How are you supposed to do well and excel in a thing you’re scared to death of? How will you show what you can do and are capable of when your brain flips you onto the primitive fight or flight switch?
Some fear is good and useful as a guide, as a tool showing you that something is of great value to you but the moment you allow the fear to become the primary emotion governing action you’ve already started to lose the thing and you’ve moved from creation to terror. If your life is not in any imminent danger this deep fear serves you no purpose and is an obstruction which would be easiest to just numb – but don’t. Learn to control your emotions instead of them controlling you. An exam is not life threatening, a job interview will not kill you, a big presentation or public speaking will not murder your person, you won’t die from a socially awkward encounter. If the fear is unreasonable treat it as such and don’t give it the power it doesn’t deserve. You’re not really afraid of the consequence but of being judged and not accepted, yet in this fear you judge yourself more harshly than anyone else will. Competition is the natural state of affairs nowadays, but it is not about being better than somebody to prove something to yourself, you have nothing to prove to anyone. Don’t enjoy being compared to others, don’t judge your success by the failure of others. Do what you feel you need to do for your own reasons, and measure yourself to the you from yesterday.
The thing is fear can be countered by real skills of alertness and knowledge. Only if you feel you’re unprepared and don’t know will you be stricken by paralyzing fear, but this is also a benefit, a blessing in disguise – if you interpret the fear as not knowing enough you have the ability to go and learn it now that you know what you don’t know. If it feels that the fear is detrimental to your life quality practice it out. Do the action so many times that you stop being afraid, deliberately get yourself closer and closer to the fear. Even if it feels like you’re gonna die – you’re not. It will pass, and the fear will subside with each new try and will be substituted by courage. Fear is a natural mechanism, there is nothing wrong with you. It is helpful in dangerous split second decisions but has no place in things that can be handled calmly and rationally. Work on it, it will get better, we promise.