- Performance Anxiety Checklist
- Kenny MPAI-40 Performance Anxiety Scale and Scoring Sheet
- Trait Anxiety Inventory
- Trait Anxeity Scoring Sheet
- Anxiety Sensitivity Index
- Anxiety Sensitivity Scoring Sheet
- Mental Skills Questionnaire
- Attachment Style Questionnaire
- Adverse Childhood Experiences Scale (ACE)
- Performance Challenges Worksheet
- Performance Plan
The above self assessment tools can be used in private to increase your understanding of yourself and how you respond to performance situations. Identifying performance anxiety is a key component in any self-assessment because it can have such an enormous impact on both your performance quality and your enjoyment of performing. Identifying what issues you may have is a starting point for doing something about it. Self-awareness first, action second.
Start with the Performance Anxiety Checklist if you want a quick sense of how your symptoms may be manifesting. Note which category of symptoms you most frequently check. Targeting these symptoms first may be a good strategy.
If you want a more detailed assessment of performance anxiety, take the Kenny inventory and then score each of the sub-tests included on the scoring sheet. This inventory breaks performance anxiety down into specific themes that can help focus your treatment efforts. Also, it may suggest a specific sub-type of performance anxiety that may be linked to other sources and past experiences. Again, try to be curious about learning more about this and treat this information with respect and consideration toward yourself.
Trait anxiety is personality-based anxiety that is part of your genetic constitution. If you suspect you have high trait anxiety, (you are “wired more tightly” than others or experience higher levels of anxiety on a daily basis, not just in performance situations), take the Trait Anxiety Index and score that as well. If you have a family history of anxiety or depression (think of them as “cousins”–when you have one, the other is probably nearby), you may be pre-disposed to having some anxiety.
Anxiety Sensitivity Index is a concept that you probably have never heard about. But it has been found to have more impact on performance anxiety than trait anxiety. Anxiety sensitivity is a second stage reaction to the conscious awareness of the somatic or physiological symptoms of performance anxiety. In other words, some people are more sensitive to the bodily symptoms of anxiety than others. For example, hand tremors for a violinist may provoke a stronger reaction than cognitive fears that the performance will not go well.
The Mental Skills Questionnaire is a broader sport psychology tool that addresses a variety of mental skills such as imagery/visualization, goal-setting, motivation, concentration and others. Improving your skills in these areas will likely translate to the performance quality. But they have to be practiced over time to offer sustained benefits.
Including an Attachment Style questionnaire here may surprise some but the quality of our attachment to others–fellow students, colleagues, teachers, coaches and of course, the AUDIENCE plays a role in how we experience public performance. Attachment style gets to the root of our identities–how we feel about ourselves as people and performers and how we think others will view us. It can bring up insecurities and influence how motivated we are to take on challenges.
The Adverse Childhood Experiences Scale is a widely used self-assessment tool for measuring the level of negative childhood experiences that are known to affect adult psychological adjustment. The score is 1 to 10 with 10 being highly adverse. These factors are also known to impact performance anxiety and performance in general which is why it is included here. Be open and honest with yourself when answering the questions.
The Performance Challenges Worksheet is a page where you can organize your findings once you take and score the various inventories. Use this sheet to reflect about the findings and organize your thinking into a plan for action, if you decide that you need to make changes.
Creating your Performance Plan is a roadmap for how you want to mentally prepare for your performance. Research has shown that writing down these thoughts before a performance can help you in many ways. These are mostly mental strategies for enhancing peak performance. But having them organized and written down has a way of making them more concrete.
You may email me if you have any questions about how to score or interpret the findings.