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Feeling Anxious? Good!

Does anyone enjoy feeling anxious? How can it be good?


Anxiety for its own sake may not feel wonderful - but it the emotion is powerful. The power of anxiety can be "harnessed" and used to your advantage.


I often feel a twinge of anxiety in the face of training course design. How about you? Do you ever feel overwhelmed (maybe even a little jittery) when a deadline looms and you have to get a course or a presentation together right away? This week, I have multiple courses to design, and definitely feel some anxiety.


  • Will I get it right, so the participants benefit from it and have a breakthrough?
  • Do I have enough time to "do it right"?

  • What about all those materials and exercises I have to prepare?


Luckily, I've noticed that I do some of my best work with a little bit of time pressure.

In fact, a little anxiety is critical to the creative process—if we can harness the emotion and not let it get out of control. Overwhelming anxiety can crush creativity, resulting in boring or formulaic courses that fall far short of “Amazing Trainer” standards. Don't let that happen!

A few weeks ago, I had a course to teach on Recognition. The first draft course just didn't feel "right." It was lacking “a-ha” moments; the arrangement felt forced and contrived. I had a good bit of anxiety about how to redesign it while staying true to the essence of the subject I'd been hired to teach and the class description that had been given to participants.

Instead of letting the emotion take over, I decided to "harness" it. First, I went for a run to clear my mind. Then, I sat down with my BeAnAmazingTrainer™ course design system and arsenal of tools (sticky notes, flip chart pages, colored markers, good coffee) and got to work.


Using the BeAnAmazingTrainer™ system made a huge difference! The re-designed course content had impact, the essence was clear, the sequence efficient, and I was confident the outcome would be great.


A few days later, standing in front of the group, I could FEEL a positive difference in the way that trainees responded to the content, flow and exercises. They walked away with driving motivation, just the right tools, and a personalized plan!


So, if you are feeling some anxiety about an upcoming course, don’t panic! The emotion is normal—maybe even necessary—to stimulate creativity and produce your best work.

Learn to harness it.

Take a deep breath, clear your mind, get in touch with what the audience really needs, and put the BeAnAmazingTrainer™ course design system to work. You can do this!

It helps to know you're not alone. Other trainers have felt anxiety, yet still got the job done. Have a quick story to share? How did you harness the power of anxiety and make it work? Come on over to the community and share! CLICK HERE to join the BeAnAmazingTrainer™ Community!

Have an amazing day!


About the Author: Claire Laughlin is a highly regarded training expert who has dedicated her career to studying and improving patterns of communication in organizations. Claire works across various industries, coaching individuals and creating large scale, global-reaching training programs designed to uplift and support excellence across functions and cultural divides. Claire shares her expertise by offering training solutions for all levels of professional development.


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