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What to do if you live in constant fear of losing your job
What to do if you live in constant fear of losing your job

Practical tips to help you deal with anxiety and restore your peace of mind.

What to do if you live in constant fear of losing your job
What to do if you live in constant fear of losing your job

Fear should prompt us to take action at a specific moment when our life, health, or well-being is in danger. If we worry about something that might happen in the future, it stretches out for a long time and becomes harmful.

Constant anxiety about work can exacerbate existing problems, such as depression or anxiety, and cause unpleasant physical symptoms such as headaches, sleep and digestive problems.

Chronic stress also negatively affects our cognitive abilities. It makes it harder to concentrate, complete tasks, and find solutions. Relationships with others also suffer from constant anxiety: we become irritable and break down on colleagues or loved ones.

Here's what can help you deal with your fear of joblessness and the stress it leads to.

1. Admit to yourself that you are afraid

Usually we do not want to experience negative emotions, we avoid them. And in general, they are accustomed to thinking that in order to achieve success, you need not to stand still, but to run forward all the time. So it's only natural that we don't want to slow down and face our fear. But this is necessary.

Don't try to hide this feeling deeper, but acknowledge it. Describe your emotions on paper, talk to a trusted friend or colleague. Chances are, you will find that you are not alone and others experience the same.

2. Ask your manager what useful things you can do now

This will help you focus on what is in your power, and not on what you still cannot control. For example, ask the following questions:

  • What three results would you like to receive from me by the end of the month?
  • What can I do to make this week more efficient?
  • After what my actions would it be possible to say that the team would not be able to cope without me?

Focus on what you can influence and what you do well. This proactive approach will be an antidote to fear and empower you.

3. Train radical acceptance

This is the acceptance that there are circumstances that are not in your power and you need to recognize them, and not resist them. For example, there is no way you can control the financial losses that your company suffered during a pandemic. It is better to accept the facts, instead of complaining and repeating: "Why are we doing this?" or "They can't do this to me!"

Radical acceptance does not solve the problem of fear, but it brings us back to the present moment and helps us not to waste energy.

4. Do one task a day that you really want to postpone

It can be related to career, current work activities, or family responsibilities. Try to turn the process into a game. Take the time to complete the task and come up with a reward that you will receive at the end.

When the job is done, you will feel a sense of satisfaction, and it will help you cope with everything else throughout the day.

5. Think about how to get back on your feet if you lose your job - and do it

For example, update your resume, take online courses to improve existing skills or acquire new ones, look for ways to earn extra money, seek advice from someone in your field whom you respect. If you do lose your current spot, you will be ready. And in any case, the fears will subside.

Remember, there are always opportunities. You are more likely to miss them if you focus on your fears.

6. Take care of yourself

You may have to work late or on weekends to keep your job. Add to this anxiety about family, health and the future in general - it's so close to burnout. To avoid this, set aside at least 15–20 minutes a day to take care of yourself.

Go out to get some air, cook your favorite food, listen to music or meditate, play with your pet, read a few pages of a book, exercise, go to bed a little earlier - all this will help you feel more stable. And even if the worst happens and you lose your job, it will be easier for you to get through the difficulties.

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