Whether you’ve just started karate or have been at it for years, everyone gets nervous at times. Maybe it’s an exam for your next belt? Or maybe you have a competition coming up? Regardless of the event, you feel your heart racing, your breath catching, and your hands shaking. What’s going on?
Performance anxiety is the fear of not being able to do a task. It affects people in many areas of their lives, be it a school exam or a presentation in front of a crowd. It’s especially widespread in sports, from beginners to world-class athletes. And the root cause is often putting too much pressure on the task.
How To Deal With Performance Anxiety?
Meet Your Physical Needs
No matter how nervous or anxious you feel, you should continue prioritizing your health above all else. Not only will this help you be in your best shape when it comes time to do karate, but it can greatly reduce your anxiety.
Make sure to get enough water, eat nutritious meals, and get plenty of sleep. Try to avoid staying up the night before the event, because a lack of sleep is closely tied with drowsiness, a lack of focus, and poor mental health which will only amplify your performance anxiety.
It can be hard to stay positive when you’re worried about the future. Your head is full of negative thoughts as you overanalyze every last detail and think of everything that could go wrong. You start saying “I can’t do it” or other negative things.
The problem with this kind of thinking is that it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Focusing on little details puts you out of the moment, so you can’t focus on being your best self. And your demotivating thoughts will make you stop trying, because “what’s the point?”
The trick is to turn the self-fulfilling nature of self-talk to your advantage. You can start picturing yourself practicing karate at the event and thinking of everything that you’re doing correct, as imagination acts like exposure therapy and can reduce your anxiety. Repeating positive mantras and telling yourself “I can do it” will also motivate you to be your best, and can greatly improve your performance.
In addition to being positive, it’s helpful to clear your mind before the event. You should try to find ways to calm yourself to better enter a state of flow when you practice karate.
There’s no sure-fire way to relax, but you could try listening to music or meditating in peace before the event. As long as it’s something tranquil and enjoyable.
Talk To People
Sometimes you just need to vent and express your feelings. Whether it’s your friends, classmates, or your sensei, be sure to tell others if you’re getting anxious.
The people around you are sure to encourage you. Your friends will listen and support you; your classmates will help and motivate you; and your sensei can reassure you of your success. After all, your instructor knows you can handle it if they let you compete or go in for an exam.
At the end of the day, there’s no need to be nervous. Success in any martial art is about practice and dedication. It’s about attending class and being persistent. No single moment can undo everything you’ve learned and accomplished. Just take a deep breath, because you got this.
And if you’re anxious about starting karate, then Traditional Martial Arts And Fitness has your back. We offer beginner classes for all age groups and skill levels. Be sure to give us a call at +971 4 430 1011 or send us an email at INFO@MARTIALARTDXB.COM to start practicing today.