Everyone experiences anxiety and fear to some degree, but some individuals allow overwhelming fear and intimidation to prevent them from pursuing their dreams and achieving important goals. A fear of failure and lack of confidence are often the root causes of this crippling anxiety, leaving those individuals affected to seek out safer options. If this sounds familiar, there are some steps you can take to reduce academic or career worries and reach your true goals.
Seek Out Role Models
Seeing others accomplish their goals helps you stay motivated to continue in the pursuit of your own. Thinking about others who’ve successfully made it through tough times may reduce some of your fears. A fear of the unknown can produce a lot anxiety, so talking to someone that’s familiar with your situation can help even more. With the availability of websites that rate or describe careers, classes, and employers, you may not even have to ask questions face-to-face.
If you want to accomplish anything, you’ll have to accept failure. You will experience disappointment and setbacks no matter how much talent or effort is involved. In fact, the most successful people are those that experience setbacks but keep going despite negative experiences. For perfectionists, it can be difficult to accept not being the best all the time. Unfortunately, you’re not going to come out on top every time and things that are too easy might not be satisfying in the long run.
Identify Factors You Can and Can’t Control
Spending time worrying over things beyond your control increases stress and anxiety. Write down your worries and then identify things you can do to improve outcomes. If you’re worried about a particular class, for example, you can’t control exactly what’s on the tests or how the teacher grades, but you can set a study schedule to go over your notes each day and read all the material assigned. You may also go to office hours, find a study group, or get a tutor to help you. By taking action and letting go of things that aren’t within your control, you’ll increase your confidence while reducing general anxiety.
Keep Your Log-Term Goals in Mind
When anxiety makes you question your path, write down your goals including why you chose to pursue it and what advantages you’ll have from achieving the milestone. Maybe your goal is to obtain a certain degree and you want to pursue a high paying, interesting career in a related field. In that case, completing the degree will pay off for years to come. By keeping the long-term advantages in mind, you’ll possess more motivation to get through the short-term obstacles.
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