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4 Ways To Turn Panic Into Progress
We all have our breaking points at work: that moment where one more negative email or one more misplaced comment will send us into a tailspin of anger, self-doubt, or perhaps a severe crying jag in the bathroom. I’ve been there – at what I like to call ‘the panic point’ – and coming out requires a serious mindset shift.
I’ll never forget the day I was heading into the office and before I even hit the door of the building, I was in tears. I had spent several months working harder than ever to support someone that treated me poorly. Not only that, I recognized that I wasn’t using my talents, so the cumulative effect was like barely treading water. I was collecting a check, but work had become scarcely more than that. I knew I needed to change something.
As I mentioned, everyone handles the panic point a bit differently. You can take all that stress and frustration and turn it inward, or focus on shifting your perspective. I chose the latter and it has made all the difference. Here are a few tips if you find yourself needing to turn your panic point into progress.

4 Ways To Turn Panic Into Progress

1. Take Some Risks

I will confess that when I take action, I go all in. I will throw things at the wall until something sticks. I think this attitude has helped me immensely. Whether you decide to learn a new skill, ask to be moved onto a new project or begin looking for new opportunities elsewhere, the key is taking demonstrable action. If your first few efforts don’t yield anything, keep going until you see some results.

2. Start Talking

Sitting in your own misery in silence is not going to help you change the situation. I started talking – mind you, I did not say complaining – with my friends, family and sometimes complete strangers about what I wanted to do. These conversations opened up new opportunities that I never would have encountered otherwise.

3. Ask For What You Want

For me, one area that really required some growth was learning to verbalize my needs. I knew in my gut that I needed to take on more responsibility, but somehow letting others know about it was a real challenge. I didn’t want to be perceived as ungrateful or complaining. The change occurred when I realized that no one was going to help me change anything if I didn’t bring my concerns to the forefront. I also realized that once I made my feelings known, it became much easier the next time around.

4. Hold Yourself Accountable

This was by far the hardest mental shift to make, but perhaps the most important. I had to learn that if I was unhappy and chose to do nothing about it, it was my responsibility. Perhaps I couldn’t change the people I was working with or the projects I was assigned, but I could change how I responded to them. Once I made that declaration, I could take steps to address the situation.
If you are feeling frustration and anxiety at work, your panic point is a signal that it’s time to make a change. Start by making some internal commitments to change your situation for the better, and watch your external environment begin to follow suit.
Related Post: Networking Interview #22: How to Progress In Your Career

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