As a working professional, you know that the slightest dip in your concentration can lead to catastrophic errors that may cause issues with not only your workflow, but also important client deliverables. Thus, it is important to understand everything you can about this debilitating disorder, and what you can do to manage the condition and improve your performance at work.
Anxiety can lead to mild symptoms that sometimes feel normal to people who are used to them, along with much harsher symptoms that characterise anxiety attacks. Both can prevent you from applying yourself fully to any task at hand, leading to disastrous consequences for your career. Wit that in mind, you must keep an eye out for the following symptoms:
An anxiety attack is slightly different from generalised anxiety, in the sense that one feels an overwhelming sense of distress, fear, apprehension or worry that just doesn’t seem to go away. Individuals can go between having generalised anxiety and anxiety attacks when exposed to certain triggers, which is why it is not accurate to assume that if you only have the former, you are not prone to experiencing the later. Thus, you must keep in mind the following symptoms:
When it comes to generalised anxiety, most researchers are unsure about the causes. Many experts believe that a combination of genetics (low serotonin levels or an overactive hypothalamus) and environmental factors (past abuse or traumatic childhood) contribute to the development of anxiety. Similarly, many also believe that there is a hereditary component to this disorder, with the children of those who suffer from anxiety being more prone to suffering from the same.
However, when it comes to work anxiety, there are a few specific causes that researchers have been able to identify in order to help individuals. Any one of the following causes (or a combination of two or more) can contribute to work anxiety:
Work anxiety can interfere with your professional performance, making it near-impossible for you to reach your full potential as a resource. The following are a few ways it prevents you from doing your best:
To begin with, the lack of concentration and panicky feeling generally associated with anxiety can reduce your job performance tremendously. When you cannot focus on the tasks assigned to you, the likelihood of making mistakes and offering low-quality work becomes quite high. This can lead to a bad performance review, lower raises, and even an escalation if matters continue. Additionally, anxiety can also lead to fatigue, which can lead to an inability to hit targets the way you once did.
When you have anxiety, particularly anxiety at work, this can lead to strained relationships with your superiors and coworkers. This is especially true if your work anxiety also manifests as social anxiety, making it quite hard for you to form meaningful connections at work and network with important people. Unfortunately, networking is such an impactful tool in one’s career that even professionals that may not perform as well as you can be asked to accept promotions simply because they have better workplace visibility.
In order to gauge how well different employees perform in different situations, managers offer a range of professional opportunities to people and evaluate the way they handle different challenges. Professionals that suffer from work anxiety find themselves turning down such opportunities as the idea of failing or not being able to meet certain criteria. As a result, managers form negative opinions about employees and believe that they lack the capabilities to handle larger products, even if this may not actually be the case.
This particular impact is actually a part of a very vicious cycle – you may feel like you are unable to perform well due to your anxiety, which leads to a lack of performance and ultimately low confidence in your abilities. The cycle continues until you start to question whether you are a valuable asset to the company, either causing you to quit, or making you keep your head down in fear.
When you have anxiety related to your work place performance, it makes you less likely to take risks that pay off. The fear of failing stops you from being creative or innovative in your work, which eventually labels you as a regular mid-level employee that only sees limited growth. Stagnated growth can also increase your anxiety levels and also lead to the development of depression, making matters worse.
Being able to plan your workflow in a way that ensures smoother productivity is a crucial skill that every employee needs to grow, irrespective of your position in the organisation. Anxiety reduces your ability to concentrate and think clearly, leading to a lot of time spent just thinking about what to do next, how not to fail, and worse case scenarios. As a result, your planning skills are not as strong as they should be, which proves to be detrimental to your career.
Individuals who suffer from anxiety often end up isolating themselves from others in an effort to reduce their anxiety levels. This is especially true if your anxiety at work leads you to believe you are an imposter that does not deserve the designation you are at, as speaking to people may reveal you to be a fraud. Staying away from colleagues may seem like a good decision in the moment, but ultimately, it makes individuals feel more isolated and depressed, which enhances their anxiety even further.
Working professionals that suffer from work anxiety find it quite challenging to speak up in front of a group of people or be a part of a team. In most organisations, team work (or the ability to get along with colleagues) is a huge parameter for success. Thus, the inability to function as a team can lead to a poor evaluation at the hands of your superiors (as well as your peers), which can place many obstacles in your career. As most promotions come with leadership roles or management roles, employees with anxiety often find themselves being rejected for the same.
Continually underperforming, losing concentration while working, feeling fatigued, and feeling worried each time you receive a new assignment can eventually lead to the loss of employment. In today’s fast-paced world, it is not practical to expect employers to give people multiple chances when they only display a lack of performance consistently. Receiving poor feedback and multiple warnings regarding performance can lead to your anxiety levels increasing, which will only make things worse for you. Seeking professional help and developing healthy coping mechanisms that can result in better performance and an easy management of the anxiety can be some of the best steps you take towards improving your career.
Many working professionals think that anxiety is a regular part of one’s work day. While a little bit of stress is a natural part of one’s career, work anxiety goes deeper than that and can impact your performance. If you experience the following, it means that you must get in touch with a professional hypnotherapist to seek help: