Saturday, December 10, 2011

Opportunity: Anxiety

Today's advice was requested by a young man from the U.S. who we'll refer to henceforth as L. L asks:

"Hey, i need some advice. i don't know what is wrong with me I've been out of work for a few years now and I finally got a chance to enter a career path that I have been waiting for for years. A few weeks ago I was called by my county telling me that I have been accepted into my local city police academy. At first I was exited. Half of my family are police officers and it seemed like I couldnt go wrong with it.

Now as the day draws near I feel very panicked and anxious. Every morning I wake, puke, cry and get super nervous of the day I have to go in to academy. I'm a few days away now and I can barely sleep. I wake up shaking in the middle of the night almost like im terrified of it. I dont know what my problem is, if you could give me some advice I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you."

It's probably the fear of making it this far and then failing. A lot is riding on this, especially after being out of work for as long as you have. Add int he pressure you feel to excel due to your family consisting of so many police officers and it's no wonder you're thoroughly panicked. Just relax. I know that sounds cliche and obvious, but it's honestly all you can do. Try to stay away from stimulants such as caffeine for a while as they heighten anxiety.

Remember, even if you were to fail the first time around which is unlikely, you can still try again later. Your family wants you to succeed, they won't hold it against you if you don't succeed your first time through. It's not the end of the world. If you have to try a second time at least you're pretty much guaranteed to pass, as you'll know exactly what you need to do and how to achieve it.

I recommend talking to your family. They'll undoubtedly have a wealth of information and advice to offer you since they've been where you are before.You don't have to confess how nervous you are, but doing so may help. They'll probably tell you about how nervous they were when they got into the academy too. You aren't alone, don't forget that.

It'll be hard work and you'll have less free time for yourself, but it'll be worth it once you're gainfully employed and helping people.

Some things you can do in the meanwhile to chill out:
  • Watch comedies. It's hard to be stressed out when you're laughing.
  • Take a bath before bed time. People underestimate the power of a nice hot bath.
  • Avoid stimulants such as caffeine. They'll only make your anxiety worse.
  • Listen to your favorite musical artists. Music can take your mind off of many things.
  • Do some research. Going in with a head start will boost your confidence level.

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