Anxiety is crippling. As I’m writing this right now, I feel my heart racing. My hands are twitching as I tap into my keyboard. My eyes, lightly filled with water. And I don’t even know why.
Breathe in. Breathe out.
Stepping out of your comfort zone can initially be exhilarating. The initial excitement hits you like a warm wave. You’re caught up in your ideas of what-ifs and the potential. I know that’s how I felt when I decided to start a business.
It all started with a small seeding of an idea. I talked to over a 100 of my friends to see what they were struggling with. What their pain points were. And if I had anything within me to help ease their burden.
Living in such a go go go world, we seldom have the time to stop and answer for ourselves:
Is this what I really want to do?
Am I on the right path?
Am I happy with where my life is going?
Am I living out my full potential?
These were the questions my friends struggled to answer. And this was the problem I knew I had to fix.
Together we watered the seedling. We showered it with so much love and support. Words of encouragement. Honest feedback. My friends helped me grow my business into something I couldn’t NOT share with the world. I knew it had the potential to solve my community’s biggest pain point.
Suddenly I got lost in my head. I created this business that was ready to launch. Yet I was too scared to press the launch button.
I’m not uncomfortable exposing myself, but the idea of exposing my baby to the world terrified me. I had never done this before.
I found myself sleeping longer days. I found myself swimming in constant panic attacks. I found myself making excuses to watch Keeping Up with the Kardashians (oddly therapeutic) than work on my craft.
And it came to a point where I was almost MORE ready to let this blossomed flower die than show it off to the world
My fears of failure and uncertainty were slowly hacking away at it.
But I had a mentor who reminded me why I even started in the first place: To help people.
To help people like me: young, ambitious, confused, scared, full of hope and potential to truly change this world (but sometimes need a little help to get there).
This business was bigger than me. And as long as it could help one person, then I could find a way to temporarily stop watching the Kardashians and work through my anxiety.
Emotions are a powerful thing. The only thing I’ve found more powerful is the mind. It has the ability to bring your body out of its negative state and back to a positive state. Below are some exercises and ideas that I used to manage my anxiety and hopefully they can work for you too.
This is simple. Deep, slow breaths help us relax but the Power Breath goes one step further. Just breathe out for double the time that you’d breathe in. For example, I count 2 beats in my head breathing in. I count 4 beats in my head breathing out.
Breathe in (1–2)
Breathe out (1–2–3–4)
I often fall back to this exercise as the exercise makes your body go back to a calm, relaxed state. Focusing on the counting also helps revert your focus from your anxiety triggers to keeping track of your breath.
“Where focus goes, energy flows” -Tony Robbins
After doing the power breath and bringing myself back to a relaxed state, I get out a piece of paper or my laptop and I start identifying all my triggers for my current anxiety.
In this case, my two triggers were:
Then, I try to go down deeper. I break it to its root issues. What exactly am I anxious about?
Putting feelings to paper helps me see my feelings, acknowledge them, and start working with them rather than them against me.
Write down all the worst case scenarios. And I mean every single thing you can think of. Even if it’s totally ridiculous.
Then next to it, write down what you can do to prevent it from happening or decrease the chances of it occurring.
By de-risking your worst case scenarios, you have a go-to plan should anything go south (and chances are, most worst case scenarios won’t happen. But hey, now you’re prepared).
“When thinking about life, remember this: No amount of guilt can solve the past, and no amount of anxiety can change the future.” – Unknown
Our brains have a negativity bias. It can take up to 5 positive thoughts to reverse one negative thought. We’re hard wired this way due to our evolutionary past of surviving in the wilderness. For the action(s) anxiety is preventing you from taking, write down all the positives and benefits of taking it.
Building up what I call a fountain of happiness provides you a place to soak in all the good vibes and thoughts when the evil face of anxiety calms crawling back.
I use this exercise to show me what my anxiety is holding me back from. This helps me push through because the price of inaction is often higher than I could bear in the long run.
Be specific. What is the price of inaction for you? Think emotionally, physically, psychologically, financially, and beyond yourself. Think next 6 months, 1 year, 5 years, 10 years, your life.
When you see the cost of not acting, it creates a new drive in you.
Even when anxiety is knocking at your door, you see that you have something bigger than yourself to live for and to work for. And that is a powerful thing.
I go back to these exercises when I feel my anxiety coming back. They don’t always stop it but they certainly help me manage my anxiety. I hope you find value in them as you go out into the world and do your thing. You’ve got too loud a voice to let anxiety keep you from singing.
Are you struggling with the same questions my friends were? Unsure of your path, not living out your potential, not doing what you want to do? Then check out my video where I show you the 3 steps to launch a life you truly want.
Click here to access the video. I’ll see you on the other side 🙂
Originally published at theconsciouscareer.com