Overcoming Worry and Anxiety
Hello everybody! Gene Petrov, LDRBRND here. Let’s talk about overcoming worry, anxiety, and overwhelm. These ideas link together to play a negative role in our lives. As LDRBRNDs, we need to be able to handle these situations as they arise.
When worry, anxiety, and overwhelm characterize your leadership, you can’t provide the leadership your community needs and deserves.
Why Do Worry and Anxiety Happen?
Let’s take this back to the beginning. Why does worry happen? Why does anxiety happen? What about overwhelm? Let’s face it: 2020 has been a crazy year with the coronavirus pandemic. We’re all experiencing heightened feelings of instability because of social unrest. External forces can be a part of these negative emotions or scenarios.
But we have to look inside more. Worry stems from caring too passionately about something, someone, or a certain outcome. Caring is good. Caring taken to an extreme turns into worry. When we stew on that worry, it manifests itself into a real problem.
Let me explain it this way. Family is a huge part of my life. I care about my family’s health. Are they getting their needs met on a spiritual, physical, intellectual, and emotional level?
We adopted our triplets from the foster care system. They came to live with us when they were already five and a half years old. They had severe emotional baggage. My wife and I work hard to bring them up to be resilient and successful adults. It’s not easy. The daily grind of teaching, coaching, and parenting can take me from worry to overwhelm in a heartbeat.
Be Mindful of Worry and Anxiety
It’s in these moments that I have to be mindful and slow down. I can’t let my emotions get the best of me. It doesn’t serve me or my family well. I have to calm down, take a step back, and reflect on where we’ve come from as a family and where we are now. We try not to compare ourselves to where we “should be”. As a family, we’ve seen an incredible amount of progress, and that is something that I allow myself to be proud of. It’s something my kids can be proud of, my wife can be proud of, and we can be proud of together as a family.
Go back and look at the past. Review it and find the highlights. Find the high points. Look at it all and say “yes!” Be confident in knowing that you’ve done some great work and you can be proud. This will help you to chase away worry little by little. It’s not a perfect ride, it’s a process. It’s ever-evolving, growing, and changing.
My Christian faith also plays a big factor in who I am. Going back to my faith foundation helps me when worry starts to creep in. When worry starts to evolve into anxiety, I turn to prayer, meditation, worship, singing, and reading my Bible. If you find that these items help you too, then I recommend you embrace them as well.
On the professional side, I worry about these things:
- Am I making an impact in the world?
- Am I changing anybody’s mind?
- Am I helping people?
- Am I serving them?
- Am I educating and making their lives better?
Overcome Worry and Anxiety in Your Work Life
Tactics we use to address worry in our personal lives can apply to our professional lives as well.
We knock out tiny step after tiny step to work on accomplishing the big picture. It’s hard to see progress on the day-to-day. When we step away from the dots, we see the gorgeous mosaic of our efforts.
Over and over, we redefine our own success. In turn, we feel like we need to do more. Create more. Engage more. That’s part of being an ambitious, goal-oriented leader. We want to make a big impact.
Being ambitious is great. Extreme and unrestrained ambition can be troublesome. It can lead to a feeling of never good enough. That mentality of downplaying all your hard work becomes concerning. I like to take time to reflect on all the things that I’ve done and look at the lives that I’ve touched. This takes away worry and anxiety.
Progress might seem a little disjointed at times. Remember that life, leadership, and marketing is a story arc, not a singular point.
When I look back at my journey, I can see that everything I’ve done has been worthwhile. I get a sense of ease and restoration. If I can change one life, then I know it’s all been worth it.
Identify Worry Early
The key is to chase the worry away early. Don’t let it lead you into a place of anxiety. Anxiety can come and go in stages. Anxiety develops when you’re so completely fixated on one thing, that you put yourself in a negative headspace. You might forget that you’re making a difference in the world. You might forget that you’re doing a great job.
If that anxiety festers in your spirit, it can lead to a place of overwhelm. I’ve experienced this myself and I bet a lot of us have too. We talk a lot about burnout and shutdown when it comes to this stage. The negativity and internal and external pressure lead us to a place where we can’t act anymore. When this happens, we may need to look for professional help.
I want to guide people away from worry, anxiety, and overwhelm. Once someone can lead themselves, then they can be a LDRBRND who’s leading other people — leading customers. It’s nearly impossible to lead from a place of anxiety.
Worry. Anxiety. Overwhelm. Don’t get stuck in these places. Anxiety doesn’t provide results. Find balance. Look at the past. Examine your progress. Show yourself some grace.
How can we show ourselves grace? Do this by giving yourself some extra margin of error. It’s okay to make mistakes. Acknowledge those mistakes, fix them, and grow from them.
Many times we need to examine what reality is, and how our own expectations fit into that reality. Sometimes we set expectations for ourselves that are way too high. Some people expect a lot from themselves, myself being someone of that nature. The key is to find that middle ground between realistic expectations and complete fantasy. Where do your expectations come from, and how can you adjust them to be realistic?
Communication Is Key
In the professional realm, communication is key. Voice your worries. Ask for help. Sometimes we need someone to bounce ideas off of. Find the people in your community that you trust the most and ask them for help. This will unburden you of your worry. Being a lone wolf doesn’t help. It’s important to be able to reach out to people and express the things you’re experiencing. Don’t be afraid to connect with others.
You may even find it helpful to express what you need help with on social media. You can say that you’re struggling with “x, y, and z, and would appreciate other people’s experiences and input.” This may be something you’re comfortable with, or it might not.
It all boils down to a willingness to reach out to your core circle. The close friends and family members that make you feel safe. These are the people you want to rely on and lean on when worry starts to creep in. Allow it to happen. Don’t fight it. Don’t be too proud to ask for help. That is what they are there for.
As a LDRBRND, be open to your community about struggles, worry, anxiety, and overwhelm. By doing this, you are connecting in a very genuine, human, and deep way with your community.
Be The Helper
LDRBRND’s also have to be ready to step up and be the person that helps. Be a helper. Be an encourager. Initiate the hard conversations. These pandemic times already have many people experiencing some level of anxiety. Many people worry that they’re going to get sick or die from this disease. Many others are anxious about the socio-political situation. We need to be willing and able to reach out.
Be A LDRBRND
There is a lot of power in recognizing the reality of where we are and what we’re dealing with. Honesty, transparency, and openness attract people. It keeps people within the circle and makes them want to be part of your community.
And that is the foundation of all we are doing here. The LDRBRND is the vital tie between leadership and marketing. The approach that draws people in, creates intimate connections, and empowers people to serve each other within the community. Worry, anxiety, and overwhelm don’t stand a chance when we have that type of community.
If you are struggling at all in these areas, please reach out. I am here to help. If not me, please find somebody within your circle of safety. The sooner the better.