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Resolve Performance Anxiety

Social anxiety is based on performance. The dynamic of “performance” is what distinguishes social anxiety from other anxiety disorders. Performance anxiety is co-morbid with other anxiety syndromes, especially Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. In his article “Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder as Etiology for Performance Anxiety,” Jonathan Berent describes how perfectionism drives performance and social anxiety.

Performance anxiety can occur in many venues and manifests in many scenarios. These include formal public speaking, informal and spontaneous speaking in public, performing arts, sports, social interaction, conversation, relationship development, and sexual activity. Performance anxiety becomes a possibility when and wherever there is possible judgment. It becomes a disorder when avoidance (phobia) occurs and when the emotional or physical pain of anxiety becomes substantial.

It’s clear why social anxiety is the anxiety disorder of the millennium. Society is becoming increasingly technological and the pressure for productivity is all-encompassing. The stress and pressure for high performance is everywhere.

An important example of the pervasiveness of performance anxiety that our technological society is breeding is selective mutism. Selective mutism is in essence a speaking phobia and a symptom of the obsessive-compulsive mind. A commonly cited statistic is that approximately one out of one thousand children has selective mutism. In addition, countless adolescents and adults experience variations of selective mutism. In fact, many adults who have initiated treatment for public speaking anxiety at Berent Associates self-identify with selective mutism. Therefore, the reality is that the statistics are not in yet as to how pervasive selective mutism and verbal performance anxiety and phobia truly are.

It is clear that overdependence on technology has played a huge role in handicapping the development of neural pathways required for verbal performance. For example, with the evolution of video games, a new culture of individuals with poorly developed social skills has been spawned. The overuse of brain mechanisms required for processing those games is not allowing for development of the brain mechanisms required for healthy social skills.

“It’s wonderful to strive for peak performance. It’s absurd to be paralyzed by fear of not being perfect.”

Logic and objectivity will tell you this statement makes sense. Variables that inhibit the development of this outlook include an excessive internal critical script, adrenaline mismanagement, and often, the core dynamic of challenged self-esteem.

fateClinical experience with thousands of performance anxiety disorder sufferers has clearly demonstrated that effective treatment requires integrating an architecture of F.A.T.E.

The Ultimate Tool for Creating The “High Performance Mind” is “Mind State” Training

The following content is based on the psychology of transactional analysis. Mind State Training is an integral tool in the Berent model of treatment.

The human personality is comprised of specific mind or “ego” states from which originate mental energy that determines behaviors, mood and more. Each state is, in essence, a compartment of specific “energy.” Study carefully in the EGO-GRAPHs below the difference in mind state synergy (combined action) between unresolved performance anxiety and “resolved” performance anxiety below. The ego-graphs demonstrate relative, not absolute difference.

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NP Nurturing Parent: Energy that promotes growth, teaches, acknowledges and provides support.
CP Critical Parent: Energy that represent authority, evaluates and passes judgement.
A Adult: The internal “computer.” Energy that is logical and objective.
AC Adapted Child: Emotion that is conforming, compromising and manipulative.
NC Natural Child: The emotions of pleasure, fun and joy. The energy of spontaneity, exploration and creativity.

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Tel: (800) 248-2034, Fax: (516) 487-7414, E-mail: jberent@socialanxiety.com

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