July 22, 2016

How to break through anxiety and do things you’re scared of

Ever wanted to do something but you backed out because you got too scared?

Today I want to share a strategy to help you march on through these scary situations with boldness, confidence and courage.

I believe that you can start doing the things you’re scared of again.

Don’t think you’re going to LOSE your anxiety.

Let’s be honest…

We’ve read tons of articles on how to get rid of anxiety.

And guess what?

We are still anxious today.

No, this strategy finally respects your anxiety.

We are just going to treat it well and give it a whole different meaning.

It’s worth trying, I promise.

Let’s get into it.

What are you scared of?

what are you scared of

Maybe it is a presentation at work..

a talk at a wedding…

a theater play…

singing a song…

Maybe it is even just getting out of your house…

going to the store…

going to a sports club or calling someone up.

If you’ve been struggling with social anxiety or performance anxiety for a long time, you know it can seem impossible to imagine you might ever get better at this.

You might have come to believe you are just like this…

You have decided that “this is you”.

You say: “No, I’m just timid. I’m not a people’s person.”

And I respect that.

But can we agree that on our deepest level, we don’t like that we backed out on things we wanted to do?

Can we agree that we wish we’d had the courage to do all those things we wanted?

Good, so stick with me.

This is not about changing who you are, this is simply about being able to do the things we want and long for in our hearts.

And let me set one thing straight:

The reason we give up is not because we are weak or unwilling to overcome the fear.

The reason we give up is exhaustion.

Exhausted from fighting.

It’s like you are playing a game but without those health-restoring-packages you can pick up along the game.

So are you ready to try a new way of approaching the things you’re scared of?

Remember this new strategy when you’re about to do something BIG and SCARY

Here is the strategy I want you to remember:

When you are about to do something BIG…

Anything that requires you to stick your neck out….

Maybe for you this is a talk at a wedding, a presentation at work, reading out loud in class, starting your own blog…

Or maybe for you it means getting yourself to go to the supermarket, taking the bus, going to your sports club, calling someone…

Whatever it is, it is a HUGE challenge for you right now.

It’s big enough for you to make you rethink and not follow through.

So when you want to do something but you feel the anxiety come up and your head gets bombarded with thoughts like “But I don’t have anything important to say!”, “They are going to laugh at me!”, “Everyone is going to see how weak I actually am.”, “I don’t want to go outside”.

remember this when anxiety keeps you from doing what you want to do

Remember the following:

Maybe this is not about whether or not I succeed.

Maybe this is about whether or not I give effort to something that is meaningful to me.

Maybe it is not about whether it turns out perfect, but it’s that I began the journey.

The destination does not have to be perfect and in the promised land for me.

Instead, let me focus on this: “can I develop as a human here?”

(excerpt from Brendon Burchard’s podcast and blog about how to deal with anxiety for high performers)

Really try to let this land.

Seriously, stop.

You are rushing around all day, just stop for one second here.

Think about ONE thing that is buried deep down inside you that you’ve been wanting to do, but you have been too scared to actually do it…

And if you don’t have something like that, think of ONE thing, a seemingly small thing that you keep putting off.

Is it that phone call? That trip to the sports club? Going out the door?

So think about that moment and remember again:

“I know deep down I want to do this and I know it’s fear that’s keeping me from doing it. Maybe I can start today because it’s not about whether it turns out perfect. All that matters is that I try. That I give effort to something meaningful.”

And let me tell you:

ANYTHING you want… any desire in your heart is meaningful for you.

Even getting up and going to the grocery store although you’re scared of seeing people there.

EVERY time you do something you’re scared of…

You grow.

You develop as a human by acknowledging your anxiety but still doing what you feel in your heart you want to do.

You are developing courage and bravery because you are consciously changing your old behavior (backing out of scary situations) by changing your negative self-talk and breaking bad habits.

Now, you might say:

“This is great and all, but this doesn’t get rid of my anxiety!”

And that’s true.

So the last part of this blog is about what to do with your anxiety.

Because the goal is not to lose the anxiety.

It’s about taking the meaning and power of that anxiety away.

So keep reading…

What marathon runners teach you about what to do with your anxiety

If you are trying to do something that’s meaningful to you and you want to completely get rid of anxiety you are like a marathon runner that wants to finish the marathon without feeling tired.

It’s impossible.

Tiredness is part of running marathons.

These runners don’t train to try to run without getting tired.

They know getting tired is a part of the process.

They just put it that tiredness in a place where it doesn’t mean they fail.

Getting tired is a sign they are doing something meaningful to them: running a marathon.

where do you put the fear - excerpt from seth godins book what to do when its your turn
Excerpt from Seth Godin’s Book: What To Do When It’s Your Turn: yourturn.link

Just like that, we can notice our anxiety and say: “I see you, anxiety. You want me to back out now. Good. That means I’m doing something big, something meaningful to me.”

That way, anxiety becomes a part of the process, and stops being the enemy.

Let’s not forget the root cause of your anxiety

Now, let’s be real here for a second:

This strategy is a great tool to help you to push through when you want to do things you are afraid of.

But in the long run, this won’t solve anything.

Why?

Because as long as you believe in false assumptions about yourself and keep telling yourself a ton of negative self-talk you will keep bringing yourself down and inviting anxiety in your life.

I believe that 90% of our social anxiety is completely based on false assumptions and negative self-talk.

That other 10% will always be there.

Even the most confident people in the world live with that anxiety.

So let’s also work on the root cause here and start analyzing where you are unconsciously creating false realities and negative self talk about yourself.

Because if we don’t understand how we are talking down on ourselves, we will never believe in ourselves.

And believing in yourself takes away a big chunk of that unnecessary anxiety.

Now…

go do that ONE thing you have been putting off.

And remember:

“This is not about whether or not I succeed. This is about whether or not I give effort to something that is meaningful to me.”