We’ve all been there…. working while anxious about how you are performing. Are you doing the right thing? Are you meeting expectations? Will your boss agree with your assessment? Can you do more?
“When you are anxious, you are thinking about the future. Being able to see the future, or envision what is possible, is a fabulously important skill.” And when this vision includes a view of “what if” and “how come,” the anxious feeling enters the equation and achievement is rooted in that feeling.
Dr. Susan Bernstein calls this anxious achievement. After pushing herself too hard in management consulting – and passing out during a client presentation, she knew something needed to change. She decided to pursue a PhD in mind/body psychology and help people with career issues.
Is being anxious negative?
The drive to do well comes from a deep-down feeling of not being good enough, not getting things done well, so there is an anxiety to perform well that can leave us being hard on ourself and beating us up over our perceived performance quality – perfectionism, people-pleasing, overworking. And, as a result, we can move away from those feelings.
What would happen if we change the definition of anxious back to being excited rather than fearful? There was a time when the word anxious was used to describe something we were looking forward to doing. This perspective will put our mindset in a positive space rather than one of fear or reluctance.
Physical attributes of feeling anxious
When we feel anxious, our body responds. Do you pay attention to those feelings?
- a pit in your stomach
- a clenched jaw
- a fluttering feeling in your throat
- loss of appetite/stress eating
Becoming aware of those physical signals can help us navitage the feelings of anxious achievement. During our conversation, Dr. Bernstein offers some insight on how we can acknowledge the physical signals and create new patters of thought and response.
About Dr. Susan Bernstein
Dr. Bernstein helps existing and emerging leaders to harness all of their strengths – including their emotions – so they can access their authentic leadership, elevate their careers, and make a great impact in their organizations.
In her personal and professional life, she often heard, “Stop being so emotional!” But she didn’t know how to do that or that she didn’t have to be at the mercy of her emotions. When Bernstein started studying mind-body psychology, she had a physical “aha!” in her body. Breathing differently, or changing where she placed her eye gaze or moved in certain ways, resulted in a feeling of calm and more confidence.
Resources mentioned in this episode
- Dr. Susuan Bernstien (website)
- Dr. Bernstien on LinkedIn
- The Pursuit of Purpose archive
If you found yourself shaking your head and saying, “I really need to focus on my brand strategy” or have been disappointed by the results of a video, brochure, or social media campaign, let’s talk strategy. Schedule a discovery call with me today. Together we’ll find the clarity, consistency, and confidence necessary for your brand to grow and thrive.
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