I’ve chosen to work on something during the Deep Work session that’s intimidating for me (involves learning a new skill/trial and error, time/cost commitment) and I find myself putting it off due to anxiety. Any advice?

Alexandra Watson
The best way to overcome something is to face it! Especially if it is something that is causing anxiety because it is probably due to a fear of failure. In this case, understand that as long as you are trying and learning through the trials and errors, you are never failing, just gaining knowledge and tips to prepare you for the next try.

Lee Fernandez
I get what you’re talking about with anxiety getting in the way. For me, having something visual helps. I like to make really clear, simple lists that make it easy for me to pick up somewhere. Sometimes it can also be something physical like a reward you give yourself for achieving something. This can be as small as a sticker or a pat on the back.

It depends on where your anxiety is coming from, but to just get started on something, I try to set really REALLY easy goals that I know I can achieve, and then if I have a visual reminder that I can do it, it’s more likely that I will.

Jennifer Castillo
Break it down further. Even if it becomes micro tasks! Regardless of how minor it may be after completing deconstructing the larger task, you are still working on that larger task.

Sebastian Sørensen
Unfortunately I struggle with the same issue. I find myself procrastinating due to fear, and take on tasks I know I can accomplish. I’ve found the best way for me to combat this behavior is acknowledging it. I tell myself “I am avoiding _________ because I’m scared of _________(e.g failing, not being good at it, feeling like I’m stupid, letting myself down, feeling like I don’t have what it takes to succeed, etc), which is so silly! There’s nothing to be afraid of/ intimidated by, I can do this!” After a pump up talk, I usually laugh at how I was scared of a simple little thing. And, what is there to even be afraid of? I already don’t know the task (in my case, graduate school statistics), so worse case scenario, I know a tiny bit more than when I woke up this morning! This practice seems ridiculous, but verbal self-validation has worked so well for me in a variety of ways and can help relieve the anxiety you feel from fear.

Rudi Kessel
Congratulations for your courage. Recognize anxiety is temporary and it won’t kill you. You can walk mindfully through the situation to achieve that which means so much to you. Reward yourself for each step. Make self care your priority, making sure yoga and/or meditation is always given appropriate priority, including the breathe. Use visualization, positive thoughts and believe in yourself. The same courage that led you to where you are will get you to where you want to be. Best wishes.

Maxence Michel
Nothing worth having in life comes easy. There’s times in our life when we will have to take a leap. Live life and take risk, especially when it’s for the better.