Believe it or not, anxiety is a normal aspect of everyday life. In this video I show you how anxiety is the mental state that gets you to an appointment on time and enables you to remember all the things you have to do. It’s a state which keeps you alert and able to function at a high level of effectiveness.
You can use it effectively in a job interview for instance – it can motivate you to do your best and make a good impression. It can push you to work harder, achieve more and receive rewards you seek. Fear of making a mistake may mean that you check a calculation or measurement one more time or work hard to ensure your report is free of errors.
What aspects of your business create a feeling of fear in you?
Asking the boss for a salary increase?
Having a difficult conversation with an employee about their performance?
Discussing a colleague’s recent bereavement?
Presenting your ideas to the Board?
Asking for the business?
Looking at the accounts and realising cash flow is an issue?
Chasing the invoice?
Committing to a supplier?
There are many business situations which can engender fear and it can be debilitating. There are general physical aspects of fear but we are all different and respond to it in different ways. Why you are fearful is known to you if it is a conscious fear. You may fear rejection, anger, upsetting another. When you understand how you respond to fear you can manage that behaviour and change it.
Excitement is a mental state but it also affects the body. It begins in the brain just like anxiety. Excitement can also be experienced as ‘butterflies’ in the stomach, trembling, weakness or sweaty palms. A similar response to fear.
When we are excited by expressing ourselves congruently, pitching our business, we are creating a similar physical response to fear.
You can change your mental state and accept that being out of your comfort zone is going to create feelings of anxiety. The key is to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. As long as you are pushing yourself, doing something you have never done before or handling a difficult situation, you are never going to feel comfortable.
When you are ‘excited’ about presenting to the Board and I am ‘fearful’, we experience the same exposure to risk and the same physical experience but a different mental state.
Irrational or “unwarranted” fear is usually because we have an imagined outcome. Change your imagined negative outcome to a positive outcome. See things going well. Imagine you have achieved the fearful thing. How good are you going to feel afterwards and how excited will you be to do it again?
The simple technique of recognising that you could choose to be excited can enable you to respond in a way which allows you to access your courage. When you access your courage and do the thing which makes you feel uncomfortable, you can find your excitement and that gives you confidence to do it again.
Contribution by Elaine Flook – see more articles at elaineflook.com
Elaine is a Performance Therapist and Consultant to Bookable.