Updated: Jun 11, 2020
You'll never know which of your colleagues has anxiety.
You'd never be able to pick them out of the crowd.
You'd never guess it was your teammate, your boss, your employee.
People with anxiety, especially in corporate America, are the ones trying the HARDEST to appear completely normal.
More than that, they want to seem fully put together. On top of things. Productive. Performing.
It's the perfect smoke screen, and most of them don't even realize they're doing it.
Because while they're busy trying to convince the world around them that they are completely FINE, better than fine, doing great,
they are actually trying to convince themselves.
I've been telling people about my mission lately. New and old acquaintances.
When I tell them about who I serve - single women living with anxiety who want to exit corporate work because it's no longer sustainable for them - they say they can't think of anyone like that but that they'll keep it in mind.
I smile and nod because no, of course you don't know anyone like that.
You are either that person or you aren't.
You won't be able to identify that person because they are adept at keeping that from you. They don't want you to know!!
It takes a LOT for someone to get to the point where they ask for help.
I know, I've been there.
I tried everything else first.
I tried keeping it together. I tried pushing through.
I tried caring less.
I tried therapy.
I tried changing companies.
I tried changing industries.
It took a LOT for me to get to the point where I realized this was not sustainable. That I needed help figuring it out. That I was not making any progress trying to do this by myself.
It was a long time before I told anyone what I was feeling. It was even longer before I understood that it was anxiety. It was longer still before I asked for help with it.
Then, it was family that I reached out to. Followed by friends.
Slowly, bit by bit, I told people about what I was experiencing.
Not until I was having panic attacks and chest pain at work did I mention even the slightest hint of what I was going through to my coworkers and manager.
You might have a different experience, and if so, I am seriously, ridiculously happy for you!
I sincerely hope we can get to a place where talking about this is more acceptable and welcomed in the workplace. We are all trying to do the best we can. And most of us, even if we don't understand, want to help.
So, what can you look for?
"not sleeping great"
These are more socially acceptable things to say than "anxiety," "depression," or "panic."
Taking more sick days. Taking more vacation time.
Saying less but working more.
These things are tiny subtle signs that things MIGHT not be well.
It should always be OK to ask, "How are you doing?"
"Want some help with that?" (project, assignment, document, etc)
"Want to grab lunch?"
"Want to take this meeting outside?"
It's impossible to know what to do because each person is different. But, knowing that someone is just there, in whatever capacity seems right, makes a big difference.
You don't have to figure it all out on your own.
It's not as bleak as it seems in your mind.
Things can get better.
I think you're pretty awesome. I think you have a lot to offer.
And I think you deserve to be happy.
I believe in you.
p.s. Contact Me to request a coaching session. You'll receive peace, clarity, and one action you can take.
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