I click off the lamp on my nightstand, close my eyes, and try to sleep.
In just a few seconds, my mind starts racing with a hurricane of thoughts and questions. Am I going to land that enormous project I just pitched? What did my editor really mean when requesting me to rework that piece? Is that just his sugarcoated way of saying that he thinks I’m a terrible writer? Should I have started that email with that casual “hey there,” or would I have been better off with a traditional “hello?”
If there’s ever a time when all of those profound insecurities and career fears start to rise to the surface—without a doubt—it’s right after I turn off my light and try to have a good night sleep.
It makes sense, really. It’s basically the only time of day when I have a long period of empty, quiet time to myself with nothing to do but think. What’s more, while that uninterrupted reflection can lead to some great ideas, it can likewise create plenty of obsessive worrying and hysterical, paranoid thoughts.
I know I can’t be alone. Thus, here are four distinctive career fears that keep all of us tossing and turning from time to time. If you don’t recognize anything on this list? Please, by all means, let me know your secrets.
So, what should you do when you find yourself stuck in that cycle of obsessing over every last detail of your job? Your best bet is to do anything to take your mind off of your worrying. Read a book, watch a show, listen music, or do some deep breathing. If this happens a lot, make a brag book just for yourself. Keep a running list of all your accomplishments that you can look at whenever you’re lying awake, worried one mistake will ruin you.
If you do what you can to change your focus, you’ll be snoring and dreaming in no time. As you know all too well already, those fears that plagued you in the dark aren’t nearly as scary in the bright light of the morning.