Updated: May 19, 2020
Have you ever considered that your anxiety could be one of your strengths?
One of the things that make you stand out for the right reasons?
When looking at anxiety at surface level, the uncomfortable lump in your throat in meetings or the knot of worry in your stomach when you are pushed out of your comfort zone by a new project can seem like something that is holding you back.
However, what if I told you that you could use this to your advantage?
It all comes down to how you react to feeling anxious and how you can change that reaction to benefit you instead.
There are two different ways that we react to anxiety.
The first way we can react is to run away from the situation, by calling in sick or passing the responsibility to someone else so you don’t have to face up to the anxiety. The alternative way to react to an anxious situation is to go for it, knowing that you will feel anxious but you will be rewarded by pushing yourself out of your comfort zone.
Whether we decide to go ahead with the situation usually depends on how far it pushes us out of our comfort zone vs how badly we want the reward from the opportunity. However, if you look at every opportunity as a chance to challenge yourself and grow you can unlock so many new doors and you can see more of your true potential.
Last week, I was asked to speak on a panel in front of an audience of around 75 people. This was by far the largest group of people I have ever spoken in front and public speaking is definitely something that I am not a natural at, yet I decided to say yes to the opportunity.
Other than the great confidence boost I felt after I completed the hour session I know this experience will have benefits that ripple out into the future that I am not even aware of yet.
What I am able to realise through reflection is that I would have never been offered this opportunity if I hadn’t said yes to many opportunities previously that have put me at the forefront of people’s minds when they are looking for people to speak or work at their latest event.
Using your anxiety as your driving force behind your work can make your career take off. It can seem daunting but every journey starts with small steps. If I had been asked 2 years to speak in front of 75 people on a panel for an hour I would have had a panic attack just thinking about it.
If you are open to new opportunities you will start seeing them come to you in abundance. It all starts with a shift in mindset, treat anxiety like one of your assets, challenge it and make it work for you.
Understand that you have the power to go after your goals without letting your mental health hold you back.