Managing Anxiety at Work: How Anxiety May Be Holding You Back In Your Career

More careers are unintentionally hurt by anxiety than many people might expect. When anxiety becomes chronic and isn’t addressed, it takes over your brain and makes you behave in ways that can be self-sabotaging and out of character with who you really are. Anxiety is also very sneaky. Many people are unaware that they are experiencing anxiety. Some may simply consider it nervousness and think they will get over it. However, the longer it goes unacknowledged and unaddressed, anxiety can negatively impact your career goals and can have adverse effects in your personal life.

According to a recent article at, there are six “hidden ways” anxiety can affect your work life. I’m posting edited excerpts from the article here. You can read the entire unedited article by clicking the link at the end of this piece.

Here are six unexpected anxiety warning signs to watch out for that could be detrimental to your career or work life:

1. You don’t speak up, even if you have ideas to share.

Anxiety can have you jumping to negative conclusions about how your colleagues will perceive you. It can keep you quiet even when you have something important to say. You might have great ideas, yet you fear that others will judge you, or you are afraid that you’ll stumble over your words. Staying silent in team meetings can give other the incorrect impression that you lack ideas.

“Instead of ‘I don’t want to speak up in this meeting,’ say to yourself, ‘My anxiety doesn’t want me to speak up in this meeting.’ Identifying how your anxiety is attempting to control your behaviors can help you begin to challenge the anxious behaviors.”

2. You keep missing deadlines.

Procrastination is a common way that anxiety shows up at work. It’s a mechanism of anxiety and a form of avoidance. Maybe you’re dealing with imposter syndrome or questioning your ability to perform. Either way, avoiding your duties will only hurt your well-being and your career in the long run.

3. You’re grouchy and judgmental of your co-workers.

Anxiety can also creep into your mood and make you less pleasant to work with. “But a sneaky way that anxiety can show up is as an outer critic — feeling irritable, judgmental, and annoyed by coworkers. You may find yourself micromanaging others, seething in meetings or otherwise disengaging to manage this manifestation of anxiety. Maintaining good relationships with colleagues is not just good for helping workdays pass quicker; it’s also critical to helping you advance within your company. People talk, and making enemies of your co-workers will hurt your career. If you do not address this side effect of anxiety, people may walk on eggshells around you or try to avoid working with you.

4. You’re too exhausted to network or job-hunt.

If you find you need coffee to survive the workday and are constantly drained, your anxiety could be the reason why.

“There is no space to rest when you’re dealing with anxiety at work because you’re worried about a potential future outcome and therefore are coping with the demands of the present and what potentially could happen in the future. Over time, this can prevent you from job-hunting or planning your career. Often, due to anxiety, you’re so exhausted and depleted that you don’t have the energy to even consider that there could be something better.

5. You turn down new opportunities.

Anxiety can often stem from a fear of the unknown, which can keep you trapped in roles and jobs you should have left long ago. we learn about anxiety not through avoidance, but through confronting our fears and realizing that these types of emotions can be a temporary state.

6. You’re stuck in a career you chose only to please others.

If you’re a people-pleaser, you often worry more about what others think about you than about how you think about yourself. This is an anxious work trait that can prevent you from seeking the kind of authentic career you want while leaving you stuck in a career you hate.
This often happens in who are first-generation Americans pursuing a certain kind of job because it will make their parents happy.

How Serenity Wellness And Counseling Helps Patients Overcome Anxiety

One of the main approaches we use to treat anxiety at Serenity Wellness and Counseling is called EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing). This approach looks at past events that may have led to negative beliefs about yourself and created the triggers and stressors you experience today.

Through visual and auditory cues like tapping and side-to-side eye motions, EMDR therapy can help you become more in-tune with the bodily sensations of anxiety. After all, the body is the storehouse of past trauma. Becoming more connected with it can help you work through past pain while staying grounded in the present.

Additionally, we often draw from an approach called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).

While EMDR works closely with the body, CBT is more focused on the mind. The goal of CBT is to identify the negative cognitions at the root of your anxiety (e.g., “I’m not good enough” or “I’ll never succeed in life”) and restructure your thoughts. Doing so can help you improve your mood and feel more confident in social situations.

Another tool we use here at Serenity Wellness and Counseling is LENS (Low-Energy Neurofeedback System).

LENS is a form of therapy that seeks to change your brainwaves so that neural blockages become unstuck. It provides tiny sources of feedback stimulation that help you “reset” or “reboot” your nervous system. This allows for more flexibility in your thinking and greater clarity and peace of mind. Through LENS Neurofeedback many patients report having greater energy, motivation, focus, and calmness.

Neurofeedback has the potential to balance the brain in a language it can understand. We can help you feel calmer, gain mental clarity, and sleep better using this technique. Over 85% of patients see a noticeable change after just a few sessions.

With the right help and support, it is possible to thrive in spite of anxiety. By exploring the root of your stressors and strengthening your window of tolerance, we believe we can help you manage your symptoms and feel more at ease in your own skin. We believe you can overcome the anxiety that may be preventing you from moving ahead in your career.

No matter how anxious you feel, it is possible to improve your confidence and experience peace of mind. To begin your journey of overcoming anxiety, healing and empowerment, you can call me at 281-944-SWCC for a free 15-minute phone consultation. I look forward to working with you!

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