A tendency to overthink and procrastinate, particularly when faced with uncertainty. A thinking response that tends to freeze in the face of uncertain events and the fear of unknown consequences.


  • Who doesn't hesitate before taking action? We all do it as it's natural response to wanting to get things right.

  • Hesitancy that paralyses your thinking process however is a feature of anxiety. 

  • Weighing up uncertainty and the probability and cost of getting a decision wrong , can be very stressful.

  • Anxiety sufferers often show a tendency for judgment bias. They tend to overestimate the cost of failure. Small probabilities become gigantic. This can lead them to fear failure.

  • People with anxiety often lean towards more subjective and emotional thinking. They tend to exaggerate the negative.

  • Anxiety also tends to make people think in a fixed way. Adapting to change may seem daunting and difficult.


  • Therapy has a great track record for anxiety. For example, CBT or talking therapy will help you to moderate your thinking style and overcome a fear of failure. A therapist will equip you with tools and techniques so you can learn to cope with uncertainty.

  • Try mindfulness meditation and breathing. Regular sessions will help you to recognise your own thought patterns and the effect they are having. By calming your emotions you will feel less threatened by uncertainty when it arises.

  • Practise self-help. Recognise the harm no action may have. Doing nothing usually has a cost. Set yourself goals for success and reward yourself when you achieve them. Follow this simple model for behaviour change.

  • Take a strengths-based approach. List out your strengths and capabilities and use these to inform and make a decision. Learn to trust yourself.

  • Draw on friends and colleagues who are decisive and doing what you want to do. Follow their example.

  • Take regular cardio exercise with the goal of achieving at least 20 minutes per day for five days a week. Exercises relieves the symptoms of anxiety and builds your resilience to stress. A brisk walk, run or moderate to intense workout will do the trick.


The Anxiety Toolkit

Dr Alice Boyes 2015

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Rewire Your Anxious Brain: How to Use the Neuroscience of Fear to End Anxiety, Panic and Worry

Catherine M Pittman 2015


Rewire Your Brain: Self Discipline. The Complete Guide To Overcome Fear, Anxiety, Panic Attacks, Timidity, 

Daniel Robert 2020

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