On Pins and Needles

A woman seeks advice about how to feel less anxious and be more proactive in the workplace.

Your Career Coach

Full of Doubts

Dear Michele,

What is the best way to be proactive when you are feeling anxious and you are not performing up to snuff? When you have a ton of unspecified anxiety?

— Not Really Sure

Dear Really,

There are several things you can do when you feel uncertain, full of doubts and, oh, like a complete loser.

First, inventory your strengths – what are the things you do that inspire you, psych you up, that you love? Are you using them every day, in your work and professional life? If not, start today. When you operate from your strengths, you are always more confident and successful. And if your job doesn’t center in your strengths, get a new job.

Second, if you’re not sure how things are going at work, ask for feedback from your boss and co-workers. Whether formally or casually, ask the question, “How am I doing?” Chances are, you’ll get the reassurance you may need, or at least some direction on how to turn things around.

Third, relax and take deep cleansing breaths. Especially if your personal dial is generally set on the Anxious setting. Breathing and taking the time to do things that relax you can move your setting from Anxious to Content.

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