Knowing yourself vs knowing your anxiety

They might seem the same but they’re not.

An anxious person will grow to become familiar with the feeling of anxiety and how it manifests in they’re day to day life.

And over time they may find that they knowing doing certain things will trigger there anxiety so they won’t do it.

But not because it’s dangerous or unsafe but because they’re afraid. And the thing with fear is that it’s a feeling and so even when in your mind you know it’s fine your body is sending signals that it’s not.

So just because you know yourself when you’re afraid it’s not the same as knowing yourself because you’re more than your fears.

Chances are there’s so many aspects of you that you’ve not given yourself space to explore.

 

Scary but worth it

Don’t apply this to horror movies.

It can be difficult to get past the thing that scares you. The longer you put it off the more your reasons not to do it grow.

You come up with excuses like:

I won’t be good at it.

People will laugh.

Someone else would be better suited.

I’ll do it next time.

I didn’t have enough time.

And sometimes those excuses are totally valid but sometimes they’re just easy ways for you to hide away and tell yourself that it’s not possible for you.

If you think you won’t be good at it that’s normal when you’re doing something new and ‘anything worth doing is worth doing poorly until you can learn to do it well’ so give yourself time.

If you think people will laugh, let them laugh. The only reason it doesn’t feel good is because you’re paying attention to it, so stop.

If you think someone else would be better, ask yourself why. It’s easy to believe that others are more talented or more capable than you are when the truth could be that you’re just more consumed by fear.

Don’t be so reliant on next time as that time might never come. Plus to quote a song from Cheetah Girls 2 ‘why wait, now is the right time’.

Lastly, not to make you wanna through up by being cliche but we all have 24 hours in a day. Granted you might have kids, a full-time job, be in education and also be a carer to a family member so things might seem impossible but life is as life does.

You have to make the best of your circumstances and find a way to make them work for you.

If not let the dream go.

And so there’s no denying that overcoming your fears can be scary but it’s also worth it.

If that’s not a reason to try, I don’t know what is.

 

Bravery and uncontrollable outcomes

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about risk, personal growth and trying new things.

When you do something that challenged you it’s only normal that you would want the risk to pay off.

And when things work out it’s great. You feel good inside because you were brave and it payed off. You’ll probably do that thing again because the good outcome taught you that there was nothing to be afraid of.

But what about when the outcome is not what you wanted. You muster the courage to speak up in the meeting and your points are dismissed.

What do you do?

Do you speak again?

The part of the brain that deals with fear and survival will set off the safety alarm and maybe even go into shut down mode.

When you do something and it doesn’t work, it’s not considered a ‘safe’ option which is why you often end up retreating.

But what I’ve learnt is that the act of being brave is where the focus should be. When you place too much importance on the outcome you don’t acknowledge what it took to do the thing you were afraid of in the first place.

Things can’t work out the way you want all the time, perfection is a falsehood.

She carries it with her wherever she goes

If you’re wondering what she carries with her, the answer is fear.

It’s in her voice, the way she talks. You’ll hear the words not quite flow because she’s second guessing herself, so worried about not saying the wrong thing that she can never say the right thing.

It’s in the way she walks, with her head down and no eye contact. She sort of stomps along as if to make her presence known but all she wants to do is hide.

And if you watch her you’ll see it in the way she picks at her fingers, fidgets in her seat and constantly observes her surroundings as though there is something to fear.

But there is something to fear, at least there is in her world.

There’s mistakes, embarrassment and comparison.

And it’s in the way she moves. She’s so tense and rigid that it feels uncomfortable to relax her muscles.

She is so full of fear and she carries it with her wherever she goes.

If she could only let it go it would change her life and she knows it but she doesn’t know how.

Even when she can’t feel it, it’s still there lingering.

But most people have no idea and so they just think she’s a little odd but she’s just trying to be normal.

Keep learning as you go

Great advice in 5 words.

So many of us want to be successful or achieve certain goals but what are we actually doing about it.

You might think you need another personal development, business or self-help book. Another conference, podcast episode or online course.

When you’re consuming with the goal of applying it to your own work, projects or goals it might be useful to check in every now and then and ask yourself ‘Is this helping me reach my goal?’

If the answer is no then stop trying to collect as much information as possible and start doing whatever your thing is.

It’s easy to think that more is always better but if you’re not doing anything with the information, what’s the point?

I think for some people fear comes into play. They say ‘I’ll start when I know more about it’ but there will always be something new to learn.

I think a pretty good approach is to just start and keep learning as you go. It might be scary but I bet you it will be worth it.

 

Embracing the worst case scenario

Because if you make peace with the worst possible outcome, it can only go up from there.

If you’re afraid to do something because of how it will turn out you’re probably not going to do it. But by figuring out what exactly you’re afraid of it might help you overcome it.

That’s because once you learn to embrace the worst case scenario you realise that it’s not the end of the world.

When you accept that things going wrong won’t bring the world down, that unless you’re dead (yes I had to take it there), there’s room for you to bounceback,¬†well the fear kinda dissipates.

And as much you might feel fear, most of what you’re afraid of isn’t ever life and death risky.

So, learn to embrace the fear instead.

The waiting game

Not all games are worth playing, not unless you have to.

If you could choose certainty over uncertainty, would you?

Would you still choose certainty if it required courage and perhaps a little discomfort  (which is totally normal when something is new).

If the answer is no then that means that your fear overrides the bit of you that wants to be at peace. That you’ll accept long-term discomfort because it’s comfortable and familiar over short term momentary discomfort that will lead to peace.

It might be hard to admit to you yourself and even harder to say out loud but what if it’s true.

What if you’re subconsciously (or consciously now that you’re aware) holding yourself back because you’ve become comfortable with discomfort.

I’ve always said that there’s comfort in familiarity, it’s a better the devil you know kind of situation.

So, if you find yourself in the waiting game and it’s uncomfortable, don’t keep playing.

Do something different, it might feel scary but it might be worth it.