I have around 7 years of work experience and recently I found myself terrified with group introductions. It has never happened before. I am dreaded with so much fear that I feel I am a total mess.

I am software engineer and joined a company 2 years back, thinking of it as my dream job. It has been almost 1 1/2 years since I had worked on a proper project and gradually my confidence and morale has declined. Most of the time I am assigned with non-important tasks and pretty much I finish it off in 1-2 hours and rest of the week I am idle. Once, I did get to work on a good project but I was disappointed that even when I was able to complete the project with best outcome my morale and confidence was and is still low. I guess I have lost my motivation, confidence and the enthusiasm.

I guess I have lot of free time that I have indulged myself in negative thinking that I am now having panic attacks of going to trainings or group introductions.

I am thinking of changing jobs but I am worried that I will carry over my existing mindset to the new job. I am feeling so low that I feel inferior to my colleagues when I know I am really good at what I do. I have been reading self help books and it is of no use.

How to break this habit? I am losing my health and sleep. I want to feel confident again.

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    What's a group introduction (that's a honest question, by the way)? And why would going to training sessions cause you a panic attack - what's at stake in the process or the outcome that would put such fear into you? The one time I was this terrified is when my three favorite nieces came up to me and told me that they saw me as a role model and they wanted to be like me :) – Vietnhi Phuvan Oct 3 '14 at 19:15
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    I would agree with Torok, from the tone of your post (you have no issues with anyone at your work yet still feel bad) it sounds more of a personal issue that a workplace problem. I would suggest looking for a psychologist, you might be suffering from depression or something like that. – SJuan76 Oct 3 '14 at 20:21
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    @VietnhiPhuvan..Prolonged low self esteem and lack of self confidence has given me the opportunity to make mountains of mole-hills or I would prefer to say monsters of moles. Lack of belief in myself and negative experience during these sessions made me to believe they are indeed terrible experiences. – Suresh Kumar Oct 3 '14 at 21:45
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    @SureshKumar In other words, you created your own personal hell hole with your mind and in your mind - There were and are no real world negative consequences that accrue from the training sessions and the group introductions. You're right: you need to change your attitude not for the sake of changing your attitude but so that you can see the world differently and in a much more realistic, positive light. And seeing the world differently is critical to changing the way you live your life. – Vietnhi Phuvan Oct 3 '14 at 22:28
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    @SureshKumar He who see enemies everywhere and acts as if he has enemies everywhere - he will alienate enough people that he will actually have enemies everywhere. Fortunately, you are nowhere near that stage. I join others in recommending that you seek counseling to put your healing process on a stronger base and accelerate your healing. – Vietnhi Phuvan Oct 3 '14 at 22:30

I think the reason you dread group introductions is because you have too much free time on the job and you may feel like you are not contributing to the level that your colleagues are. That is the real problem. In group introductions, people say who they are and what they do, and you have said that you complete your work quickly and are idle the rest of the week. If you address this problem (not enough work), group introductions will be much less stressful, because you will feel more like a contributor and your confidence will increase.

Ask your supervisor for additional work, and if you get that work I predict your anxiety about group introductions will go away.

Here is a sample introduction based on what you wrote:

Hi, I am Suresh and I do unimportant work here for 1-2 hours per week, after which time I try to look busy.

Who wouldn't hate delivering this introduction?

Wouldn't it be better to say something like:

Hi, I'm Suresh, and I work on the XYZ project. Before that I was involved in development work for the ABC project which you all remember fondly.

Whenever I was new on a team, group introductions bothered me, too. It always feels better to feel like a contributor.

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    Wow...you really hit the nail on the head. I have nothing important to say and most probably I am looking myself less than my colleagues at a subconscious level. At least I can take a more constructive path from now. Thanks!!! – Suresh Kumar Oct 5 '14 at 21:16

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