Almost everyone experiences some form of anxiety at one time or another. Speaking from personal experience, I know how disruptive anxiety can sometimes be. Ranging from mild to severe, anxiety can impact our businesses and other areas in our lives.
Here are some tips for breaking through your anxiety:
1. Ask yourself, “So what?” If you find yourself wondering, “What if this doesn’t work? What if it’s a waste of money? What if I don’t get the results I want?” ask yourself, “So what?” Keep drilling down until you get to the root of the issue. For example, let’s say you find yourself asking, “What if I don’t get the results I want?” So what? I won’t be successful. So what? People might think less of me. So what? I won’t have any friends. So what? I’d be lonely. And on and on until you reach the root of the issue. Then tell yourself, “I can handle it.” Even if you don’t believe it 100% at first, keep telling yourself, “I can handle it.” Because you can. You can figure out what you need to do. You can learn what you need to know. You can grow as a person, becoming more than you ever imagined. Just keep telling yourself, “I can handle it.”
2. Read books and listen to talks by inspirational people. Seeing how other people have overcome similar challenges can inspire and encourage you to keep trying, even when you are anxious or discouraged. I highly recommend Susan Jeffers’ book Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway and Brené Brown’s book I Thought It Was Just Me. It helps us to know that we are not the only ones who are sometimes anxious and full of self-doubt. The real issue is how much power you let it have over you and what you do about it.
3. Sometimes we feel anxious when we are faced with a choice but aren’t sure which decision would be best. While we need to research the options and do our due diligence, especially for larger decisions or those with a potentially greater impact, it can sometimes be too much. We might start attaching more importance and meaning to each of the options and the decision than is actually warranted. To reduce this tendency, we can view the choices as Option A and Option B instead of being right or wrong. In this way, whichever option you choose, you will have an opportunity for positivity, learning and growth. Some faith is key here as well; believe that you will end up where you need to be regardless of the path you choose right now.
Look for part 2 next week!
References: Some material drawn from work done by Susan Jeffers and Lucinda Bassett.