If you're wondering if you have workplace stress, ask yourself if you have the following workplace anxiety symptoms:
Avoiding the things that trigger anxiety is a common — and habit-forming — response that, in the extreme, could indicate a phobia. But avoidance does not work in the long term. And it could keep you from getting a raise or promotion, ruin the job interview process or even cost you your job.
The key to managing and eventually overcoming workplace anxiety is to achieve balance among the various messages your inner voice conveys. When you experience anxiety, that inner voice reads from a "critical script" that tells you things like: "You have to be perfect." "Everyone is watching, so don't mess up." "You're not good enough." "You don't have anything to say." You truly can turn down those negative messages while still learning from them. Keep reading.
"You don't have to be perfect." "You've done this before and succeeded." "People want to hear what you have to say."
"Rehearse, but don't overdo it." "Spend some time thinking about the questions people may ask you and prepare some answers."
"This is one of many assignments." "Your job does not depend on this single event." "Asking questions is part of excelling."
"Just do your best." "Learn to accept your adrenaline."
"Think of a different approach." "Build new skills." "Look for the positive payoff from a project you dread."
When you balance these different inner voices, you will find that your workplace anxiety diminishes or even disappears. Once your mind is balanced, you can learn to accept and even welcome (as strange as this seems) the flow of adrenaline that occurs when a stressor presents itself. Soon you'll experience that adrenaline as energy to propel you forward. Your physical symptoms will ease and your obsessive worry will be replaced by eager anticipation.
With adrenaline as your friend, you'll experience a new level of confidence and satisfaction that will build on itself — and make a positive impression on your colleagues and supervisors.
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