble. To conquer this anxiety, practice your presentations, take opportunities to speak in public, and remind yourself that it’s a gradual process.

Performance Reviews and Evaluations: Performance reviews can trigger anxiety due to the fear of criticism or negative feedback. The anticipation of being evaluated can lead to sleepless nights, stress, and a loss of confidence. To address this anxiety, set clear goals, seek regular feedback, and focus on personal growth rather than just the outcome.

High-Stakes Projects or Assignments: Taking on important projects with high expectations can create pressure and anxiety. The fear of failure, tight deadlines, and responsibility can lead to stress, difficulty concentrating, and self-doubt. Overcome this anxiety by managing your time effectively, breaking tasks into smaller steps, and seeking support from colleagues or mentors.

Interactions with Colleagues or Superiors: Navigating professional relationships can be challenging, and trigger a host of emotions. The fear of conflict, judgment, or rejection can hinder communication and collaboration. Improve your interpersonal skills, foster open communication, and create a supportive work environment to alleviate this anxiety.


Understanding the causes of workplace anxiety is vital for personal growth and professional development. Through self-reflection and journaling, we can identify our triggers and implement strategies to manage anxiety effectively. Whether it's presentations, performance evaluations, high-stakes projects, or professional interactions, recognising these triggers empowers us to navigate them with confidence. Embrace self-discovery, build resilience, and create a work environment that nurtures personal growth and frees you from anxiety's grasp.


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Practising Relaxation Techniques

When faced with performance anxiety, incorporating relaxation techniques into our daily routines can provide a much-needed respite. By exploring various techniques like deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, visualisation, and positive affirmations, individuals can effectively manage anxiety and improve their overall well-being. 


Relaxation Techniques

  • Deep Breathing Exercises and Mindful Meditation: Taking slow, deep breaths and focusing on the present moment can help calm racing thoughts and reduce anxiety. Mindful meditation, even for a few minutes each day, allows us to cultivate a sense of calm and mental clarity.
  • Progressive Muscle Relaxation: This technique involves consciously tensing and then relaxing different muscle groups in the body. It promotes physical relaxation, alleviates tension, and eases anxiety. Practising progressive muscle relaxation before important work tasks can help create a sense of calm and readiness.
  • Visualisation and Positive Affirmations: Visualising success and using positive affirmations can reframe our mindset and boost confidence. By imagining ourselves performing well and repeating positive statements, we can cultivate a positive outlook and reduce anxiety.


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Tips to Find Time for Practising Relaxation

Micro-breaks: Take short breaks throughout the day to practice deep breathing or mindful meditation, even if it's just for a few minutes. Find a quiet corner or step outside to recharge.

Lunchtime: Utilise your lunch break to engage in relaxation exercises. Find a peaceful spot, listen to calming music, practice visualisation, or recite positive affirmations.

Prioritise Self-Care: Dedicate time before or after work to engage in relaxation techniques. Create a soothing routine, such as practising progressive muscle relaxation before bed, to unwind and prepare for a restful sleep.

Utilise Technology: Explore meditation or relaxation apps that offer quick guided exercises that can be done discreetly at your desk or during short breaks.


Seeking support from trusted colleagues, mentors, managers, and professionals can provide invaluable guidance and assistance. By fostering open communication, considering therapy or coaching, and utilizing resources like Lifestyle Management and Therapeutic Programs (LMTP), individuals can find the support they need to navigate performance anxiety and thrive in their professional careers and make the best out of it.
Lifestyle Management and Therapeutic Programs (LMTP) serve as valuable resources for individuals seeking guidance and support. LMTP offers a range of therapeutic interventions and lifestyle management techniques to address performance anxiety and promote well-being. These programs provide a safe space to explore feelings, gain insights, and develop strategies to manage anxiety. With the support of LMTP, individuals can embark on a journey of personal and professional growth.


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Rehabilitation Programs Offered At UR.Life

UR Life Studio offers the following programs under its Lifestyle Management and Therapeutic Programs (LMTP) unit:

  • Cardiac Rehabilitation
  • Pulmonary Rehabilitation
  • Neuro Rehabilitation
  • Ortho Rehabilitation
  • Paediatric Rehabilitation
  • Geriatric Rehabilitation
  • Obesity Management
  • Diabetes management

The following are the USPs of LMTP:

  • Holistic Rehabilitation Approach: involves the medical, physical, and mental aspects of overall health
  • Telemetry Supervised Rehabilitation: a state-of-the-art technique to provide optimal health care
  • Hydrotherapy
  • Six Minutes Walk Test
  • Hydraulics (circuit training studio)
  • VO2 max testing (equipment under servicing)
  • Myo motion analysis (equipment under servicing)
  • Detailed Physical Assessment
  • Wellbeing Counselling
  • Diet Counselling



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