Pushing Through Fear At Work

I don't know anyone who hasn't experienced fear in the workplace. Women experience it more than men and often struggle with imposter syndrome. Why can't we have the confidence of our male co-workers? Today I'm discussing my experience with these feelings, and how I combat them!

Stress, fear, anxiety...I'm pretty sure I've experienced them all at work. Whether it's a tight deadline, important presentation, I'm asked to do something I have no idea how to do, or I'm about to press send on a major communication to thousands of people. There's always some sort of pressure on us as employees. If you don't feel a slight pressure to excel or do your job well then you're probably not being challenged. If you don't care about messing up then you should probably start searching for a new job. I wouldn't say I'm a perfectionist, but I do NOT like letting people down especially my boss and co-workers.

In my professional experience over the past 9 years, I've learned it will work out. Everything is a much bigger issue at the time, but when you look back you realize how small it was. I like to tell myself "Everything is going to be OK." I remember crying and thinking I wouldn't get through a tough time at work, but I always did. When I thought I couldn't take anymore, I did. It's hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel when you're in it, but I want to encourage you to find ways to think outside of your situation. You will get through it! Sometimes I say, "What's the worst that can happen?" I then compare it to the actual worse thing that has ever happened to me which is lose my dad and I remember life is too short. Work is so much less important than our family, so take a step back and put things in to perspective.

Photos by Madeline Harper

Find a friend who you can talk through it with. I've learned my husband isn't the best person for that. Sometimes he is, but sometimes he doesn't want to hear it. He wants to solve the problem, and I just want to vent. My advice is to let your partner know ahead of time what you want out of the conversation. Do you want them to help or just listen and give you a big hug at the end ; ). It's still very important to find a co-worker you trust that you can talk to. I also advise getting a mentor that can help you see the bigger picture, and can give you advice on how advance in your career and work through tough situations at work.

The worst thing you can do is run from your fear. I wake up many mornings knowing I'm about to go in to vulnerable and high stress situations, but I roll out of bed, pull up my pants and show up. The first step is SHOWING UP! Face it head on, and you'll soon realize with each passing day you will get through it. One day, one step at a time. Task by task, email by email, meeting by meeting...you can do it! It also helps to wear a power suit ; ).

Anyone else struggle with these feelings?

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