The Boss Illusion: Why Anxiety Itself Isn't The Real Problem

A lot gets posted about anxiety these days. And it's great we're talking about it. But some of it just doesn't sit right with me.

David Bird Cognitive Hypnotherapy Leighton Buzzard, Help with Anxiety

We love to personify things. Give them form. It makes them more relatable. Meaning we connect with them better. You only have to look at car-owners or musicians who name their 'babies' to see this innate tendency in action. And if it helps create connection and understanding then I'm all for it.

But what about when it doesn't?

The same way you feel uncomfortable around someone you don't get along with. That discomfort grows the more time spent with them. Even more so if you have limited control, like with an overbearing boss. You begin to feel trapped.

Now imagine that boss also lives with you. This is what's happening when you hear anxiety personified.

"It's because of my anxiety".

That amorphous entity that follows you about can leave you helpless. Walking on egg-shells because of its unpredictability. You get frustrated. You flip between "screw you!" and "what's the point?". Not an ideal employee-boss relationship.

But we've got it the wrong way around.

Anxiety isn't your boss. It's not the problem. It's just a symptom.

You need anxiety. More specifically, you need the ability to feel anxious. Stepping out into the road, realising a car's coming, you definitely don't want to be calm and care-free.

You want your brain to flip the "ARGHHSDSSALK" switch and flood you with fear. Because that emotional hijack makes you jump-the-hell back and save your friends and family an unexpected funeral service.

The problem comes when things that trigger that switch are no longer appropriate. Spiders in the UK can't hurt us. Try calmly explaining that to the person stood on the sofa, screaming. See how far you get.

Just understanding this rarely make unwanted anxiety disappear. But it opens up possibility. It gives you more power.

Anxiety isn't your overbearing boss. It's the overworked, confused employee who's scared they'll lose their job.

You're the boss. And if you're willing to open up a dialogue, you can begin to bring them around.

(Feeling beaten by anxiety? Cognitive Hypnotherapy in Leighton Buzzard can help you. Get in touch to learn how).