If you have ever experienced pre-meeting anxiety, you know that once that anxiety has taken hold of your body, it can feel impossible to quell. And it if it happens repeatedly when meeting with the same person, it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy that creates a never ending loop of anxiety.
There are many different tools you can use to reduce the anxiety.
- Mindful Awareness
These are all excellent tools that sometimes work. However, just as Excedrin temporarily reduces the symptoms of migraines, these tools can temporarily reduce the intensity of anxiety. It doesn’t get to the root of the problem and cure the source of the anxiety.
To eliminate anxiety, you must dig deeper within yourself and get to the source of what is creating the anxiety. Many times, we are taking the right actions; however, if we are doing the right things for the wrong reason, it can feel icky…which then creates anxiety. The cure for this ailment is to get 100% crystal clear on why you are doing what you are doing. Ask yourself the question: What is my commitment in this situation?
When you connect the dots between what you are doing and what your true commitment in the matter is, you will feel whole and complete.
For example, if you are anxious every time you meet with your boss, ask yourself, “What is my commitment in this situation?”
If the answer is “I want to impress my boss”, how does that feel for you? I suspect that it might feel icky because ultimately your success then lies in someone else, i.e. your success depends on whether or not your boss views your actions as impressive AND is willing to acknowledge that to you.
After answering this tough question, you might then realize that the reason behind your actions is what is causing the anxiety. If your commitment in the matter depends on someone else, you are giving your power away to someone else. We don’t want to give our power away. Upon this realization, you can then do the work to shift your mindset. Perhaps you could change your commitment to “I strive for excellence in my job and excellence looks like X, Y, and Z.”
What was previously anxiety will turn into positive energy that will propel you forward. You will exude confidence. You will have full congruence in that situation.
Mahatma Gandhi once spoke in front of the House of Commons in England for 2 hours and brought an essentially hostile audience to a rousing standing ovation. He did this all without using any notes. When reporters pressed his secretary, Mahadev Desai, on how it was possible that Gandhi could mesmerize his audience in that manner without any notes, Desai said:
“What Gandhi thinks, what he feels, what he says, and what he does are all the same. He does not need notes. You and I, we think one thing, feel another, say a third and do a fourth, so we need notes and files to keep track.”
Answering this one question will get you connected directly to your purpose. It will help you gain congruence. Anxiety cannot exist in a world of congruence. Understand your commitment in any situation and anxiety will disappear.