Ep 13. Ways you Increase Anxiety

Anxiety is a common topic as I coach ballroom dancers, but also in society as a whole. In this episode, I bring up 6 ways we inadvertently increase anxiety in the dance world, along with a remedy for each one. 
1. Having anxiety about your anxiety
This introduces a fight or flight response and doubles your anxiety. Making anxiety a problem and focusing upon it also distracts you from your task at hand–dancing. To overcome this, REFRAME anxiety so that it isn’t a problem. It’s normal and expected in this situation. Expand your vocabulary to include other words like nervous, uncertain, apprehensive, hesitant, etc.  Consider that adrenaline also feels like anxiety. Learn to work with it instead of wishing it away. This will actually lessen it’s effect.
2. Jumping mentally from the past to the future
Allowing past mistakes haunt you will create anxiety. Bringing negative past events into the present and then extrapolating that it will happen again in the future doesn’t stop it from happening. But it will make you feel worse. As much as you can, be in the present moment. Focus on what you need to be DOING and try not to use your imagination to predict doom and gloom. The past can stay in the past. There is only here and now. Keep your focus there.
3. Looking too far into the future
This increases anxiety when you set goals that are too far into the future. The gap between where you are now and where you want to be can generate frustration and anxiety when that gap is too large. This feels overwhelming and puts pressure on you to be further along than might be appropriate. Shorten the gap and bring your goals closer. What is just the next step? It should feel challenging, but doable.
4. Setting unrealistic expectations
Even with short-term goals, we can increase anxiety when we set expectations that are too high. Setting appropriate objectives means they will stretch you, but not overly stress you. Check to see how it feels. Then scale it back until it feels possible and motivating. 
5. Focusing on the outcome
When we focus too much on what is going to happen (win/lose), we stop living in the present. Focusing on the outcome is a problem when we make the outcome mean something about us. If our self esteem depends on whether we win or lose, the personal stakes go way up. This will generate pressure and anxiety. Return to the present and focus on what you need to DO. Do your job in the present with full attention, and the outcome will take care of itself.
6. Trying to control the uncontrollable
Trying to control the outcome is not in your power. Other things that you can’t control include all the people. You can’t control what they think and feel. Not the spectators, the judges, your partner, coaches, other dancers, etc. Putting you mind on them will increase your anxiety. Maintain focus on what is in your control–YOU. That’s it. You can control your preparation, your thoughts and feelings, your attention, your food, water, rehearsals, etc. Giving your attention to things you can’t control is a waste of your precious energy. 

 

It’s time to

LEVEL UP!

Isn’t it time you took your dancing to the next level? Your head is what’s in the way and I can help. The fastest way to overcome your head drama is to schedule a strategy call. It’s free, it’s fun, and we can skip right to addressing the specific obstacles to YOUR ballroom success. You’ve got nothing to lose!

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Hi there,

I'm Amber Haider

As an amateur ballroom dancer myself, I understand the issues that come up for dancers, the pressures of competing, and the desire to make the most of my ballroom experience. I also really like to WIN! As a Life Coach by vocation, I have the tools to cut through the mental garbage that is holding you back so that you can maximize your potential. Using my own tools, I have been able to skyrocket my own skills, learn faster, lessen the pressure, win more and have tons more fun. I can show you the way. Here’s a couple tools to get you started:

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