Home – New Forums Starting your journey What if the work stops? Panic attacks — do you have them?

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  • #982991
    ScarlettR
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    My business has gone from strength to strength in the past 18 months. I can’t be more prouder, and whats more is that I know it will continue to get stronger and healthier. I’m learning so much that I see great things happening for it in the next few years.

    However, for whatever reason, this past couple of days I’ve been struck down with panic attacks about my work just suddenly drying up. I’ve always been (in the past 6-8 months) booked up about 4-6 weeks in advance. This hasn’t stopped, and people continue to get in touch with me as well as I continue to grow my network to gain more work.

    I use to suffer from chronic anxiety and I’ve learned to immediately identify this as catastrophic thinking. It’s not logical, there’s no basis for it, and yet it’s there and it seizes me.

    I’m working through it, step by step, but what I really wanted to know is… am I the only one out there who gets these thoughts? Who panics if people suddenly stop asking for work?

    #1140018
    Anonymous
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    Hi Scarlett,

    You’re absolutely not the only person who has those thoughts! In my observation, it’s a pretty normal response to the brave journey that every soloist sets out on.

    If this is happening now, maybe this is a good time to take a step from everything you’re doing, count your successes so far, and then determine what steps you’ll take to rustle up new business in the event that the pipeline does stop flowing. I know from your other threads that you’re doing some of this already, but it might be good to have some strategies in place in advance of a dry patch, so that you’re ready to jump into action if required.

    I’ll be interested to hear what others have to contribute on this topic, but most importantly, would like to say good on you for being courageous enough to talk about this – it’s the kind of topic that many people around here will be able to relate to, but few will have the guts to initiate a conversation about.

    And remember, we’re always here if you need a pep talk!
    Jayne

    #1140019
    LucasArthur
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    Hi Scarlett

    What an interesting topic.. i would not say i suffer panic attacks, although i must admit i have identified several triggers from my past that cause me to ‘deviate’ from my core goals and seeing things acutely positive..

    I love the fact that you understand the thoughts and can identify them, think of them as being irrational as this is one of the key steps to overcome them…

    If these are short burst panics, i personally use a small breathing technique that sort of ‘refreshes’ the brain and encourages you to think about your breathing instead of the worries.. take a 4 second intake breath, hold it for 2 and exhale for 6.. sounds silly, but it has assisted me..

    On another note… WOOT WOOT.. so proud to here you mention you have gone from strength to strength.. remember this,,, dont panic,, cos it sounds like you should be over the moon with your accomplishments and others here are potentially envious (oops me :eek:)…

    Keep up the AWESOME WORK.. and pat yourself on the back, cos its great…. Try not to ‘over-analyse’ your current position, this is sometimes a form of stress displacement the merely ‘hides’ the stress/panic..

    Shoot.. did i just right that,, i need to take my own advice a little..

    Be well
    Jason

    Jason Ramage | Lucas Arthur Pty Ltd | E: [email protected]   P: 61 3 8324 0344    M: 61 412 244 888
    #1140020
    LucasArthur
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    FS Concierge, post: 159899 wrote:
    Hi Scarlett,

    You’re absolutely not the only person who has those thoughts! In my observation, it’s a pretty normal response to the brave journey that every soloist sets out on.

    If this is happening now, maybe this is a good time to take a step from everything you’re doing, count your successes so far, and then determine what steps you’ll take to rustle up new business in the event that the pipeline does stop flowing. I know from your other threads that you’re doing some of this already, but it might be good to have some strategies in place in advance of a dry patch, so that you’re ready to jump into action if required.

    I’ll be interested to hear what others have to contribute on this topic, but most importantly, would like to say good on you for being courageous enough to talk about this – it’s the kind of topic that many people around here will be able to relate to, but few will have the guts to initiate a conversation about.

    And remember, we’re always here if you need a pep talk!
    Jayne

    Hey Jayne

    Beautiful and concise.. and quite helpful, put my post to shame.. i didnt even address Scarletts work concerns :confused:

    Oops.. i feel you are right about others being able to relate to this thread, me being one

    Cheers
    Jason

    Jason Ramage | Lucas Arthur Pty Ltd | E: [email protected]   P: 61 3 8324 0344    M: 61 412 244 888
    #1140021
    Divert To Mobile
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    Hi Scarlet,

    I used to suffer from anxiety but with experience and training I learned to mostly control it. I could imagine panic attacks to be much more intense and debilitating, but also something necessary to overcome.

    You can control your emotions by controling your thoughts, meditation can strenghthen the ability to control your thoughts and in turn your emotions.

    Good luck,

    Steve

    #1140022
    The Copy Chick
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    Hi Scarlett,

    I guess you need to identify what your greatest fear is if your work does dry up for some reason – then work on contingency plans. Once you have an actionable plan in place, it gives you something to focus on, besides anxiety.

    Obviously things are going great now – which is fantastic – so perhaps you should be putting X% of your earnings into a high-interest account to give you some financial back up should you hit a low patch.

    Then if money isn’t such a concern, you can use the quieter times to actively seek new work, or to work on the parts of your business which may need some attention.

    All the best,
    Anna :)

    #1140023
    ScarlettR
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    Thanks guys :) That’s awesome. So much good advice and I’m glad I’m not the only one who has felt anxiety, and faced the possibility of no customers!

    #1140024
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    HI Scarlett – I have been working solo for myself since 1987. Prior to that I worked for other ad and printing companies. I have seen so many changes and ups and downs in the industry. It is a constant state of adaptation and learning. Sometimes work goes right down – other times it’s frantically busy. Each time it goes down I initially make sure that all paperwork is in order, studio has a spring clean and do more self training as well as marketing and checking of my own advertising. Busyness creates work somehow. Taking a deep breath is good advice. If I get anxious it can send out the wrong vibes and stop working coming. But being busy, positive and taking action in the business brings clients in or back. It’s very strange, but after all these years, it is the same each time.

    Hope this encourages you that you are not alone.
    And yes, putting ‘x’% away for the rainy days and bills and taxes in a separate account is definitely a good idea and works.

    Cheers.

    #1140025
    markn
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    About 6 months ago I experienced a downturn in some areas of my business, the first I’ve experienced since I started up 10 years ago. It caused me a lot of stress at the time. Since then I’ve been quite rigorous in the structure of my weekly activities to allow myself to think positively about what I’ve been achieving rather than dwelling on the downturn in business that is largely out of my control.

    This has proven to be quite successful (not to mention very productive). However, from time to time I still look at certain statistics that trended downwards and find myself sinking into a pit of despair. So my current approach to that is to simply stop looking at them so frequently. I allow myself one look a month and that’s it. Checking them obsessively is doing no good and certainly not helping me get on with real work.

    #1140026
    The Copy Chick
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    It may also be a good opportunity to identify why things have slowed down.

    My last two months have been my worst in about 18 months (earnings wise), and it has been due to pretty much every client taking much longer than normal to finalise copy and edits. This has prevented me from sending final invoices, and also being able to schedule in new work, so cashflow has taken a hit.

    I’ve now revised T&Cs to change how this process works, so I feel more confident that I can keep things moving along and cashflow flowing.

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