From the get-go we get the hang of masking angst. The reality, from the beginning of civilization, is that angst repels help from others and attracts trouble from predators. CaveMan worried about finding dinner frequently wound up as some beast's dinner.
Unfortunately, too many displaced professionals let their angst hover over everything, from their careers to personal lives. One school teacher forced into retirement has insulated herself behind a fortress of panic. The drawbridge is down. The moat is stocked with alligators.
Had she been open, she might have taken suggestions to teach English as a second language in China or coach students there how to be admitted to American academic institutions. The opportunity is huge. The compensation is lucrative. I have been cashing in by copy editing Chinese scholars' submissions to English publications and copywriting for enterprises targeted at Americans.
How to go from gloom to glad? Fake it until you make it. Adopting the persona of a human being who can cope will actually trick one's brain wiring to approach the world with confidence in oneself. The breakthrough book "Confidence" by Harvard Business School professor Rosabeth Kanter hammers that the lack of confidence and the panic it triggers are the causes of much of the downward trajectories and stalled comebacks.