Tuesday, December 15, 2015
By Julie Cohen, Professional Certified Coach
Do you find yourself spending time while you’re at work, and even when you’re not at work, worrying about your performance? Thinking, for example:
If any anxiety-producing questions are running through your head, they are not helping you be an effective professional, leader, team member, or human being.
No Place for Worry
Worrying does not serve you at any time. It takes you away from your priorities, diminishes your focus and prevents you from engaging at your full level of competence and confidence. It robs your company or organization of your full capabilities and talents.
On the personal front, you lose the energy and enthusiasm you might have had about your professional contributions. You stop taking time to enjoy opportunities and challenges that can develop at work, and it’s likely that your colleagues are not connecting with you as they have before. You and your relationships suffer.
Why Do We Worry?
If worrying has no useful role in our work and lives, why do we do it? Most people will answer this question based on situations that have occurred to them or assumptions they make. For example:
We’re all very good at looking at ourselves critically; this list is endless.
In reality, the reason we worry is quite simple: we focus our energy and thoughts in the past or future, instead of the present. We usually do one of the following:
With all these possibilities of worry around us, you must learn to curb this emotion and minimize the result.
Be Wrong, So What?
To begin with, we need to put our actions in perspective. Work is filled with ‘ups and downs.’ Ninety-five percent of what we do and contribute at work is filled with our accomplishments and success.
The other five percent of ‘uh-ohs’ or ‘I could/should have done something differently,’ can be fixed or turned in to learning experiences. Worriers will see and remember what they didn’t do and want to fix it; instead they should focus on their positive impact.
Mistakes will happen and you will resolve them. You must choose not to focus on the little issues and be kind and gentle to yourself.
‘What’s Next?’ not ‘What Happened?’
When you accept that not all things will be perfect, then you need to address how to move ahead. You are likely to over-analyze a negative situation. While analyzing the scenario is useful, to an extent, you must learn from it and move on. It’s easy for worriers to get stuck here.
Mistakes will happen and you will resolve them. Choose to focus on what you can impact. Ask yourself ‘what now?’ and ‘what’s next?’
Banish the Imposter
The Worrier that shows up in each of us has a name: ‘The Imposter Syndrome.’ The symptoms include questioning our competence, fearing that we will be ‘found out’ that we’re not as smart as we appear to be and disregarding all of our successes, contributions and accomplishments.
How do you get rid of this unwanted condition? Keep these remedies in mind:
Change your Worrier in to a Warrior and return to working with confidence.
*A great book for exploring the concepts of ‘staying present’ is Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn.
This article is reprinted with permission from the May 10, 2007, issue of The Legal Intelligencer. Copyright 2007 ALM Properties Inc. Further duplication without permission is prohibited. All rights reserved.
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