If as William Makepeace Thackery said, “Love makes fools of us all, big and little.”, then the question each of us should ask is, “What does anxiety make of us?”
What do you believe about your anxiety?
What words come to mind when you start looking at your anxiety and the part it plays in your life?
What scares you the most about your anxiety?
I ask these questions due to some things I realized recently about my anxiety. Things along the lines of what part my mindset played in my recovery, and what barriers my passive, fear-fueled perfectionism put in my way.
Of course, what I think about my anxiety today is very different than when it was so out-of-control my greatest fear was being overwhelmed by it.
But one thing about my thinking is still the same – it’s the small changes I made (and keep making) that got me to where I am today.
Small changes have a big impact.
They allow you to take control in small ways because trying to wrestle control from anxiety in big ways doesn’t work.
Those small changes add up. They help you make new and different small changes.
They can help you take actions to explore aspects of yourself that you haven’t been able to in the past.
With small changes, you’re not only changing your reality and your relationship with yourself . . . but you’re also changing how you experience your anxiety.
That’s what I realized yesterday.
The various techniques, mini-meditations, Personal Bill of Rights, etc. aid you in taking back your power from anxiety.
They help you reshape how you think about yourself.
In turn, that changes how you think and feel about other things.
Highly important expectations get a makeover. Interactions with people are handled differently. Your relationship with yourself changes.
But what about your relationship with anxiety?
What Do You Believe About Your Anxiety and Outsmarting It?
During the four years I’ve been dealing with and outsmarting my anxiety, these are the two beliefs that kept me going:
- I had to continue moving forward, grow and let myself change because to remain the same would also mean my anxiety was the same; and
- I had to trust myself to do what was necessary to encourage and allow those changes to happen.
The one thing I didn’t have was a time-frame for making my recovery happen.
Instinctively I knew that I had to go at my own pace, and that I had to trust everything would work out.
It has . . . just not in any way that I expected.
In fact, I had to give up one major expectation about my career in order to eliminate an impasse I had with my anxiety.
Had I kept on with trying to have a freelance writing career, where instead of having one “boss” I had many, I would not be as far along in my recovery as I am.
Granted anxiety is still a part of my life, but its effect is minor unless past trauma is being triggered. Even when that happens, a little extra effort is all that’s needed to prevent it from escalating.
I credit both my beliefs and the use of techniques and practices in helping me make small, but significant changes in changing how I experience anxiety.
What about you?
Do you believe small changes can help you outsmart and overcome anxiety?
What beliefs and/or expectations are getting in your way of your recovery?
What do you believe about your anxiety and your experiences with it?
These may not be easy questions to answer but I think they’re ones that each of us need to think about and keep in mind.
That’s because conscious awareness about our relationship and experiences with anxiety can show us where things are working, and where they’re not.
Please feel free to share your insights in the comments.