Stress and anxiety are part of one’s regular life as a women leader. Since leadership often leaves you alone, overcoming anxiety is even more difficult. However, as a woman in business, one cannot afford to slip up or make incorrect decisions due to anxiety in business. So, how to deal with stress and anxiety? Let us find out!
Understanding and Facing Your Fear
To overcome anxiety, you need to understand and analyze its source. Try to identify how stress is affecting your leadership abilities. Hence, these steps can help you understand and face your fear as a female leader.
Identify Your Assumptions
Often our feelings are not a result of our reality but overthinking. We often keep telling ourselves false narratives that give rise to the feeling of our anxiety. And these stories are often packed with several assumptions. While anxiety in business is nothing new for women leaders, needlessly assuming about situations that may create misery for the family or harm your value or identity can lead to severe outcomes.
So, analyze the stories you are telling yourself and identify these assumptions or extreme outcomes. Observe those aspects you are overdramatizing and figure out a more realistic or empowering alternative story.
Observe the Role of Fear
While fear is common to everyone, as women in business, you must observe its role in your life. Fear can manifest itself in several ways.
- Fight – You may dive into the minutest details, lose sight of the big picture, or try to micromanage. Essentially, you are trying to manage everything. This kind of response also involves being ill-tempered and unreceptive to input.
- Flight – You may often find yourself running away from problems in the face of fear. This response involves surrendering one’s responsibilities and retreating into an inner world. This response can leave your team directionless if you are a woman leader.
- Freeze – You can also find yourself paralyzed while facing your fears. This can involve moving from one thing to another without making real progress.
- Fawn – You will also find yourself trying to please other people. You value others’ opinions and go overboard in pleasing them. This is nothing but a false attempt at creating a sense of safety. People often involve themselves in petty politics or ingratiate themselves with their superiors instead of leading their teams with courage and conviction.
Hence, find out the way fear manifests in you. Anxiety in business is not just an internal problem. It may impact your ability to win over others, think clearly, and take productive steps. You may also be falling back on your old behaviors without moving forward.
Anticipate the Consequences
Before learning how to deal with stress and anxiety, you must understand that they are inevitable. Therefore, you also need to prepare yourself accordingly. If you are overcome with anxiety, you may not have accepted all possible consequences. Considering all worst-case scenarios is an integral part of women’s leadership. While you may require some coaching, once you accept that you will be fine no matter what, it helps you become bold and overcome leadership anxiety.
Read Also: How to Deal with Feeling Overwhelmed as a Woman Entrepreneur?
Managing Your Stress-response
Once you have identified the source of your stress and anxiety, you now need habits that can help you manage them. These are mental muscles that need to be built over time and offer healthy ways to deal with stress and anxiety.
Notice When Fear
You need to address the fear response the moment it shows up. To do this, you must understand what it feels when anxiety shows up. It can be in the form of each in your neck or shoulders, a knot in your stomach, or a sense of pressure from all sides. Once you have identified it, there is no need to judge it. Instead, try to accept and acknowledge it. It is your body’s way of saying there is a threat, but after some time, you will realize that it is only an imaginary threat.
You may feel that in the face of fear, your brain hijacks your body and moves you want to a stress response. But since you know it is an imaginary risk, you must counter this tendency by developing mindfulness to bring yourself back to the present moment. Taking slow deep breaths or rubbing your finger and thumb lightly are examples of such activities. They bring your attention back to reality and drive away all those imaginary scenarios. One can interrupt their stress response process through these activities and allow their prefrontal cortex to analyze the situation calmly.
Once you have calmed your mind, you need to ask yourself creative questions. As women in business, one must ask themselves questions like what a bold and compassionate leader would do in this situation or how can I serve my team in the best possible way. These questions will enable you to think of creative and valuable solutions and take you away from your instinct to fear response.
Knowing healthy ways to deal with stress and anxiety is crucial to women’s leadership. As women leaders, one must be able to bounce back from any setbacks in business or life. One should realize that they have more power than they know and, therefore, need not worry about possible consequences. Hence, look within yourself if you are wondering how to deal with stress and anxiety. Face your fears and identify your stress responses the moment they show up. Additionally, try to focus on the present, and you will find all your leadership anxiety melting away.
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