Anxious? Take a Leap of Faith


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Just a few years ago, I had a bad case of anxiety. I would get so nervous about any interaction outside of my comfort zone that would get these knots in my stomach that were so intense I couldn’t eat. (If you know me, you know I LOVE to eat.)

I used to be afraid to ask questions, interact with people I didn’t know or even was acquainted with, or take on tasks that I had no idea how to follow through because I was afraid that people would react negatively toward me.

During the past few weekends, I have been reflecting on the work I’ve been producing at my internship. I felt that I hadn’t been making big improvements yet. I also had in mind that I was going to be writing for the media, and I hadn’t gotten the opportunity yet. These old anxious feels came rushing back and it felt uncontrollable again.

After playing the scenario over and over again, I realized I am still learning and I wouldn’t be an intern if I had already mastered every piece of work I was assigned. I thought to myself, if I feel this way I have to figure out how to fix it.

So, I put my big girl pants on and asked my supervisor how he thought I was performing and I was pleasantly surprised by his response. I also mentioned that I wanted to write press releases if he felt I was prepared, and a few days later, voilà.

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This courage showed me that I’m capable of taking the initiative to ask questions and be open to the fact that, despite almost 18 years of education, I still don’t know a lot about the real world.

These are the types of obstacles that I’m beginning to overcome in Portland. My epiphany may not be ground-breaking, but for all you folks out there thinking that you may be struggling; take that leap of faith and be brave and ask questions because you learn a lot about what you are capable of from your perspective and from others.

Alexandra Chiappetta

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8 Responses to Anxious? Take a Leap of Faith

  1. I was surprised to read that you tend to be an anxious and sometimes nervous person (I actually had to scroll back up and check that this was your post). After having the opportunity to work with you in this program I would have honestly never guessed you ever felt this. I think you compose yourself very well and am impressed with your writing ability. I think it is great you took the initiative and that you did it in a strategic and timely manner. I feel that our generation sometimes expects we can just take everything on all it once. You made a great point that this experience is a learning process, one that involves multiple facets, and we should take the time to truly sharpen our skills.

  2. Allie, I love this. I have felt like this before – I think we all have at some point. Especially during our internships. Sometimes you feel like you’re doing so much and producing the best work you can, but you still question if it’s enough or if you’re fulfilling the expectations of your boss. After reading this, I think I’ll ask my supervisor what he thinks of my work and progress. You’ve given me the courage to follow in your steps!

    In other words, I am so incredibly happy that you were able to recover from your anxiety because the person you are right now (and since I’ve known you) is incredibly fantastic, smart, motivated and definitely going places. Keep up the good work. Thank you for such an inspiring post at the perfect time!

  3. simonemyers says:

    I think this post can resonate with the majority, if not all of us, in the spring cohort. With us being so new to some of these experiences, it can be easy for us to doubt ourselves. But we shouldn’t! I’m so glad that you “put on your big girl pants” and asked your boss what he thought of your performance! That took some courage, but look at where it got you! Thanks for the inspiring post!!

  4. As we all know from my post, I’m an extremely anxious person as well. All of the discussing we’ve done surrounding anxiety, work/life balance, and emotional knowledge/communication have really inspired me to take charge of those negative feelings and try to channel the anxiety toward something productive that will help my career to grow.

    After your comment on my post, I was also inspired to touch base with my boss and make sure I’m still on the right track. Having the verbal confirmation that I’m making the improvements I need to really helped ease my mind.

    We’re all here because we worked hard and we deserve it! Any little mistakes we make are only lessons for the future. Since we’ve gotten our mistakes out of the way early, we’ll still be ahead of the job search curve 🙂

  5. kaitlynchock says:

    Allie, I was on the same page as Natalie. You compose yourself so well, it’s hard to imagine that you ever get anxious or doubt yourself. You’re clearly very capable and I’m stoked that you got the opportunity to write press releases! I’m really proud of you for reaching out to your supervisor and asking for that opportunity. It can be really hard to start that conversation and I’m glad you were able to do that during the beginning of your internship. I really appreciated you opening up to us.

    Also, thanks for the food link! I’m excited to try some of those places out.

  6. jroger10 says:

    Allie,
    Awesome! Same, same, same. It’s freaky to have little feedback, and I love how you point out that it’s important to remember our status as interns. We won’t be perfect and nobody will care because nobody expects us to be! I feel braver now 🙂
    I’m a big girl now! Haha

  7. I’m surprised by the number of people who have felt anxious and I’m so glad every one of them has been able to work through it. Based on my few interactions with everyone, they all talk with confidence; including you! It was really smart to ask your supervisor about your performance because now you know what you’re doing well! Actually, this made me realize I should also ask my supervisor how I’ve been performing. Thanks for sharing and I’m sure this post will have everyone else putting their big kid pants on.

  8. pdxsx says:

    Very proud of you Allie for taking it all in stride and not letting the anxiety-monster get to you. Well done, and great job reaching out to your supervisor. 🙂

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