Anxiety and Fear
We’ve all had those moments of fear or anxiety. You’re sitting their waiting for an interview to begin, giving a presentation (like I did a few weeks back), or even going on a first date. I’m naturally prone to anxiety and I’ve been working on it for years.
I had a boss once who said worrying about what could happen was just “borrowing trouble”. The Happiness Advantage points out how focusing on error-proofing leads to fixation on failure instead of planning for success. As humans, we’re pretty terrible at assessing risk.
Of late, I spend a lot of time questioning myself with, what’s he worst that could happen? Take my presentation a few weeks back, sure, I was nervous, but if I let that stop me, what would happen? I’d probably hamper my career significantly. So I thought about what’s the worst that could happen? I’d probably get nervous, stammer and maybe have an ineffective presentation.
I’m a manager, below director-level, who stepped up to a challenge. If I didn’t do well, it’s a growth opportunity, but I’d be seen as someone who was up to try a new challenge and willing to pitch in. On the other hand, if I turned it down, I’d be seen as someone who limited themselves and wasn’t up to that sort of exposure. As is, the presentation went well and I received a lot of compliments from individuals throughout the organization.
What’s the worst that could happen applies as readily to the outcomes of your endeavors as it does the outcome of choosing to not take on a challenge. 9 times out of 10, even if you don’t succeed fully, you’ll at least gain valuable experience.
Ms. Frizzle from The Magic Schoolbus said it best, “It’s time to take chances. Make mistakes. Get messy!”
Image Credits: Luis Daniel Carbia Cabeza