What to Do When Good News Makes You Anxious
Does your list of New Year’s Resolutions include overcoming “irrational” anxiety? According to the Harvard Business Review, your anxiety might not be that irrational after all. Do you find yourself becoming anxious in response to “good” news? Promotions, accolades, raises, recognition or rewards? You’re not alone! Each rung you climb on the career ladder comes with new opportunities and new benefits, but it also comes with increases in stress, risk and responsibility. Higher stakes can result in higher anxiety. The good news is that this is somewhat normal, and that there are tools you can use to work through this kind of anxiety.
Here’s an excerpt from Steven Berglas’ article, and I hope you’ll click the link below it for the full text.
No one in a position of responsibility wants to confess to “the jitters” or “sweaty palms.” Dislocate a shoulder and you can cry for sympathy all you want. But if you’re worrying incessantly about the quality of your work, letting on about it can feel risky — and generate even more anxiety.
In my experience with executives, nothing about anxiety is as disruptive as its propensity to pop up when least expected, or in contexts where anything but anxiety seems appropriate: after a positive outcome like a promotion, a plum committee assignment, or stellar quarterly results. Unfortunately, those who don’t know how painful these bouts of anxiety are usually trivialize them: Women suffering anxiety after success were, until recently, diagnosed with a “fear of success.” When men suffered these symptoms it was called “happiness anxiety.” Actually, it’s neither.
People forget that good news is often a double-edged sword, stroking egos and enhancing status (not to mention financial rewards) with one edge, while imposing performance demands and social isolation with the other…