Coping with Workplace Fears
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- Certificate of Completion
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- Simple tools and skills that will help to deal with fears and anxiety at workplace
- 10- 30 minutes per day
Stop letting your anxiety and fear sabotage your career growth, create difficulties and disrupt your life.
Enjoy the mix of methodologies, theories, and practices
At the application level, we use the modular concept which gives you an opportunity to use each practice separately depending on your situation and intention. At the same time, we encourage you to use all the tools consistently. We give you practically applied tools sourced from philosophy, psychology, mindfulness, neurobiology, and human system dynamics.
A solution, instead of just tips and tricks
There are tons of easy tips and tricks on the Internet on how to appear confident and show that you have it all under control. Still, power posing or making eye-contact are more about camouflaging the fact that you are scared. What you actually need is to find the roots of your fear, work with it systematically and, finally, be able to manage it.
Is this course for me?
Have you experienced dramatic changes recently? Does your work presuppose a lot of communication on an everyday basis? Do you often have to deal with tasks requiring a creative approach? Is the feeling of public failure familiar to you?
You are not alone in that!
Fears are complex, that's why we developed an easy course
We have thoroughly studied fears from a number of perspectives: such as Psychology, Philosophy, Neurobiology, Mindfulness, and Human System Dynamics. Based on this knowledge, we have created an ultimate combination of unique techniques, in-depth theoretical exploration, and easy-to-use tools.
Letter from co-author Anastasia Tumanova:
"Hi! my name is Anastasiia, I'm the co-author of this course. I’m here after overcoming several burnouts and break down with the only one reason - to share helpful tools for daily life in order to deal with uncertainty, better adapt to changes in life, make choices, live your life.
My career started with the girl who is giving leaflets on the street, shifted to business developer position, later I joined the startup, then I was leading my startup. Also, I worked as a consultant for international corporations as an innovation manager, leading R&D teams.
Together with Jazz, I started exploring my fears. And I’m glad to introduce him to you as my trusted guide. Together with him, we created the approach for solving problems and adapting to changes. "
Anastasia Tumanova is a Certified Human System Dynamics Professional Associate. Psychology consultant, gestalt approach. Actor at the theatre of improvisation. Co-founder of REAL School. Co-founder of the School of ME.
- Millennials at work
- Startup founders
- Everyone who is facing daily stress at work
- Business leaders
- Project managers
- Product managers
- HR professionals Creative professionals
- Marketing managers
- Sales managers
We will be happy to answer this question after we introduce you to Olivia and John. They are not real people, but collective images of real office workers with specific working situations. First, let's get acquainted with Olivia. Olivia, just like 55% of Americans, is trying to cope with one of the main stress factors at work, a deadline, and, like 49%, is dealing with problems that can arise. We will analyze what the Cycle of complex Changes is, what the emotional stages are, and also use several tools for working with anxiety and finding the cause of fear.
In recent key findings: two-thirds of employees have felt stressed, experienced fear and anxiety about work in the last 12 months. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America 40 million American adults are affected by anxiety, 15 million of them have Social Anxiety Disorder. In August 2018, Barnes & Noble, the largest book retailer in the United States, announced a huge surge in the sales of books about anxiety; a 25 percent jump in June 2017. "We may be living in an anxious nation," one press release harshly notes. What a sad reality…
What could Olivia do to go to the tipping point and find the cause of her exhausting stress? I want to share with you two tools developed by the HSD Institute. The first one is called Questions for Uncertain Times. Here is what it looks like. The set of four questions.
1) What have been recent surprises?
2) What are the 3 most important things about the present situation?
3) What is for sure and what are your questions?
4) What will make a difference in the near future?
You can use another simple tool to get out of the state of tension and to gain clarity. It is called Pattern Spotting. This is the process of identifying patterns, certain scenarios of events or behavior of people around you. Here are five fill-in-the-blank statements that focus your attention on what you can see to help you bridge to what you cannot see from the first look.
These statements are as follows:
Generalization: In general, I notice…..
Exceptions: In general,... except…
Contradictions: On the one hand,...on the other hand,...
Surprises: I am surprised by…
Puzzles: I wonder….
Social anxiety disorder is a huge problem nowadays, and the increasing number of people who are suffering from it is just a proof of this fact. In this section, we’ll talk about social fears in the workplace, break them down into categories and learn about other deeper fears that always stand behind them.
It is possible that you have experienced something like John has.
Believe me, these feelings are absolutely normal, since everyone has fears and they can be completely different. Psychology can help us understand the reason for John’s fears. When he was a kid, he played a little role in a school play. When the boy was coming on stage, he forgot his words. He got so nervous that his foot slipped, and he fell down. The audience was laughing and pointing their fingers at him. John had a feeling that he spoiled the whole play. He felt so ashamed that after the play he was avoiding communicating with his schoolmates for a month...
Why do we suffer from fear during stress? The thing is that almost all reactions in a stressful situation are based on fear since the main function of fear is survival. What is fear at the biological level and what happens in the body when we suffer from fear? With the development of neurobiology, we’ve discovered the processes hidden from our view that happen in our brain and body.
In order to understand our fears, we can start with social fears that form a group of their own among other fears. Here is a visual model of popular social fears. The cell of social fears has three layers and we’ll start from exploring outer social fears that can be easily recognized. As we move deeper into this model, you will see that there are other basic social fears that stay behind outer fears.
According to studies, every year more and more people are facing anxiety at work. Therefore, it’s becoming a real problem nowadays, but employees are afraid of discussing it with their leadership.
Here’s what statistics say:
Only 40% of employees discuss their issues concerning fear with their managers.
And these are the reasons why it happens:
fear it would affect promotion opportunities 22%
fear it would go in their file 22%
fear of being laughed at or not taken seriously 20%
Our body doesn’t differ a real event from an imaginary one. When John started thinking of what had happened after he ran into Lisa, anxiety and fear hit him, which immediately resulted in an additional tension in the body. According to Harvard specialists in psychoneuroimmunology, “What you think is what you feel”. If you continue to think about any fearful and stressful event, it will trigger the stress reaction and you will experience a real feeling of fear.
Interacting with your own fear here and now is the basis of our approach. In practice, we use simple inquiry rules to create an intention and a certain attitude.
Mindfulness helps us create an attentive, curious, unbiased, accepting, confiding and soft attitude to our fears that is the key to transforming the fears themselves and the person’s way of thinking.
So, what is it? The Past Fearful Event practice is an experimental simulation of facing your own fears by recreating a past fearful event in your mind. It’s really easy to do and takes only around 10-15 minutes. Regular everyday practicing strengthens the skills of a new and more competent interaction with fears where you’ll be able to meet and explore your thoughts, emotions, and feelings safely.
In this section, we’ll look into different strategies of fear-avoidance, which, quite surprisingly, are an obstacle on the way to overcome fears. We’ll see how this kind of activity drives us into a negative cycle of stress that not only strengthens our fears and causes exhaustion but also worsens our productivity and well- being.
We’ll also discover a simple exercise that can help us calm down and get out of a peak state of fear.
In an attempt to avoid fear, John, again and again, falls into a vicious circle of suffering, into the so-called negativity bias.
It starts usual stress cycles, where it activates automatic irrational thoughts leading to fear, which are reflected in such behaviors as avoiding people, compulsive eating and being a workaholic. All this creates stress. As soon as the cycle begins, it closes in itself. Therefore, he falls into the trap and runs in it like a hamster on a wheel.
We all have this bias as a dominant bias by default and this is the reality.
Every day when he wakes up, John, just like all people in the world, has a certain charge of energy for a day. During the day, John spends his charge and therefore needs sleep to recover and recharge. The fact is that getting into a negative stress cycle, we end up only spending our energy.
The Future Fearful Event practice is an experimental simulation and preparing for a potential future situation when you have to face your fears. We understand that we can’t tell the future, so an imaginary fearful event may not happen at all. However, even a mental experiment can lead to a fear response in the body. You will be assisted by our guide to have an intelligent interaction with the fear response, and you’ll have an opportunity to improve your skills of coping with fearful events.
According to statistics, 34% of Americans working in the office fear that their boss would interpret their actions as a lack of interest or unwillingness to do their work. As Olivia, in fear of not being accepted, or like 31% of Americans fearing being labeled “weak”, agreed to a new project, although she already physically could not lead more processes in the company.
Feeling intense fear or fright, we sometimes use a mechanism called regression. This means that we resort to strategies that, at the previous stages of development as an individual were fundamental to us. We are experiencing a regression when we have absolutely no energy, we are depressed and refuse to apply mature strategies of behavior that are adequate to the new circumstances or new reality. Therefore, it is so important to work on your anxiety, determine the cause of fear, and, based on the energy wave model, transform the maximum amount of energy into action.
If for now, you have a desire to deal with your social fears on your own, then I want to tell you about another tool. It is useful both for setting the attitude for an important conversation and in Olivia’s case for working in conditions of frequent changes, with a high level of stress. After all, as much as we would like to plan the future and control everything, we have no influence on many things.
In addition to these 4 principles, when preparing for the meeting, Olivia could use another tool for analyzing her usual behavioral or interaction strategies with the boss and how they can be adapted to the tasks of reality to make their interaction even more effective. This simple tool is called Adaptive Action. It consists of three questions: “What? So what? Now what?”.
The stories of John and Olivia are different and at first glance, it seems that their social fears are also different. If you start to study them, you can find common basic fears that are behind external ones: fear of being judged and not being accepted, fear of changes. These fears do not actually pose a real threat to their lives since we remember that the function of fear is survival. Therefore, they require attention and careful study, as they greatly limit John and Olivia in their freedom, in their worldview, and at the same time, they lose touch with reality.