When an anxiety disorder affects so much of your thinking and way of being in the world, decision-making can be deeply affected. Allowing your passions to take the wheel of your career can seem too risky. It may even seem impossible.

It may be that your sense of calm, financial security, and self-worth feel too connected to your current job or lifestyle to pursue a passionate cause or vision. Or perhaps you feel too limited by a mental list of “what ifs” to clearly determine which direction leads to a more fulfilling career.

Without clarity and support, life with an anxiety disorder can become a stumbling block on your career path. But, no matter how anxious you feel, it’s important to appreciate that your desire for a fulfilling career deserves attention.

Understanding that you have a right to career fulfillment and that you have the ability to manage your anxiety well enough to obtain what you want is crucial to moving forward.

Simply put? Anxiety can make you question your ability to make a living doing what you love. But you don’t have to let it.

Tips for Managing Your Anxiety and Finding your Passion-Driven Career Path

With committed intention, support, and clear career strategies, you can face your fear. Anxiety might even serve to motivate you rather than overwhelm you.

Make the Body and Mind Connection Often 

To find your passion-drive career path requires a strong mind and body. Become more self-aware mentally and physically. Respond to your need for health and wellness.

Anxiety disorders can create upset, sensitivity, and panic that create tension and fatigue. Learn to slow down; pay attention to your body and breath. Make an effort to establish an internal balance between your thoughts, feelings, and bodily reactions. Self-care is key to establishing calm and appropriate responses, whatever the circumstances.

Tuning into your emotions and their physical impact can also be emotionally insightful. How do the ideals, causes, or people you care about affect you? Do they get your blood pumping, inspire you to get up and go every day, or give you an adrenaline boost when you consider your goals? Those are mind-body cues that should encourage to focus and pursue opportunities in that field of work.

Steer Clear of Limiting Thoughts and Unproductive Mental Chatter

To find your way professionally, pay close attention to your thoughts and self-talk.  What recurring themes affect your work life and hope for change? What racing thoughts get in your way and upend your confidence?

To progress toward your ideal career, developing the tools for challenging unproductive thoughts and replacing them with healthier thinking is key. This will be difficult to do on your own. Your anxiety disorder will continue to whisper discouragement, if you don’t have support.

Meditation and focus on positive mantras can help distract you from unhelpful thoughts.  Sharing with trustworthy, non-judgmental loved ones can provide healthier outside perspectives. Additionally, meeting with a therapist can help you explore root causes and ongoing solutions for addressing intrusive thoughts that hold you back.

Face the Fear of Failure and Worst-Case Scenarios

Do low self-esteem and the fear of failure seem to suck the air out of your successes? Is the personal investment of pursuing a passion too overwhelming? If so, this can make inspiring work tough to pursue initially. You may feel unworthy or inherently ill-equipped for more meaningful work.

Anxiety can arise when you think about your passion-driven career ending in possible failure. Anxiety disorders are so challenging because uncertainty feels intolerable. Thus, pursuing a career with a potentially uncertain outcome, income, or unconventional path is unsettling. However, consider the alternative: a life safely working away the years without the satisfaction of feeling purposeful.

Choosing your passions requires facing your fear with new and intentional action. You may find that taking control of your job search and career goals make you feel more powerful and able to contribute to your own well being.

Ease Up on Your “Shoulds”

When it comes to career planning or transitioning, the tendency to compare ourselves to one another is strong. If you suffer from anxiety, you may easily slip into the idea that pursuing your passion must result in certain outcomes to be legitimate or worthwhile. You may find your mind racing with thoughts about how much money you should make, how much time it should take, how old you should be before you reach a certain level of success, or how people should see you or think about you along the way.

This just confines you or paralyzes you… and sends your blood pressure skyrocketing.

Your anxiety disorder will whisper doubt and discouragement every time you allow a “should” to distract you from your goals. Focus on your goals, but stay free of rigid comparison and timelines. Your passion may very well take you on a less-traveled road to the career you want. And that’s okay! Open your mind and embrace a measure of uncertainty.

Seek Encouragement and Solid Support

To manage anxiety, you may need career encouragement that speaks to where you are.  Many people struggle to chase a passion-driven career because trusting people is just too scary. The fear of what other people think of you can be debilitating. Anxiety can prevent you from working or networking with others if you aren’t careful to nurture safe, trustworthy connections along the way. Finding your passionate path is much easier if you build healthy relationships.

Again, change doesn’t happen in a vacuum.  In addition to an experienced anxiety therapist, look for mentors who can help you prepare and plan, discuss common obstacles and experiences, and come alongside you during tough times. This kind of planning and reassurance goes a long way in assuaging anxiety and supporting forward movement. Connecting with like-minded coworkers, and maybe even an online support group, is helpful.

Finally, Consider Customizable Care

Changing your mind isn’t easy. It’s perfectly natural to need a guide when charting a new course. Finding your passions, and a career that reflects them, may require courage and resilience that you’ve never tapped into. That’s a perfectly normal response… and it’s completely possible to do with the help of a therapy professional.

With options for in-home and online sessions at LA Concierge Psychologist, you can privately and conveniently deal with fear, worry, or overwhelm as its happening. Please read more about our services for emerging and young adults and schedule a free 20 minute consultation today.