How to Overcome Performance Anxiety: What Really Worked For Me

Anxiety

Performance Anxiety

My personal experience with sexual anxiety is not uncommon among young men recently. This is what happened:

1. I experienced a time when I could not achieve an erection with a girl who I was attracted to.

2. I felt guilt and shame because I had “failed” in bed.  I felt emasculated.

3.  It preoccupied my mind and I worried that it would happen again.

4. I thought about it so much that it slowly became a belief. I started to believe I couldn’t perform.

5. The next time I had sex, because I had rehearsed failure so often in my brain, I couldn’t perform.

6. The cycle continued and my performance anxiety got worse as time went on — as I gathered more and more reference experiences that confirmed I couldn’t perform.

This literally ruined relationships for me and caused me to become depressed.  I honestly worried that I would never be able to have normal sex again.  I was only 25 years old.

You Can Overcome Performance Anxiety

If you read the above and saw some of yourself, I want you to know that you can heal and overcome this.  I did.  I now have an amazing, fulfilling sex life.  Since recovering, I have had numerous girlfriends, flings, even one-night stands — which in the past, because of my sexual anxiety, I was always terrified of.

Quitting Porn and Masturbation

Number one in the healing was quitting porn and masturbation altogether. My escalating porn use over the years had desensitized and rewired my brain.  There are many resources for “rebooting” (abstaining from porn, masturbation and orgasm for a period of time to rewire your brain) available that I recommend, my favorite of which is Gary Wilson’s yourbrainonporn.com.

But there is one thing that I feel really helped me heal faster that I haven’t seen talked about elsewhere too much — which is what I want to cover today.

The Physical Aspects of Performance Anxiety

When I was dealing with this performance anxiety, I noticed there were two things that were physically happening in my body as my performance anxiety worsened:

One, my body would noticeably tense up when I got close to having sex. My breathing would become shallow and my muscles would tense up. And because I tensed up, my erection would disappear.

And two, my body was becoming tense and stressed out in daily life.  I could feel that the way I was holding my body was slightly different than before.  My shoulders and neck were tense.  I even started getting occasional minor headaches, which I had never experienced in the past.

And here’s the thing:  for your body to get an erection, you need to be relaxed.  It’s a scientific fact. In other words, by tensing up, I was sabotaging my body’s natural process of getting an erection.

But How To Change?

I knew from studying NLP and psychology that there are two ways I could attempt change:

1. Change my thought patterns and my physical self would follow.

2. Change my physical self and my thought patterns would follow.

With performance anxiety, I found it incredibly difficult to change my thoughts to more positive thoughts.  It was like I was telling myself “Don’t think about a purple elephant.” What did I do?  I thought about a purple elephant.

So after analyzing my problem, I decided to try and tackle it from the physical side.

What Really Worked For Me: Relaxation Techniques

This was the thing that really turned my performance anxiety around.  Progressive Relaxation Techniques.

I know, sounds kind of new-agey, right?  ;)   Not at all in fact.

In order to change my body to be able to relax consistently, I needed to condition my body to relax.  In fact my goal was to, ideally, become a more relaxed person in general.

So I started doing progressive relaxation every day for about 20 minutes. 10 minutes in the morning when I woke up, and 10 minutes before I went to sleep.

I cannot overemphasize how much this routine helped me recover.  I could feel the difference physically. It helped me get in control of my body’s relaxation process, and therefore relax more during sex.  And more relaxed means better erections. Not only did it help me get my “mojo” back, it also helped me to become a more laid-back and relaxed person in many other areas.

So without further ado…

My Progressive Relaxation Routine:

2x per day for 10 mins.  In morning after waking and just before bed.

-Get into comfortable clothing.

-Make sure there will be no distractions (ie. phone turned off, do not disturb sign on door, tell others you are meditating so they don’t interrupt)

-Put in earplugs or use earphones (with or without relaxing music — no lyrics)

-Lay down in your bed and prop up your legs with pillows so that you are comfortable.

-Start with deep breathing.   Put one hand on your chest, the other just above the navel (belly button).   Count slowly to two while breathing in through the nose. Your breath should be coming from your belly, not your chest.  Meaning, your hand just above the navel should be moving up and down with your breath — not your hand that’s on your chest.  Count slowly to four while breathing out through your nose.  Continue this for about 4 minutes while thinking about how relaxed you feel.  Try to let other thoughts drift away.  Focus on your breathing and on relaxing, deeper and deeper.

-Now it’s time for the progressive muscle relaxation.  Continue the same breathing rhythm. Count to 2 while inhaling, 4 while exhaling.  Start at your toes and as you inhale, squeeze the muscles in your toes tight so that they’re curled up (squeeze with 60% of maximum strength) . Then, as you exhale, relax your toes while letting go of all the tension there.  Do this tensing and relaxing for each group of muscles, one by one, from your toes to your head:

1. Toes.

2. Whole feet.

3. Calves/Lower leg

4. Thigh/Upper leg

5.Buttocks

6.  Stomach (breathe in and hold the stomach in tightly, then exhale while relaxing the stomach muscles)

7. Hands (clench fists, release)

8. Arms (straighten, release)

9.Pecs/Chest (flex, release)

10. Shoulders (tense the muscles in your upper back to pull your shoulders back, release)

11. Head — this one is different:  roll neck gently clockwise, then counterclockwise.

12. Mouth — fake a yawn while inhaling, tensing the jaw muscles somewhat. Relax with exhale.

After finishing this progressive muscle relaxation, I then do a few more minutes of the deep breathing, counting to 2 slowly while inhaling and 4 while exhaling.  If I still feel that my body is somewhat tense, I will sometimes repeat the muscle tensing and relaxing process.

Guided Relaxation Mp3

Recently one of my readers let me know about a great product that I wish I’d had when I was going through this.

It’s called Mental Impotence Healer and is a guided relaxation mp3 that trains your brain to relax and be in the moment during sex.

I got a copy of it myself and use it daily to train my brain to relax for sex.   It might sound a little cheesy, but this is exactly what I did with guided relaxation, except this mp3 program has been designed specifically for dealing with sexual performance anxiety problems.

I am very careful about which products that I recommend, and I wholeheartedly recommend this one.

You can read more about it here.

##

Do you have a performance anxiety story?  Please share in the comments! 

 

Be Sociable, Share!
    About Brian

    I am 30 years old and have overcome my long-standing addiction to Internet porn and fully recovered from serious porn-induced erectile dysfunction and performance anxiety. For more about me, see my story.

    Comments

    1. I quit all porn and masturbation for over 90 days and STILL has not solved my performance anxiety problem. I am still tensing up half way through foreplay. Wasnt a magic bullet after all.

      Nofap= broscience

      • Hi Duece,

        Did you try doing daily relaxation meditation? And are you trying with a partner that you care about and trust?

        These two things are key to break out of the cycle of performance anxiety.

        Brian

    2. i think im on the right track to beating performance anxiety after 3yrs suffering with it.im 46 and battled many terrable things in my life.none that effected me like this.i was married 27yrs to the same woman,when the marriage failed and i left,from that moment on the very confusing symptoms started.one thing begat another.questions like whats wrong with me! is it physical,mental,depression,low T,hormonal,smoking,drinking,age and so on.then trying every pill,potion,natural supliments i could get my hands on.going to dr after dr.test after test.i finally settled with penile injections of bimix or trimix wich your urologist can prescribe.i learned the hard way not to overdose even by a little with this! it took alot of pressure off me over the issue. i realized without a doubt it was performance anxiety.long story short find someone you can be comfortable with.put yourself in that uncomfortable situation with them and do relaxation exersizes.rubb your limp penis on her vagina 2-3 times a wk in 15 20 min at a time.it will desinsatize you to the anxiety.ive learned alot thru this and talked to several men that overcame this! im on my way and you can too!! i know its earth shaking! on the other side their wont be a thing you cant beat! main thing is your by far not alone in this!

      • Hi Joey,

        Thanks for sharing your experience!

        I 100% agree with you about finding someone that you feel comfortable with. This was really important in my recovery, as were the relaxation exercises that trained my body to relax.

        And you’re right: on the other side of this, you’ll feel damn-near invincible.

        Cheers,

        Brian

    3. I can relate so much to this. The first time ever i was going to have sex, i was so nervous i couldnt get it up. It was really humiliating. The next time, with another girl, the same happened. This just made it worse. The third time was with a girl that became my girlfriend. Naturally i failed the first time with her as well. Luckily, since she was my girlfriend, we kept trying, and after a couple times i managed to get erect. I lost it very quickly though, but after that time it got better and better until i didnt have any issues at all. We were together 2 years where i never experienced any erection issues. However when the relationship ended and i was gonna have sex with another girl for the first time, it happened again. I kept seeing this girl though, and it worked the second or third time, and after that – no problems for the rest of the relationship(2.5 years). But every time i am about to have sex with a new girl for the first time, it happens. Because it always has, and thats all i can think about. So now i am single and terrified, because i feel i am unable to have a one night stand. Cause i know i am gonna fail the first time. I know however that i am able to perform, i just need to get past that first or second time. I will try the no porn/masturbating now. I dont think thats the main issue since the problem is all about the first time for me, but it will surely help me get aroused more naturally. Hope it works, would literally change my life..

      • Hi John,

        I can really relate to your story. I know you feel like you just have to get past those first two or three times, but don’t discount the possibility of having great sex the first time! Especially if you find a girl that you feel really comfortable with (which in my opinion is what you should be looking for).

        Don’t forget those relaxation exercises. They really help to train your body and brain to relax during sex!

        Good luck

        Brian

    4. Brian,

      This is me 100%. I’ve been seeing this girl for awhile now and the only flaw in the relationship is the sex because I’m so bad with this anxiety. We care about each other a lot, but I care too much about things in the bedroom. I think about hoping it feels good for her, I won’t perform, and basically everything you listed goes through my mind during foreplay and I don’t have those feelings and sensations and no urges to even have sex. It is so frustrating. I’ve been battling my mind and I can get hard and foreplay is great sometimes and then when we try to get down to business, I go limp immediately!!! I don’t even want to have sex within seconds!!! We’ve even been having great sex and I go soft inside of her!! How is that possible?? It’s so frustrating. I’ve quit porn and masturbation for about a week now. I’m going to start what you said and hopefully it helps because it’s destroying this great relationship :(

      Nick

      • Hi Nick,

        Thanks for sharing your story. I can really relate to what you wrote and I’m sure other guys can too.

        The good news is, you’re working on the problem and are being proactive by quitting porn and working on lowering your anxiety.

        I think you’ll find that the longer you stay away from porn, the easier it will be to get natural erections with your partner.

        Keep us posted on your results and best of luck.

        Brian

    5. This is the most helpful thing I have ever read, thank you

    6. Low self-esteem, complexes, bringing work-related issues to home, being nasty to others, etc., can take a heavy toll on your sexual mood. So, learn to meditate, relax, and think positively if you want to improve your sex life.

    7. Hi Nick

      I’m starting with your relaxing technique as I totally found myself in this article.
      Hopefully it will have a positive result. I will keep you posted.

      Marko

      • Hi Marko,
        Good luck and let us know how it goes! There’s no 100% “correct way” for everybody, so it’s good to get lots of feedback on different people’s results.
        Cheers
        Brian

    8. “ I now have an amazing, fulfilling sex life.  ”

      That quote resonated with me the moment I read it; so I stopped the article right there and began repeating the quote to myself over and over for hours. *Problem Solved*. We are often told to focus on what we would like to have instead of what the issue is and I did just that. Thanks man. You gave me a solution with just one line. Peace & Love

    9. I first experienced performance anxiety a year ago when I arranged to met up with an ex girlfriend. When we had been dating originally we’d had great sex but on my way to see her i suddenly started to worry that I wouldn’t live up to that memory. That fear circles around my head and sure enough I couldn’t maintain my erection long enough to have sex. Since then I’ve had a number of reoccurrences. I’m currently seeing an amazing girl and we’ve had lots of great sex but I always go into it with a mixture of excitement and fear. When I do perform I’m as much relieved as anything else. Recently I had my first “failure” with her and now it’s all I can think about. I’ve carried mild anxiety with me for a while but I refuse to let it ruin this relationship and my confidence. I hope your tips can help me with this as I don’t want my own mind to stop me from leading the life I want.

    10. I have had numorous times with not being able to get it up, have you ever felt like its impossible to have normal sex because that’s how I feel.

    11. Russell Here Brian, Ill fil you in with My problems. Im Not into Videos of Porn- I have Probably Seen in Total on Video Timewise 15 Minutes in the Last 10 Years – Thats Relatively Accurate. My Problem is Photography or Images of Women Wearing Or Partly Wearing Lingerie Made of Satin, Silk, Nylon, Or Nylon-Elastane- Becaue I Love the Feel of It On a Ladies Body. Im 55 Yrs Old- Married 1993, Divorced 2010, & For Past Year+ In Contact Almost Daily + With Melissa Who is From Brisbane ( Capital of Queensland, 1 Hour South) Mainly on Computer Because She in Her Own Job Goes Overseas to Buy Certain Things & Sells it for 3 Times Amount Back in Australia. We are Madly in Love with One Another. She is same as Me with German Heritage about 100 Yrs Ago, She is Blonde & 5’5” Tall, Im 5’3” tal. She Will Be Moving into My House Hopefully in January 2015, & Marry Next Year. & Upon Her Moving Here I Will Not Be s Interested in Images Because She is Perfect For Me & She State Same of Me For Her. Ive Read Your E Mail & Ill Use a Book Here in My Room as a Book on Why I Feel that way & The Times Etc. I havent Worked Since 1997 Because I was Caring For Intellectualy Handicapped Men & was To Be the Manaher But Had an Accident- I was Not at Fault- & the Man in Truck Owned up 3 Years Later & My Former Wife Fought Court For Me for 6 Years, Because Due to Accident I Recieved 80% Brain damage & Left Leg Amputated Below Knee. ALL GOOD Though Doctors Say Im one of 5,000 in Australia Who Totally Completely After a Short Time- Me 1 Year Now I Do Not Have ANY Brain damage At All & Have Prosthetic Leg & Walk Unaided. In Court 2003 I was Awarded Highest $$ In Australia $3.2 Million & I have No Problem that My Wife Got for Herself $500,000 Because Doctors wanted to turn OFF Life Support & She Said she was Nurse for 26 Years Caring for People With Brain Damage So They Checked the Area That Colleen Said For Them To Look, they Came Back & Said ALL Good He Wil Be Ok ( Might have Been in Fine Print ) & She Saved Me 2 Times at Home When I Collapsed in te First Week From Hospital- So $500-00 is Ok & She Got Nothing in Divorse Because of that$500,000. I have a Book of Photos from Books Etc of Ladies in Revealing Photos Etc & Melissa Says Im the Best for Her & I Say Same from Me about Her. Ill Keep Jotting Down Stuff & I Know My Addiction is Not Like Others, Because Im Not into Nakedness But Clothing On her & NO I am Not into Cross Dressing in Ladies Clothes Because You Dont feel anything With Those Clothes On, Yes For 2 Weeks 10 yrs Ago I Wore Womens Panties, Not Now Though SORRY for A Book Ive made you Read. Sorry But THANKS

    12. Hi,
      I have been single for several years now and used porn to get off regularly maybe 3-5 times a week during this whole single period. Meeting a girl recently I have had trouble keeping an erection for sex. Comes and goes with solidity. It happened once a couple years ago but I woke up with morning wood and we had fun sex. I haven’t had a chance yet to try to overcome my issue currently but its really getting in my head and I can hardly focus on anything else. I quit porn after the first instance, maybe 3 weeks ago and I’m taking a couple herbal supplements. I don’t smoke, I run marathons & do yoga and am trying your breathing techniques. I want to reboot myself so badly. My current girl I’m totally in love with and don’t want to mess this up. The fact that I am in love adds a ton of pressure which isn’t helping but this part should be so fun and exciting not anxiety ridden. I was wondering; Should I stop masturbation completely for a while? How long should I go? Any words are greatly appreciated…

    13. Hi, I have been struggling with Performance Anxiety for all of my sexual life! It has been a living nightmare.
      The example above and the stories of those in the comments was like literally ‘reading my personal story back to myself’ I honestly couldn’t believed it! First ever time, went to go do it, so anxious, I couldn’t get it up or make it stay, by the end, I couldn’t even feel it! It was just a psychological catastrophe, it happened a couple times again after that and I’ve been psychologically crippled by performance anxiety ED ever since!

      Reading peoples experiences being just like mine and of the same reasons! Makes me feel relief that I’m not alone. And this website and your experience and you’re efforts to help us…. Honestly I could cry I’m so thankful I found this!

      I am going to implement your guidance, I struggle to self relax about this topic, so I’m going to buy the guided relation MP3 (mental impotence healer)

      I prey this works, you’re only alive once, I don’t want to have a life where I could never enjoy the simple act of meeting someone and having sex.

      Thank you again for your resource and help and providing a place where I can share this internal burden and finally tell someone about it!

    14. Hi

      Thanks for this post.

      Here’s my back story. I’m 23 and I’m told I’m a fairly good looking chap. I’m confident in most aspects of life, until it comes to the bedroom. I’ve been single for most of my life, and most of my sexual experience have been alcohol fueled (sad I know). The majority of the time I experienced ED, but put it down to the alcohol. Sometimes it worked, most of the time it didn’t.

      It’s cost me big time in potential relationships going forward. No more than recently, which bought me to this page.

      This time, it all happened sober. For the first time, fully sober I invited this girl I really really liked around, we went to the bedroom.. all fun and games, put the condom on, bang it’s gone.

      It’s completely taken over my mind now. The girl will no longer talk to me. All I can think about is the moment, and it’s tearing me up. How long will this ruin potential relationships for me?!

      I’ve taken to this page, I’ve given up porn (probably fair to say I watched too much of that) and I’ve bought the mp3. I pray to god, despite not being religious, that this works…

      Thanks for your post on this, any other feedback is appreciated.

    15. Hey Brian,

      Does religion play a role in your recovery?
      I came from a hardcore Catholic family and I feel that all this knowledge about sin and stuff that I was programmed with affects my anxiety. For a long time I was led to believe that the only way I could recover from porn, ed and all my issues is to devote my life to God. But here I face a dilemma because I am not married. I hate this feeling. My mind is so fucked up. I just want to be “normal.” I feel that religion doesnt help in my rebooting and in overcoming anxiety. English is not my first language so I am having a hard time explaining myself but I hope you get my drift.

    16. Wow, this resonated with me so much. I have been married over 20 years, I am 44 now and since I was 38 have had bad experiences with anxiety induced ED. I had one failure, and rather than writing it off as being too tired that night, or what have you, I took the failure deep into my mind, and let it rule me. I have used ED meds off and on, usually with success, but now I find myself feeling dependent on them. Yesterday I had a frightening experience, experiencing hearing loss after taking cialis. Thankfully the hearing restored itself within a day (only 30% of those with this side effect ever recover their hearing) Needless to say, that was the last viagra, cialis or levitra I will ever take. I know this is from anxiety, and I know I can overcome it, but it feels so damn hopeless.

      Your page has given me something to work on, some way to try and break this cycle of self-loathing and anxiety that seems to dominate my waking thoughts. I find myself glad when I know we cannot have sex, because I am so fearful, and this is contrary and backwards to how I feel about my gorgeous, beautiful wife of 20 years that it breaks me in half inside.

      Thanks again for this.

    Trackbacks

    1. [...] have performance anxiety. Train your body to relax and your mind will [...]

    2. [...] How to Overcome Performance Anxiety: What Really Worked For Me http://rebootblueprint.com/Performance Anxiety. My personal experience with sexual anxiety is not uncommon among young men recently. This is what happened: 1. I experienced a time when I could not achieve an erection with a girl who I was … [...]

    3. [...] How to Overcome Performance Anxiety: What Really Worked For Me http://rebootblueprint.com/Performance Anxiety. My personal experience with sexual anxiety is not uncommon among young men recently. This is what happened: 1. I experienced a time when I could not achieve an erection with a girl who I was … [...]

    4. [...] want you to know that there is hope. You can overcome performance anxiety so that it’s out of your life for good.  Seriously. I did it. I know other guys who have done [...]

    5. [...] Until then, you can read about how I overcame my own porn-induced ED and sexual anxiety here. [...]

    6. [...] How to Overcome Performance Anxiety: What Really Worked … – Performance Anxiety. My personal experience with sexual anxiety is not uncommon among young men recently. This is what happened: 1. I experienced a time when I …… [...]

    7. [...] How to Overcome Performance Anxiety: What Really Worked … – Performance Anxiety. My personal experience with sexual anxiety is not uncommon among young men recently. This is what happened: 1. I experienced a time when I …… [...]

    8. [...] How to Overcome Performance Anxiety: What Really … – Performance Anxiety. My personal experience with sexual anxiety is not uncommon among young men recently. This is what happened: 1. I experienced a time when I …… [...]

    9. [...] How to Overcome Performance Anxiety: What Really Worked For Me – Performance Anxiety. My personal experience with sexual anxiety is not uncommon among young men recently. This is what happened: 1. I experienced a time when I could not achieve an erection with a girl who I was attracted to. [...]

    10. [...] How to Overcome Performance Anxiety: What Really … – Performance Anxiety. My personal experience with sexual anxiety is not uncommon among young men recently. This is what happened: 1. I experienced a time when I …… [...]

    11. [...] How to Overcome Performance Anxiety: What Really … – Performance Anxiety. My personal experience with sexual anxiety is not uncommon among young men recently. This is what happened: 1. I experienced a time when I …… [...]

    12. [...] How to Overcome Performance Anxiety: What Really … – Performance Anxiety. My personal experience with sexual anxiety is not uncommon among young men recently. This is what happened: 1. I experienced a time when I …… [...]

    13. [...] lot about different techniques I used to overcome my own performance anxiety, which you can about here and [...]

    Speak Your Mind

    *

    Loading...
    Learn How To Quit Porn For Good
    Privacy Guaranteed