Staff in many schools are anxious at the moment. In uncertain times anxiety increases.
In his recent blog post, Dan Rockwell highlights,
“Anxiety is a small fire in a pile of dry kindling. It’s normal to feel anxious when skills are unproven, environments are unstable and failure has consequences.”
According to Rockwell, anxiety is evident in:-
- Attaching identity to results
- Needing to NOT change
- Expecting certainty but feeling disbelief
- Turning inward instead of facing forward
- Fearing inadequacy
- Dreading imaginary devils
- Living in the future instead of the present
These certainly resonated with me in the current circumstances that schools are facing. When we are tired, suffering fatigue and running on empty, bad events are amplified and obstacles are magnified. We feel inadequate and our creativity and ability to resolve issues is drained. We become quick to blame others and look for reasons to quit.
Instead of fighting anxiety, which can contribute to becoming more anxious, Rockwell suggests 4 tips to answer anxiety.
Anxiety is defeated by forward-facing vitality. Focus on building vitality when the demon of anxiety creeps in.
Action answers anxiety. Fear feeds on inaction.
The best answer to anxiety is taking the next best step. You might not be certain. Just be reasonably confident that you won’t make matters worse. Confident actions create confidence.
How we interpret situations has a big impact on the anxiety we feel. Try to interpret problems as opportunities.
Anxiety is contagious. According to Rockwell, the people around you either strengthen your heart or weaken your knees. Surround yourself (or seek counsel) with courageous people. You answer anxiety by stepping into it, not by waiting for it to go away.