Note taking – how coaching helped changed the way I approach my anxiety at work

My ability to recall information, is, quite frankly, laughable. Ever since I was little recalling information has been something I have struggled with. Academically, even during my degree, I scored highly in my essays knowing my exam grade would pull me down. The exam wasn’t reflective of my learning, I knew the content – it was reflective of my recall skills. Even now I have a very strong anxious reaction to anything that requires me to be in an ‘exam style’ situation. 

As I entered the workplace, and during my career, I realised my anxiety around trying to ‘remember’ was stopping me from being able to recall important information when I needed to. And this is where coaching came in. My coach helped me find the root causes for my heightened anxiety in the workplace, and also discover a new way of working that reduced that anxiety. Note taking – or as my coach and I like to call it, putting things in my back pocket. Note taking has saved me in countless situations because it removes the pressure. 

I have taken notes into interviews, with examples written down so that I could concentrate on applying my answer to their question and not panicking of thinking of an example first. I take prep notes before and during meetings for the exact same reason – and when I do this, it allows me the headspace to recall because the pressure has been removed. 

Over time I have honed the confidence and skills, with the support of my coach, to not rely on note taking as much, which includes being confident to say “I don’t know” or ”let me find out and come back to you” or “I will just look that up now”… we can reach information so quickly thanks to technology, that we no longer have to feel like we need to retain everything. And that freedom allows me to concentrate on what I need to, to be able to apply it and be more creative in a thinking and meeting space. I am now able to listen, be involved and respond. I have been able to achieve this because I had a coach who asked exactly the right questions, so I could explore the issue myself and form my own conclusions. This empowered me to undertake activities I already had the answers to – I just didn’t know I had them. The coach created a safe space.  A space to think. A space that allowed me to find the answer myself.

Do you also struggle with the ability to recall information? You may have another burning issue on your mind? Coaching for me was a powerful medium to help me discover something that worked for me.  For me, coaching helped me to reduce the pressure on myself, and opened up a creative thinking space to recall the information! I won’t ever be able to state exact numbers in a meeting for example, but my notes can, and that is one of the most powerful tools in my work toolbox and no longer something which holds me back. 

For more information on how The Wellbeing Collective can help you via coaching, please get in touch

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