When my boss told me that I’m going to be a team leader on the very first corporate trip, I felt excited. It was quite an honor and opportunity for me to show my skills. Honestly, this is how you show your superiors that you can lead your own project one day.  

However, as the day of the trip grew closer, I started to feel uncomfortable. My palms started to sweat every time I thought about how I’m going to handle myself. Every night I would spend hours in bed going through various scenarios what can go wrong and how I’m going to humiliate myself.

My anxiety became so severe that I started suffering from insomnia and getting agitated easily. I was always tired and even considered coming up with a perfect excuse not to go. But there was always a part of me telling me I shouldn’t lose this opportunity and so I decided to put myself under control.

Anxiety is not something to take lightly. It can be a significant obstacle to person’s success and development. The moment you notice you have this problem, you should try and observe it rationally. Additionally, there are certain steps you can take to beat this predicament. The following were mine.

Make a plan

I decided that anxiety made me confused about what exactly is expected of me, so I made a plan. It started out as a list where I placed everything that came to mind about the trip. Since we were going to Sydney, I chose from interesting tours and nightlife offer.

For the start, don’t be detailed immediately. Consider all the ideas that you see fit for the team. Of course, not all team members are into the same stuff and that’s why simple things like sightseeing are a good idea. Since you will also attend corporate meetings and presentation, organize some relaxing breaks, like lunch in the well-known restaurant.

Later on, you will take a look at all the things you listed and through more thorough research you will be able to find the perfect ones. Have in mind the budget restrictions and try to adapt to it. In case you see anything worth the price, ask your superiors to approve it. Show the plan to your boss and if they agree to distribute it to your co-workers on the day of the trip.

Research your destination

Since we were traveling to Sydney, I wasn’t in an unfamiliar territory. However, since Sydney has a lot to offer I had to make the list shorter. Research is an important part when suffering from anxiety. Once I started going over the tours like to the Three Sisters on the Blue Mountain, I immediately started to feel more focused.  

Since we booked north shore accommodations it was easier to start from there. Usually, the trip tires people and they like to get settled and sleep it off. But I considered offering an alternative so that some could choose to stay in their accommodations and others could go out in the Sydney night scene.

There were many interesting pubs with craft beer and all sorts of music, from jazz to DJ sets. I did some research and finally decided to play it safe. I chose Le Pub since it had burgers and beer on the menu. Also,  it served vegetarian food, fine Australian wine and had a nice ambience to start the conversation.

In the end, it’s important to start feeling comfortable as a leader. The more information you have it will be easier to create a plan. Also, ask your colleagues what they want to see since that will point you in the right direction.

There is no “I” in team

You’re not alone. The moment you accept that, you will start breathing a little easier. My anxiety, specifically, was connected to my fear of failure and desire to be liked by my peers. But that is not something to achieve if you isolate yourself.

Mistakes will happen so don’t observe them as signs of disappointment. You can learn from those and use them to be a better leader. You want to earn the respect of your peers by staying on the sidelines and observing. Talk to your team, dance with them, and try not to be too bossy. Being firm but with a positive attitude will turn you into a respectable and admired leader.

For example, when people started the discussion on where to go even though they had my plan before them. I was lucky enough that a colleague recognized my anxiety and stepped forward with reminding everybody we already had an itinerary.

This was something I should do, but I learned from the experience and soon started being more determined about my plan. The next day, everybody was excited to go hiking and even praised my plan. Therefore, you can find your voice, just like I did.  

In the end

This is also your corporate trip. If you’re asked to plan it from scratch including travel arrangements and accommodations, don't be afraid. With good research and asking around, you will certainly come to the right decision. The more determined you are about something the less you’ll feel nervous and succumb to your flight instincts.

After all, I overcame my anxiety, so can you. It’s only a small obstacle on your way to success.


Author's Bio: 

Biologist by day, writer by night, and a huge geek. My fields of expertise could be summed up to health, fitness and nutrition-related topics. My interests are on the other hand wide and ever-evolving