Today is one of those days when I feel FREE and in control of my emotions. I’ve been feeling a lot more like that lately, but not naturally, I had to work on it VERY HARD.
I was in Naivasha last week with my high school best friend and other really good people that I value so much. We arrived there on Thursday and guys I can’t explain the mad time we had. It was awesome and to be honest there is no point trying to narrate the experience because you just needed to be there to understand.
So by Friday evening I started getting some anxiety. If am brutally honest the only alcohol left was beer and since I prefer to go the Russian way with some hard liquor, I was quite sober. Being sober in this case meant being aware of how happy I was in that moment, but then my brain decided to get it twisted and started freaking out about what’s next for my career.
So obviously I start getting irritated because I am like “now why in the freaking Naivasha awesome vibes would anxiety decide to kick in now? All I want is to have a great time with my friends. I am leaving on Sunday and this is literally the only time I have with them until we are back in the same country. Arrrrrrgggghhhhh, A.N.X.I.E.T.Y why?”
There is a story behind my anxiety. I’ve been through a lot guys and I guess you are probably thinking – well anyone can say that, what’s unique about your situation? I think the first thing I want to address is that we should never compare anyone’s pain, everyone with their journey.
I am honest about my challenges because I meet people who tell me things like – “I wish I had your Life” and I often wonder if they are aware of the tough battles I am fighting behind the scenes. In hindsight, I have learnt to count my blessings, and if they had My Life, they would thank God countless times. I am just not sure if they have the capacity to fight my battles, food for thought!
Here is the thing, we were never taught to anticipate tough challenges in the work place, which we all come to learn is a standard experience. You are indeed lucky when you don’t have challenges and ideally the dream is to work smart so that you are surrounded by amazing colleagues. That’s the dream, right? But the reality on the ground is that there are more than enough roadblocks, causing anxiety, depression and other mental/emotional issues amongst the African youth today.
I am definitely not an expert in managing anxiety, but I have most certainly gone through anxious moments which led to really bad panic attacks. I am a strong woman, at least that’s what people tell me, so before I am down on the floor having a panic attack, just know that there is something up and I am doing my best to deal with the situation. I feel like I am literally scaring you right now with what’s going in with my Life, but don’t be, it’s shaped me to be stronger and better.
I wasn’t going NOT to have fun in Naivasha because of anxiety. I was tired of anxiety controlling me randomly and I was determined to overcome it sooner than later. So what I did is that I chose to sleep for an hour, took a hot shower after and joined my friends in the dance and just being happy. That was the first time I managed to control my anxiety, and it started by not fighting it. I read online that you shouldn’t fight it because it causes more anxiety. Since I wasn’t about to tolerate my anxious self, I chose to sleep it off , shower and quite frankly it worked.
I am not saying this is something that will work for you. I am just sharing my journey, how I handled it an anxious moment and hopefully that will inspire you to find something that works for you. I believe some of these things is just about finding what works for you, which is all that matters at the end of the day. Now as for career tips, I believe as African youth, bulk of our anxiety issues are influenced by worries around careers.
These are the 3 career tips I would share with you today
- You actually have 100% control of your career: Many a times we are caught up believing that other people are in control of our careers, be it your managers or colleagues. Which in essence is totally absurd because you are literally the one person that has 100% control. And here is the thing, I know sometimes you can be like “but my manager is the one that can promote me“. Look, if you don’t get promoted, that doesn’t mean that you can’t quit and look for another role that will help you shine and exude that awesome person you believe you are.
- Believe in the spirit of abundance: So this is a follow up from the first career tip. I understand that it’s not easy to just quit your job and get the one that fits your preferences immediately. And this is made worse if you factor in that you have invested so much in a particular role/company – you are probably more likely to compromise on personal well being and happiness as you pray for that promotion or appraisal. I get it and I’ve been there. What’s interesting is that I was literally pushed to the edge of the cliff where I could not rely on anything but myself. I have been forced to take a step back and reflect on what I have that can help me get to that next stage. That process involved thinking big, not limiting myself to the bubble I was forced to burst out of. Don’t think that you can’t be successful without your company, YOU CAN!
- Ask for help: Shit will hit the fan in some stages of your career and this is the time to ask for help. It’s important that you also help others help you. Be clear and concise about the issue and how exactly you think they can help you. Always remember to communicate that you are open to new solutions you hadn’t explored before. Be cautious who you seek help from, not everyone is there for you. The good news is that there are amazing people out there and they are more than happy to walk with you, even if that just means sharing their wisdom!