Does Feeling Like A Fraud Make You Anxious At Work?

Jonathan Berent, a psychotherapist and business performance consultant has worked with over 10,000 professionals and says anxiety, ranging from mild to intense, on the job “is an epidemic.” He says that whilst it is normal to feel nervous at times, there is a spectrum and in some cases the anxiety can take control preventing people from functioning in their job. There are five basic triggers, and not surprisingly, one of the most common is the fear of public speaking. Others include interacting with authority figures, taking on new challenges and perfectionism. The final one – the fear of being noticeably nervous – in conjunction with any of the others increases anxiety further. Feeling like a fraud can manifest itself in worrying whether your boss or coworkers believe you are capable of doing your job or know what you are talking about. This then prevents you from volunteering for assignments or trying a new challenge. The good news is that techniques can be learned such as recognising the adrenaline and looking at facts logically. For example realising that the reason you have been asked to chair a meeting or speak to the team is because of your expertise in that subject. In my coaching with female breadwinners I recommend they start small by practicing with their team and increase the frequency of speaking until they are ready to move up to the next level. Don’t wait to feel 100 per cent ready before you take up opportunities, take a deep breath and say yes, or you may never be asked again. There are more tips and advice on speaking, and being comfortable in raising your profile, in my book Beyond The Boys’ Club.

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