I have a very public position, how can I deal with anxiety surrounding it?
Last Updated: 08/04/2020 at 9:07pm
Polly Letsch, LCSW
Clinical Social Work/Therapist
I provide non-judgmental, person-centered, objective therapeutic treatment for individuals of all ages to improve social, emotional, mental and other areas of functioning.
Top Rated Answers
Mark Twain said it best, “there are two types of speakers. Those who get nervous and those who are liars". In other words relax and try to avoid equating public speaking to your self-worth. Also, keep in mind that The audience will never know most of your mistakes, unless you halt your speech, break down, and confess them. Carry on with poise. Give yourself permission not to be perfect.
Learn some coping mechanisms, practice with your family or friends before you use it on the public, rehearse it in the mirror can help and make you feel silly and give you a laugh, and when your out in public remember those moments!
I usually read a book or listen to music. It helps me relax and know everything will be okay. There is nothing to worry about :)
Usually when I feel social anxiety or when I have to give a presentation for a big group of people, I always think that they don't have any clue about what I am talking. I think: "Ohhh, they are not experts, so I can say something wrong and they won't even notice". Just imagine that and it will be more easy for you to deal with social anxiety.
The best way to combat anxiety is to learn how to diminish it. There are many ways of controlling or reducing anxiety like breathing exercises, meditation or simply learning how to distract yourself; researching these and practising can help control nerves. I always hated talking to crowds or even strangers and now I have a job where I have to pitch ideas to a large group of strangers every week. I'm not going to lie, I still get nervous while waiting for my turn to speak but as soon as I start, I get so caught up in concentrating on what I'm saying, I forget about my anxiety. This just proves it's all just a state of mind brought on by myself, and if I start it then I can stop it too. Starting off can be difficult, but once you've proven to yourself it's something you can do, everything gets easier. Finding your own way of dealing with anxiety helps too, personally when I feel an anxiety attack coming on, I take a drink of water. There's no biological reason as to why this would help me but it does. I've trained my body to calm down just by drinking water. There's lots of little personal things you may do to steady your nerves, identify these and practise. Try them when in public and see what works best for you. Good luck!
Ask yourself why you feel the way you do. Or conquer it! The more you do something, the less uncomfortable and afraid you'll be. Remind yourself that everything will be okay and you're capable of doing it.
I'm not sure how your anxiety plays out. If you want desecrate coping methods for high levels of anxiety I would advise looking at Grounding Techniques. If you are struggling with a constant anxiety regarding the public position, things like self-soothing, mindfulness, positive affirmations, and therapy can be helpful.
You have to realize that people are not honestly judging you as much as you think they are. 90 percent of nervousness cannot be detected. And if you goof, most people won't bat an eyelash, or at most they may find it endearing. It's all really in your head. Most people are supportive and want you to succeed. You are your own worse critic.
There are different breathing techniques that can lower anxiety levels. Deep breathing can reduce shaking and uneven breathing.
Try to focus on your breathing, keeping it slow and focused. Breathe in for 3 counts, out for 3. In for 3, out for 3. When you are ready, move up to 4 counts. In for 4, out for 4. Continue until you have reached 10, where you are inhaling for 9 counts and exhaling for 9 counts. Then slowly make your way back down to 3 counts in, 3 counts out
Personally, public speaking seems to make people feel anxious. In order to relieve the sense of anxiety, I recommend knowing the material front and back (if it is a speech or group project) and go into the moment with the mindset knowing that you know more about the topic you're telling the people in the room about. That seems to make me feel at ease with the public position.
You can chat with people on 7Cups, but you can also go chat with a psychologist or counsellour. In Canada and the US, they must keep confidentially (no matter if you're famous, in politics, or whatever). If they do not do this, the consequences are serious, and career-ending. There are some situations where they do have to break confidentiality, but they will outline this in the consent form. You can look for people who work with other people who have public positions for extra discretion. Doctors can also help with anxiety. Find somewhere private, and get help.. :) I hope you feel better soon, or learn how to manage some of the anxiety soon.
I am sure you already have tried some strategies. What has worked for you in the past? Also, anxiety is very common and can be treated so it may be helpful to contact your family doctor.
Don't bring work home. Work is only a part of your life. If you have a stressful job, you need to understand work gives you one identity only. When you are not working, you need to enjoy your life. Anxiety tends to creep up on you when you feel trapped or start feeling that you have one track thinking. Then you need to pause and breathe. Often time a short break can help you feel more relieved. Additionally try diversify your identity. If you have a hobby, spend more time cultivating the hobby. Life is too short to devote all of it to work.
How cool is to be a leader and be visible and yet how hard it is to be in any public position and be so visible:) Congrats on a valuable position. The most important is never forget of who you are as a person and never forget friends that you had during the time when you did not have a very public office. Look for real people and real issues and focus on the task at hand. The more you think about the moment to moment presence and reality of your inner world and connection on why did you choose the path that you did, the more you will be content and less occupied by the external factors that cause feelings of anxiety.
Related Questions: I have a very public position, how can I deal with anxiety surrounding it?
How can I overcome anxiety if I can't talk to a therapist or my own doctor?How do I get over feeling that everyone is going to leave me?Everything in my life is messed up. Motivation works temporarily and I'm not suicidal but feel it's pointless to live like this. What should I do to feel hopeful? How can I get what I need from my doctor? I feel extremely sick whenever I leave my house, what can I do? I have trouble with my school work due to procrastinating. And my anxiety always gets in the way. How do I get things done?A family member thinks I am lying about where I am going but I'm not, what should I do?How do I know if I did the right thing?Is it hard to think critically about something you love?How do I overcome the fear of cashiers?