Have you ever heard someone say “I would rather be in the casket than have to give the eulogy”? Although humorous and dramatic, this statement brings attention to anxieties that many of us experience. These anxieties follow many of us into the workplace during networking, public speaking, and interviewing, and in times of workplace change (restructuring, acquisitions, new policies, etc.). With severe anxiety affecting nearly 24 million of adult Americans today, it is crucial to confront these anxieties in order to stay ahead of the game and fully encompass your career goals, and transform your anxiety into success.
Reasonable anxieties can be instrumental in motivating us to make changes, but more importantly, if confronted appropriately, propose an incredible growing experience that propels us toward success. Three ways to transform your anxiety into success include:
Think of it as the Titanic | Compartmentalize
Some people see the ability to compartmentalize as a negative thing; on the contrary, it’s actually a crucial self-protection mechanism. Compartmentalizing is about maximizing what you can do in a specific amount of time. Possibly the most detrimental action you can take when feeling anxious, is to do nothing at all. One of the reasons the Titanic sunk is because it did not have enough compartments – it could not close off the damaged hull. Decide mentally when you are going to process through it, and how much time you will allow yourself to do so. By doing this, you intentionally control anxiety, rather than it controlling you.
Who’s Pulling You Out of the Water? | Network with Strength
Although difficult and humbling, one of the best ways to take care of yourself is to find people who can offer support. A few examples of this might be: ask a friend to go to a networking event with you, obtain feedback on material for upcoming presentations, grab coffee with a friend to discuss personal/work-related stressors or identify someone who is skilled in an area where you feel anxious, such as public speaking, and ask for honest feedback.
You’re not the Only One in This Boat | Normalize the Experience
Acknowledging that you are not the only one who struggles with anxiety can lead to essential breakthrough in your workplace. Open up and discuss possible scenarios or real life encounters that make you anxious to lead to further bonding in your workplace and unexpected improvement in your attitude.
Anxiety only has as much power as you give it. Rather than allowing yourself to drown in anxiety, transform it into motivation, and leverage it to propel you toward success.
Another related blog that may be of interest is: “Is Stress Driving Your Growth…or Driving You Crazy?”
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