I want you to think about something for a minute. And really think about it-don’t just come up with a one word answer.
Do you push through anxiety, or do you avoid situations that make you anxious? And why?
If one thing ‘s for sure, it’s that I’ve thought about this a lot. This is because I’ve been known to be the “Queen Bee “in the way of canceling plans. I’ve canceled dates (which my boyfriend hates), work obligations (more bad choices), and even a trip to the Emmy Awards. (True story-I’ll tell you that one later.)
And why? BECAUSE I’M ANXIOUS.
To put it simply, anxiety bites. When we’re stuck in the throes of anxiety, it’s hard to want to do anything. So we call it quits. Instead of trying to push through anxiety, we give up.
But is this really the best choice to make?
I look at it like this…
It’s easy to bow out when you’re feeling anxious, but what good does this do? The repercussions of bailing on obligations are never positive. Not only does this ruin your reliability (which I’ve lost many friends over), it also wrecks your self-esteem.
As the late Susan Jeffers once said, “feel the fear and do it anyway.” This philosophy is one of my core principles in life. Granted, I still screw up. A lot. But you get the point.
To me, feeling the fear and doing it anyway means embracing the discomfort associated with anxiety. It also means living by the old saying “this too shall pass.” Because it will. Maybe not right now, but it will pass.
That said, there’s something else that I’ve learned in this process. Over planning is the quickest way that we set ourselves up for failure. There are times that I feel great and plan a multitude of things. But when the moment to fulfill my obligations arrives, I cancel. As a result, I choose not to push through anxiety.
To combat this, it’s essential to plan practically. If you’re trying to overcome social anxiety, maybe don’t book yourself three times in a weekend. Start with one thing and work your way up. And if you’re trying to move past a fear of flying, start with a short flight.
In doing this, you’ll set yourself up for success. Not only will you feel good about yourself, you’ll gain the respect of others because you really got where you said you would.
So how can you begin to push through anxiety today? What changes can you make to set yourself up for success?
(And consider reading Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway. It’s truly life changing.)
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