Maternal anxiety in achievement

Varying levels of anxiety are natural in achievement and motherhood

It is not surprising that you may feel anxious from time to time. You are trying to optimize the work-life juggle. You have it all. And then sometimes you don't.

While extreme anxiety is a clinical condition, a baseline level of anxiety is natural in our modern, information-saturated world. Sometimes the feeling is labeled more as uneasiness.

You may especially feel anxiety in the realm of attempting to be more productive, because you may not be able to achieve your tasks or goals.

When you feel off like this, you need to rely on a structure to help you help yourself. Leaning on someone is always the right option. But sometimes you might find that you can't. So let's start with what you can do yourself.

As cliche as it sounds, start with mindfulness

In Thomas Sterner's The Practicing Mind, the antidote for anxiety in achieving one's goals is to be more observant. The proposed "Do, Observe, Correct" technique is for doing the action you need to, observing non-judgmentally the feelings that may be arising as you are struggling (e.g. anxiety), and then coming back to the action you were originally doing so you stay on track.

This is strikingly similar to the thought process you engage in with meditation and mindfulness.

This is more than a technique, it is a practice. The exercising of this process over and over again will help it become more automatic and empowering.

Feel the loss of control

While mindfulness is ideal, when you are in a state of extreme anxiety it is difficult to just calm yourself down to the point of being able to observe and use advanced planning functions of guiding your thoughts and actions back to the present task at hand.

Sitting with your ill feelings is powerful. Not attempting to change them or judge them or yourself is even more powerful. As described in Haemin Sunim's The Things You Can See Only when you Slow Down, you are not your feelings.

So feel your low states, but don't listen too carefully at the inner critic.

Accept the balance of uneasiness and success

Successful people are not the type who are unburdened by stress. They generally have a lot of it and do a very good job at moderating it or hiding it from you. Part of the allure of successful image branding and representation.

When you realize how fake all of that is, you get to a state of accepting a well known fact - if you are growing and learning, you are going to feel a sense of uneasiness. Not only is it natural, I would argue that you should be seeking that.

In fact, if you feel uncomfortable in your line of work, I would argue that you are on the right track.

This discomfort has everything to do with skill acquisition and learning to evolve in a changing and sometimes scary landscape.  

As described in Michael Singer's The Untethered Soul it is not possible to live a fear-free life. So embrace the fear and uncertainty along the way as you try new things.

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