Uncertainty and anxiety can be your worst enemies. They will take away your motivation if you allow that to happen. And even though having anxiety is rather common, you may not know where your anxiety comes from. It’s worth investigating, because the more you’re aware of what causes it, the better you’re able to handle it.
We might as well conclude up front that acknowledging, recognising and understanding anxiety is the only way to help yourself in this area.
We’re guessing you’re probably one of those marketers who feel like they need to do everything themselves, and, as such, that you are overburdened with tasks, and that you may feel like you have no leftover energy to do anything after work. You might feel tired, maybe even a bit nervous having other people around you, and you might not feel genuinely happy.
If you feel like…
- You are over- and under-reacting to things
- You have a lack of attention
- You feel physically and mentally drained
- You having difficulty staying focused or making decisions
- You become easily frustrated on a more frequent basis
- You argue more with everybody around you
- You feel tired, sad, nervous, numb, lonely or worried
- You experience changes in appetite or sleep patterns
- You feel confused and often don’t know what it is that you are feeling.
….then, there is a chance you have not laid a proper foundation in your own needs (see our blog post about it HERE).
And if you’re in this state, how helpful and valuable do you really think you’re gonna be? If you feel that way and you still keep working, you’ll just break yourself apart even more. The thing is that when you feel anxious, your attention span is distorted, and you’re in danger of overreacting or even underreacting to certain situations, which is potentially harmful to you and your future.
Feeling too tired, too nervous, and over- or under-reacting are all signs of anxiety.
But that doesn’t mean you should fear anxiety. If you’re aware of those signs, you can easily help yourself.
By its definition from Wikipedia:
“Anxiety is an emotion characterized by an unpleasant state of inner turmoil, often accompanied by nervous behaviour such as pacing back and forth, somatic complaints, and rumination. It is the subjectively unpleasant feelings.“
The bottom line here is, no matter how awful your anxiety might feel, it is exactly that: It is only something that FEELS awful. Nothing less, but definitely nothing more, and it is nothing to be afraid of. We all feel anxious sometimes and that’s okay, we just need to understand it in order to control it.
If you know what signs you are looking for in yourself, then you suddenly learn how to identify them and deal with them much more effectively.
Typical signs of anxiety can be
- verbal, or
Furthermore, anxiety is also associated with drug use, and this includes alcohol and caffeine. So, when signs of anxiety are present, beware of making rushed decisions. They will often fail.
At this point, it’s important to draw a clear distinction between simply being in an anxious state of mind, and, on the other hand, having a medically diagnosable anxiety disorder.
As for the first one, it’s quite common and we all have it sometimes. This also includes feeling anxious before a major meeting or performance, but it usually goes away if we know how to calm ourselves. So that is nothing to be afraid of. However, if a person has had depression, he or she will be inclined to have a higher awareness of any signs of anxiety, which might trigger a stronger reaction.
But anxiety does not always mean a mental disorder. For example, one diagnostic feature is, that a person is anxious for 2 weeks or more, that is, being exclusively anxious for 14 days in a row and feeling that one cannot overcome something alone. In that case, some kind of help or intervention is needed to get back on track.
The anxiety diagnosis is not a life sentence. It’s more like pneumonia – you just need to cure it and get back on track again! It’s not a personality disorder, just an anxiety disorder. So don’t be afraid to explore it within yourself and to help yourself or ask for help if needed.
Where does anxiety for marketers mostly come from?
There are 4 major things that cause anxiety for marketers, they are:
1. Unbalanced lifestyle
We all have 24 hours per day. Have you ever put some serious thought into how you use your time? In order to be balanced, you should follow the 8-8-8 principle as follows:
- 8h for work
- 8h for recreation and your support and social network
- 8h for rest
This principle was created already in 1810 by Robert Owen and it’s still considered the golden nugget for a balanced lifestyle.
The whole world, including all its societies and the entire world of business, has made greater leaps in development in the last couple of decades than in all of human history combined. New phenomena and technologies are manifesting themselves almost daily, the collective amount of data uploaded online for consumption every hour is beyond count. Companies around the world are under enormous pressure to develop new methods to better understand their customers, competitors, industries, and best practices. They keep integrating new processes and new information to make their daily work more efficient.
Bestselling author and motivational speaker Brian Tracy stresses how electronics and people are the biggest distractions because we are constantly talking to other people. This is one of the main reasons that you so often might end up feeling unproductive, lonely and dissatisfied!
The best solution here is to turn off all imaginable distractions, settle down and focus on the one task at hand. This can be called your “time-out-zone”. This is the essence of self-organizing. You need to start and complete the most important tasks before anything else, every day! Are you doing it, or are you procrastinating? If you always start with the small things, you will never get to the major tasks. Like Brian Tracy also says: the credit for wrapping up sales, giving presentations or other big tasks goes to the ones who started and completed them, not to the ones who just tried and did a little.
3. Information overload
A study conducted by researchers at the University of California, San Diego concluded that every day people are inundated with an amount of information equivalent to 34 GB (gigabytes) of data. To put this into perspective, if you tried loading this data into your laptop, it’d be overloaded within one week.
Through mobile phones, online entertainment services, email, television, radio, newspapers, books, social media etc. people are exposed to about 105,000 words or 23 words per second for 12 hours every day.
This amount of information is overwhelming. And since we have to make decisions every day, how, then, do we decide which information to use when making these decisions?
Which information is the most recent and relevant? Is it scientifically acquired? Has it been proven? How do we ignore all the “noise”? How do we find any clarity in all this chaos?
4. An addictive disorder
Why do we talk about addictions in regard to marketers? Well, amongst marketers, there are some typical issues that may arise, which can lead to different kinds of addiction:
- You might work overtime too often, which, for some, turns into a work addiction.
- You might be holding on to a destructive relationship. And in that case, you’re essentially doing it because you are addicted to it, and you will continue to suffer until you are ready to break free from it.
- You might be unable to work without drugs or alcohol to relax, in which case, you’re effectively addicted to drugs or alcohol. Some also start gambling, which tends to develop into an addiction.
- You might cope with your anxiety or stress by constantly eating too much, and/or too unhealthy food. That could very well spiral into addiction, too.
- Apart from all these, it’s possible that you have a dependency on anything else in your life that effectively binds you and keeps you from moving up in your Marketer’s BPS Pyramid.
There are many ways proven to reduce anxiety.
But first you should really start by acknowledging and accepting it. And then you can start with finding solutions to yourself. If you are an overwhelmed marketer then our suggestion is to start by balancing your lifestyle and focusing on now.
It is easy to get carried away by a steadily growing pile of unexpected tasks. Eventually, what you might find is that instead of actually doing the work, you are stressing about the work that needs to be done.
You might also discover that when you’re at work, you are stressing out about not being able to be with your family. And when you’re with your family, you are thinking about all the tasks at work that need to be done. As a result, you are practically never living in the present moment.
We tend to be so preoccupied with “what’s next” that we forget to experience the present — right now.
Remember: Anxiety feeds upon your stress. So be mindful about focusing on one important thing at a time.
But if you feel anxious and you want to help yourself immediately, try the following:
- Take up to three of your most important tasks from your to-do list and forget the rest of the tasks for a day or even a week! Turn off all distractions so you can focus.
- Set aside the necessary time for those important routines that support you — eating, sleeping, anxiety techniques, morning rituals, etc.
- Always plan, it will help to calm down your mind: deadlines and tasks need to be in your calendar
- Hurry slowly. Don’t make rushed decisions, and don’t jump to conclusions. If possible, sleep on it.
- Focus only on what you CAN control and don’t worry about the things you can’t change!
- Talk to somebody you can trust. They should not be judging you. They don’t have to give advice — or even listen very well; sometimes we just need to say things out loud and clear to see the solutions ourselves. You always have the possibility of talking your anxiety out of yourself.
Remember this quote:
“Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strength.”Charles Spurgeon
Do not let yourself empty your own strength! Become a Powerful Marketer!
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