{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Social anxiety disorder and consulting. Is it impossible to succeed in consulting with social anxiety? 3 years since I graduated and started working at D and I'm convinced I've chosen the wrong career. I don't know what my options are, I feel hopeless. Panic attacks when speaking in front of crowds, difficulty networking, etc. Has anyone gone through this?", "post_id": "62011dd0e2ae37003314017c", "reply_count": 26, "vote_count": 15, "bowl_id": "552d1d24dc1c586b09d2d051", "bowl_name": "Consulting", "feed_type": "crowd" }
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Social anxiety disorder and consulting. Is it impossible to succeed in consulting with social anxiety? 3 years since I graduated and started working at D and I'm convinced I've chosen the wrong career. I don't know what my options are, I feel hopeless. Panic attacks when speaking in front of crowds, difficulty networking, etc. Has anyone gone through this?

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I also have severe social anxiety. This is my third year in consulting and it has finally gotten a bit easier although I still freak out even when asked to introduce myself. I literally rehearse everything beforehand, including writing out my introduction.

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Man I always thought it was just me. Sometimes when I am presenting and look at peoples faces on teams video I get incredibly anxious immediately. I hate the feeling where you just try to push through

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It’s possible. I’ve had similar feelings. Now PL. Scripting and rehearsing presentations helps

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Scripting and rehearsing does help a lot

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It’s def hard, but if you find your niche it’ll go a lot easier

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Could it be the company? One reason for feeling insecure is knowing that if you mess up, your company doesn’t have your back.

If that’s not it - stop focusing on yourself. The old advice to think of the audience sitting in their underwear works because you stop thinking about you and start thinking about your delivery. With practice, it becomes second nature.

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Alcohol helps me.

likefunny

Same here. I usually take a couple of drinks before I start talking to people at a networking event.

It's definitely doable. I struggled a lot with anxiety when I joined too. I'd echo what D1 said and find your niche. Maybe look at something more technical to be less client facing?

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I have it too quite bad. It’s very tough, and I know exactly how you feel.

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It’s a difficulty. But, it is not you and doesn’t define you. Find a coach to help you with skills. Or find books on the topic and set aside time to study them and do the practice exercises. EVERYONE has something they should work on. You have defined yours. More power to you! It’s simply a skill. You can conquer the skill. I’ve worked 30+ years and know where you come from. You can do whatever you decide to do!

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I am not in consulting but I have SAD/public speaking anxiety and it’s something that has kept me from getting into consulting, even though I am interested. I am looking into voice/public speaking coaches as I’m sick of this thing holding me back professionally. Might be expensive but most likely worth the investment.

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I am so sorry to hear that you are going through this.

I was diagnosed a panic disorder 10 years ago. I am still have symptoms. Below are my suggestions and what i have done to overcome.

1) Acknowledge that i am hurting and acknowledge you are so fine.
2) Early treatment is vital. Please please book a session with a doctor and strongly encourage you to take small dose medicine that can help you treat anxiety and panic disorder. (Ex. Alprazolam)
3) Box breathing
4) Meditation / Affirmation
5) Exercise!! X10

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I get pretty nervous for presentation’s and leading meetings too. However, I try to prepare as much as I can for those things and it generally turns out well.

I’ve given presentations at summits/conferences and ppl complimented how well I spoke. It was all due to the preparation and being comfortable before getting up there. They had no idea how nervous I really was.

The best way to tackle this is to do more of it and practice practice practice. You can do it!

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I also struggled w anxiety and found that taking meds was extremely helpful in allowing me to disconnect and relax outside of working hours (e.g. weekends). But my broader advice would be to find a career that doesn’t trigger your anxiety so much. There are a ton of things outside of consulting where you can make a huge impact without the manufactured pressure on every single conversation you have or slide you make.

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@D tinnitus and dizziness/wooshiness you may need to get your dose upped or it’s just not the one for you I guess. It only happened for first 30min - 1hr

I don't have SAD but I've spoken up for changes informally that would make life easier for people with it at D and man... D is probably the worst place for someone with SAD among places I've been (mostly gov sector and startup). *And* when I've tried to flag how we could be more inclusive, it just doesn't compute for managers and up at D. Lower level people intuitively understand, especially if they started in the pandemic where there is no socializing to smooth out the informal aspects of orienting yourself to a new job.

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Same. I’m a M now. Started as a C and some improvement in my presentation skills but not enough to feel like I belong sometimes. I’ve recently decided I should plan for a graceful exit. I am introvert too to further compound the issue.

Xanax helps.

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Klonopin preferably

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I also struggle with anxiety and sympathize OP 💕. Of course there are easy remedies of Xanax and the like, but it doesn’t solve the root cause. I’ve found it helpful to start off with a joke with the audience, or if you stumble make a joke about it.. once the audience laughs with you it’s easy to see them as friendly peers who are listening to you to hear what you have to say as opposed to the anxiety making you think they’re judging or something huge is at stake. I’ve personally had a panic attack while presenting in person to C Suite client and had to take a breather while someone covered the rest of the presentation, they joked with me after and it felt different every moment after. If joking isn’t your audiences cup of tea, try the 5 senses anxiety technique. My doctor suggested it for moments when Xanax can’t act quickly enough and is drug free https://psychcentral.com/anxiety/using-the-five-senses-for-anxiety-relief… hope this helps!! You’re not alone 💕

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