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How to Manage Anxiety in High-Stakes Business


Disclaimer- Presented by BetterHelp. How do you manage anxiety in high-stakes business? From client presentations to high-dollar sales calls, there’s no shortage of anxiety-inducing situations in high-stakes businesses. However, when your business’s success relies on your self-confidence and ability to perform, there’s no room for anxiety.

So, what can you do to manage your anxiety in high-pressure situations? In this article, we’ll touch base on what anxiety is and share some tips for how to overcome it. 

What is Anxiety?

Start Your Business in 30 Days Even If You Don't Have An Idea
Start Your Business in 30 Days Even If You Don’t Have An Idea

Anxiety is your body’s natural response to stress or perceived threats, often characterized by feelings of apprehension, worry, or fear. In the context of business, anxiety is your body’s response to perceived threats that happen inside your company.

While it’s normal to experience occasional anxiety in response to challenging situations in your business, anxiety disorders involve persistent and excessive worry or fear that significantly impairs daily functioning.

Some of the most common symptoms of anxiety include:

  • Nervousness and worry
  • Trouble making decisions or concentrating
  • Feeling tense, restless, or irritable
  • Nausea or gastrointestinal distress
  • Heart palpitations
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • A sense of panic and doom
  • Rapid breathing
  • Sweating more than normal
  • Having an urge to procrastinate or avoid things that make you feel more anxious

What Causes Anxiety in High-Stakes Business Situations?

Anxiety can be a genetic condition, but for many, it’s caused by stress at work or home. In the case of high-stakes business anxiety, it’s caused by the performance expectations and the pressure you or others put on you to meet them.

Everyone’s situation is unique. However, there are some common issues and situations that can cause anxiety to spill over, including:

  • A fear of failure
  • Isolation
  • Imposter syndrome
  • Problems with work-life balance
  • Public speaking
  • High-pressure sales calls
  • Make-or-break deals
  • Too much pressure
  • Performance concerns
  • Exhaustion    
  • Taking on too many tasks
  • And more

The causes of your anxiety will depend on your specific situation. But one thing is clear: managing anxiety is critical in the high-pressure environment of business. But how?

11 Tips for Overcoming Anxiety in Your Business

Here are 11 effective strategies to help keep you calm and focused in your business.

Practice Mindfulness and Meditation

Incorporating mindfulness exercises and meditation into your routine can significantly reduce anxiety levels. These practices help center your thoughts and keep you present, preventing worry about future uncertainties.

Exercise Regularly

Physical activity is a tried-and-true stress reliever. Regular exercise releases endorphins, improves mood, and increases your overall health, making you more resilient to stress.

Prioritize Sleep

Adequate rest is essential for stress management. Ensure you’re getting enough sleep to make sure your body and mind can recover from daily stresses.

Go from idea to starting your business in 30 days
Go from idea to starting your business in 30 days

Practice Risk Reduction

In business, uncertainty can be a major source of anxiety. Mitigate this by identifying potential risks in your business operations and developing clear strategies to address them. This proactive approach can help reduce anxiety by providing a sense of control over potential outcomes.

Distinguish Between Mistakes and Learning Opportunities

Viewing mistakes as learning opportunities rather than failures can significantly reduce anxiety. Embrace errors as a chance to grow and improve rather than a reflection of your worth as a business leader.

Get Support

Surround yourself with a supportive network of peers, mentors, and professionals who understand the challenges of running a business. Sharing experiences and solutions can alleviate feelings of isolation and anxiety.

Address Self-Sabotage

Be mindful of negative self-talk and behaviors that undermine your success. Recognizing and addressing self-sabotage can help you maintain focus and confidence in your abilities. 

Focus on What You Can Control

In business, many factors are outside of your control. Focusing on actions within your control can help reduce feelings of helplessness and anxiety.

Get Help for Specific Issues

If certain aspects of your business trigger anxiety, such as public speaking, seek specialized training or support. (For more information on overcoming public speaking nerves, check out this resource from BetterHelp.)

Practice Gratitude

Regularly reflecting on what you’re thankful for in your business and personal life can shift your focus from anxiety-inducing challenges to positive aspects, fostering a sense of well-being.

Set Realistic Goals

Setting achievable, clear goals for your business helps create a roadmap for success, which can reduce anxiety that’s caused by uncertainty or pushing yourself too hard.


Anxiety is common in high-stakes environments. By implementing some of the tips shared in this article, it’s possible to manage your anxiety, which can result in better decision-making, improved productivity, and a healthier work-life balance in your high-stakes business. 



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