How to Overcome Anxiety at Work

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For 10 years, I’ve managed my anxiety with a combination of medication and therapy. However, managing my mental illness doesn’t mean it’s completely cured. Perhaps the most difficult place to navigate my anxiety is in the workplace.

Anxiety looks different for everyone at work. For me, it looks like the inability to make decisions. According to WebMD, generalized anxiety disorder means one feels an excessive, unrealistic worry and tension with little or no reason. When the opportunity comes to make a decision at work, I am flooded with worry and self-doubt, excessively contemplating every possible outcome…

If I choose X, people will hate me.

If I choose Y, my boss will think I’m an idiot.

If I choose Z, we’ll never get the desired impact.

Unable to trust myself, I was relying on my boss to make the right decisions. One of my bosses pointed this out to me and asked me to start moving on my own. I asked myself why I was scared to make decisions. After reflection, I realized that I was telling my story: If I make a mistake, I am not good at this job. 

Realizing this fallacy, whenever I had decision paralysis, I told myself “making a mistake doesn’t define my self-worth.” I repeat this mantra until I feel my heart rate calm down and my mind become more present, slowly rewiring my brain to trust herself.

I still think through different implications and ask others for input, but now I am not as afraid to take all that information to make a decision, because now I know that periodic mistakes do not define my ability to do my job or my own self-worth.

Tags: Mental Health

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Stephanie Delacy

Stephanie is a blogger and content creator who loves to write about dating and mental health, especially when the two inev... See Full Bio

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