The self-induced anxiety recipe often goes like this: What you’re about to do is important, but you’ve never done it like this. It’s incredibly crucial, a turning point, a high-risk venture, a moment in time that you won’t have again. You need to get nervous because the importance of the moment demands it. You can vividly picture all the ways it won’t work…
And on and on.
A common approach to decreasing this cycle is to talk yourself down from the ledge about how important the upcoming event really is. Something like, “No one will be watching, I’m exaggerating this moment, it’s no big deal, it’s not as important as you think, it doesn’t really matter.”
The problem with that approach is that you spend your day trash-talking your good work and its results. By diminishing what you’ve accomplished, you make it less likely you’ll see yourself as worthy of even bigger achievements tomorrow. In fact, this is an important thing you’re about to do, and low talking it undermines the very reason you’re doing this work in the first place.
Here’s an alternative, go ahead and be nervous. Instead of fighting that anxiety, dance with it. Welcome it. Relish it. It’s a sign you’re on to something. This is an important moment, after all.
When we welcome a feeling like this, when we embrace it and actually look forward to it, the feeling doesn’t get louder and more debilitating. It softens to the point where we can work with it.
Your anxiety is actually excitement and bravery and can greatly enhance your work experience.