Riding the Wave (of Anxiety): Alex Reid’s Vulnerable Moment Amidst a Global Event


Few platforms highlight success, glamour, and the brilliant cross-sections of global personalities as the UN General Assembly week in New York. But beneath the glittering surface, the weight of expectation can be crushing, even for the most experienced.

Alex Reid, Chief Communications Officer at Gates Ventures, recently shared a candid recounting of her experience during this prestigious event. Her honest account sheds light on the truth that no matter how accomplished or confident one may seem, anxiety can sneak up on any of us.

“I felt completely overwhelmed and anxious,” Reid confesses about the week, a stark contrast to the lively and joyous images on her Instagram. We often draw conclusions about others based on what we see on social media. However, it’s necessary to remember the person behind the posts. For Reid, the overwhelming feelings of imposter syndrome and anxiety created a stark juxtaposition against the backdrop of meeting global dignitaries like Jacinda Ardern and Prince William.

“I was horribly anxious and finding it really hard to be present. All I could do – as my therapist reminds me – is ride the wave. So I tried to do that,” Reid reveals.

For many, the wave of anxiety can be paralyzing. The sheer mental effort required to navigate these feelings, especially amidst high-profile engagements, cannot be overstated. Reid’s introspective reflections provide solace to countless others who may face similar struggles in high-pressure environments.

“I was quick to end conversations, hurrying to leave the room, and skipping opportunities to meet new people. Maybe those around me didn’t notice that I wasn’t quite there this time, I did try really hard to disguise my feelings and “act normal”. But underneath all this fakery, was my very real sense that I was bringing nothing to the room,” she admits.

This public display of vulnerability is both courageous and necessary. As a parent and a manager, Reid recognizes her role as a pillar of strength. However, she believes in demonstrating to her daughters that it’s okay to be human, to be vulnerable, and to ride that tumultuous wave of anxiety.

Reid’s reflections serve as a gentle reminder that behind the professional accolades, behind the poised photographs, and behind the impactful initiatives, there lies a person. A person who sometimes struggles, just like the rest of us.

In today’s age, where the facades of social media can often blur the lines of reality, Reid’s words strike a chord. It’s a reminder to us all: It’s okay to be vulnerable. It’s okay to ride the wave. And sometimes, simply showing up is the bravest thing one can do.