I recently was promoted to a senior management position at a large bank. While I’m very excited about this opportunity, I’ve been feeling very anxious to the point of insomnia. I think about work all the time and have been endlessly replaying interactions with colleagues, second-guessing myself and fearing that I’ve handled things poorly. I’m very concerned about how I’ve been reacting to the pressures of this new job and I’m not quite sure what I should do.
Martin, West Loop
Congratulations on the promotion. While it’s wonderful to enjoy success and career advancement usually these accomplishments come with a lot of pressure. Executives often experience stress, anxiety and depression and the demands of leadership positions often challenge one’s efforts to maintain a healthy work/life balance. The high standards, independence and strong work ethic that helped you get where you are can also work against you if you demand perfection of yourself. In your new position, you may not have yet developed a network of support resources at work. Having a safe place away from the work place to decompress, vent and unload can help you approach your work with a sense of calm and clear-headedness. A therapist can help you develop self-care strategies, improve communication skills, and develop self-compassion to silence that inner critic that causes you to second-guess and doubt yourself. Many successful corporate leaders rely on the support of a coach or a psychotherapist so that they can be on their A game and maintain a sense of emotional well-being. Find a good therapist and schedule regular appointments so that you’ll have a set aside time in a private place with a person who can listen and help you find ways to do your job well without putting your mental health at risk.