The number of people experiencing unhealthy anxiety at work is staggering.
In my practice, I see many reasons behind unhealthy anxiety at work.
It is typically caused by:
1. Low self-esteem for various reasons;
2. Thinking you are going to be ‘found out’ that you’re not really fit for the job;
3. Feeling like you need to know the answer to EVERYTHING;
4. Thinking someone may say to your boss how incompetent you are;
5. Being asked to do a presentation, where, again, everyone will see how incompetent you really are.
As a result, your anxiety will cause you to:
1. OVER-ESTIMATE the perceived danger (there is NO DANGER, just a little discomfort);
2. And UNDER-ESTIMATE your ability to deal with the perceived danger.
This may lead to:
1. Mild anxiety symptoms (feeling sick, hot, cold, shaky, sweaty);
2. Massive anxiety symptoms, leading to a full-blown panic attack;
3. AVOIDING COMING TO WORK THAT DAY;
4. ESCAPING THE OFFICE JUST BEFORE THE DREADED EVENT.
If it does, there are things you can do to TURN THINGS AROUND.
This is what you do:
a) Look honestly at the perceived danger. Is it real? What exactly are you afraid of? What is going on? Don’t stop until you come up with REAL REASONS FOR FEELING LIKE THIS.
b) Have you done this before? What did you do in similar situations? Why is it so different now? Get real with yourself, keep asking yourself these questions and remind yourself of previous successes in similar situations.
c) ESCAPING AND AVOIDING DREADED SITUATIONS AT WORK IS NOT THE WAY TO DEAL WITH YOUR ANXIETY. Go and TEST your fears- use F E A R (Face Everything And Recover) to stand up to UNHEALTHY ANXIETY.
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