There are things you want to do. You want to start dating. You long to speak your truth. You are so ready to quit your job. You crave putting your art, words or message out in the world.
Yet something stops you. And it’s not even some external obstacle. It’s your own anxiety, worry or fear. You imagine the worst-case scenario or engage in paralysis by analysis all in an attempt to calm your concerns, yet this just makes them worse!
So how do you take action when so much doubt and fear is in the way? This is exactly what I coach Suzanne on in this week’s episode of Over It and On With It. She has a pattern of catastrophic thinking, worry, and anxiety that is keeping her from living the life she longs for. If you can relate, you will receive a lot of value out of this coaching session.
Worry is using our mind to come up with and visualize worst-case scenarios, instead of using the power of our mind to visualize what we truly want to occur. On some level, we think it’s protecting us or keeping us safe. But all it’s doing is creating more anxiety.
When we feel fear, it’s important that we first be with the part of us that feels scared and anxious. When we get scared as adults, we need to learn how to respond to it in a way that feels reassuring. A big part of this can be addressed by self-soothing. Most of the ways we attempt to soothe ourselves are not about soothing at all. We may be numbing or distracting ourselves. We run away from the fear by working, eating, sedating ourselves with drugs or alcohol, or using social media for hours.
But the more we ignore it, the bigger the “monster in our closet” becomes, so instead of running from your fear, face it head on. It doesn’t mean you have to conquer it, just be with it. What does it need from you? If the fear has a message for you, what’s the message? Can you trust yourself to sit with it rather than run? Be a reassuring voice to yourself. Tell yourself you are safe, and that everything is OK.
As you will hear in the call, Suzanne’s sense of self, and ability to feel safe regardless of external conditions, wasn’t developed, so she didn’t feel safe when she was outside of her home.
Like many of us, Suzanne said she understood my coaching intellectually but she still found it hard to shift in the moment. But, it’s the follow-through that matters.
That’s why I designed my Inner Circle membership community to focus on a certain quality every month. We focus on moving something from awareness into integration. So change actually happens. It’s more than learning concepts, you learn to apply them and create changes in your life. Go here for more on how to join us.
Today I invite you to consider:
- Do you worry a lot? Do you have a tendency to imagine worst-case scenarios, or have a habit of waiting for the other shoe to drop?
- Do you think that preparing for the worst protects you from being disappointed?
- Did something challenging, traumatic or catastrophic happen to you as a kid, so you live with nervous anticipation that something bad will happen again?
- How are you soothing yourself when you go into fear, anxiety, or panic? Are you able to calm yourself down? What are your coping mechanisms?