Anxiety at work

Hi, I have been going through a bad few months with anxiety and it is affecting my job. I have not been able to go in today because of a team meeting they have every Monday morning. I absolutely dread it and even though there are only 8 of us, I feel sick with nerves, start panicking and feeling numb at the thought of having to go in to it and talk.

I have never been able to talk in front of people for fear of embarrassing myself by saying something stupid or getting tongue-tied. I am constantly worrying about what other people think of me outside of this meeting so to have all eyes on me when I have to talk (only for a minute) the anxiety takes over and I can't even leave my house and get myself in to work.

I have just started hypnotherapy to try and help with the anxiety and build up my confidence.

I wondered if anyone else finds it challenging talking in a group whilst suffering with anxiety and panic attacks?



3 Replies

  • Hi Louise

    I'm sorry to hear you're going through a bad time at the moment, but you're definitely not alone! I find it extremely difficult to speak in front of groups of people. I am a student at University right now, so presentations are a regular occurrence. I have however been working on a placement for a year, but it means that I am completely dreading my final year in October as I know I will have to get up and give about 3 presentations throughout the year. All of these presentations will count for a relatively large percentage of my grade aswell, and I'm really not sure how the heck I'm going to cope - I can't even put my hand up and ask or answer questions in front of people as I'm so paranoid that they will think I'm an idiot!

    I have to admit though that actually carrying out these talks (as I am usually forced to do!!) does make me realise at the time that I CAN do it and whilst it's not my favourite thing to do, it's not the worst thing that could happen. I think most people who suffer with anxiety end up with self esteem issues as a result, and so we become really hard on ourselves and convinced that everyone else is judging us when actually they could all be just as nervous!

    I hope the hypnotherapy works for you, often figuring out where our issues come from can help us cope. Good luck with it all and I hope you manage to relax a little today! x

  • Hi Lou,

    That is such a common anxiety in the work place. I certainly experienced it alot, way back in the mists of time.

    I think these days, anxiety is far more understood in the workplace than it was in my day.

    Have you thought of explaining this anxiety to your fellow team meeting people. I would now just be straight up with them, tell them how it is for you at the moment. It will release a lot of the stress of hiding it away, and maybe allow you to actually go into these meetings with honesty, and not have to have the day off worrying yourself sick. Here I've found our speech relaxes too, just by doing this.

    Worrying what others think of us is such a common anxiety too, mainly because it is out of our control.

    Here again, we see a need to "control situations" because of our anxiety.

    Here when we just say " I'm anxious sometimes " it allows us to not start hiding, as when we do hide, we are giving a green light to our anxiety to carry on.

    Dissipate your anxiety by taking ownership for it, and let it out into the open, we are all struggling human beings. Anyone that cant relate to that is lying to theirselves too.

    We cant expect anyone to think of us in a good way, as there sight is marred by their own insecurities.

    A saying I use is " whatever other people think of me is none of my business "

    Accept yourself for being a struggling human being, that is not perfect, just human, with all our frailties. when we do this, we are not as frail, we learn to accept ourselves just for us, it really is all ok. Give yourself a cuddle :-)

    Now, realise and accept that all other humans are struggling too, and thats what makes them say stuff, judge others, etc etc look beyond the surface, and smile, its all ok.

    CBT therapy might be a useful tool to help you with this too, its available through your doctor. Just let them know how your struggling, and ask for a referral.

    Wishing you some anxiety free work meetings, and a lovely day


  • Hi Lou, The best thing for you to remember is, we all feel like this!!You are not the only person who gets nervous and anxious if they have to present / talk infront of a small or large group of people. Its just most people dont talk about it. I read you message and thought, wow thats most of the people I know or talk too on a daily basis. These people are individuals that earn alot of money who have to present to clients all day and every day selling or educating people via PowerPoints, presentations, etc, etc. I dont know what i can say to make you believe you are not alone and what you are feeling is normal!! I have recently joined a group called ARM, Aniety Rebalance Method, - I think it would really help you if you joined up and got some free information. I was exactly the same as you are now, but i am now better with my anxiety and panic attacks (hot flushes / spaced out feeling, etc). Give it a go and see if it helps you! PLEASE STAY POSITIVE AND FOCUSED AND DONT BE SO HARD ON YOURSELF!! xx

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