There is no such thing as failure
The fear of failure is the number one cause of performance based anxiety. You can lose this by redefining failure to mean feedback. All failure is ultimately feedback on what works and what doesn’t. In this respect it is a teacher whose lessons must be studied carefully so that you don’t make the same mistakes in the future. Further to this; success is the result of the lessons you learn from multiple failures in life. The only way to succeed at anything worth while is to fail forward. You only fail if you fail to learn from your own mistakes.
Lose the make or break mentality
There is no single performance that will make or break you in life. You will only ever be made or broken by the performance that you sustain over a period of time. Instead of becoming a one hit wonder, work on performing at a level that you can sustain and then make incremental improvements with each new attempt. It is better to have a reputation for constantly improving than to have a reputation for hitting and missing.
Competence brings confidence
Remember that the better you are, the more confident you will feel. So rather than working on your level of confidence, go to work on your level of competence by first modelling the best people in your field and then by perfecting your own technique through practise.
Prepare to succeed
Remember the six P’s: Proper Prior, Preparation Prevents a Poor Performance. The more prepared you are, the more confident you will feel about performing. Get as much information as possible about what you are going to do, outline what you are going to say, rehearse your role both mentally and physically and develop contingency plans in case something goes wrong.
You will never achieve your personal best until you are having fun. This means enjoying your work, not taking yourself or the situation too seriously and seeing the funny side of your own mistakes. Fear produces muscular tension where as laughter or fun causes those same muscles to relax. Practise smiling and use your imagination to take away the seriousness of the situation.
Concentrating on not making mistakes is not the same as concentrating on achieving your personal best. In fact if you obsess about not making mistakes you will indirectly instruct the mind to notice any potential deviation from your internal script. At that point your flow will be disrupted because your mind will tell you that you are making mistakes. You will be self-conscious and over critical of your own performance. No one else will notice or even care about the problem except you. Instead you should make it your goal to achieve your personal best and simply ignore the mistakes you make along the way.