When you think about anxiety, many different things come mind: Overwhelm, Frustration, Depressed, Sadness, Helplessness, and often times a total lack of desire to even get out of bed in the morning. You wish you could just pull the covers over your head and not face the day because you wonder, “what’s the point?”
If you just read that and nodded your head in resounding agreement, you are certainly not alone. Statistics show that over 40 million people in the U.S. alone suffer from some type of anxiety disorder. Even for those who aren’t stuck in the grip of anxiety on a daily basis, the occasional anxious feelings that come with situations in everyday life can still be quite unsettling.
I’ve written many articles about this topic over on Surviving My Past, and spent the better part of 2017 doing weekly interactive Periscope videos every Sunday on learning about the tricks and lies that anxiety uses, as well as the skills that we have to beat it. It’s a passion of mine because I’ve lived with anxiety for a long time, and I too know first hand how mentally and physically exhausting it can be. After talking with so many survivors both in person and through interactive videos, the struggle is indeed real for countless people all over the world.
There are some key points to understand and embrace, when it comes to working through anxiety:
- It uses tricks and lies to get ahold of us and keep us stuck.
- When Anxiety gains power, we lose power.
- It’s relentless in it’s pursuit to gain power of over you and keep you in it’s grip.
- The ability to overcome it means that we must first understand it, and then realize that we already have the power within us, even when we don’t realize it.
Are there times when some anxiety is actually good for you? Is it possible that it could serve a healthy purpose in our life? Could it be used as a motivating factor to drive us in our career, or to better ourselves with self-improvement? (hint, working together we’ll cover all of that and more and expose anxiety for what it truly is in your life, not what it wants you to believe). There are pros and cons to this theory; but regardless the underlying factor is that it’s anxiety, and anxiety can easily get out of hand in a hot second. Just when you think it’s under control, suddenly you’re consumed with worry, low self-esteem, panic, and over-thinking every situation under the sun. You are no longer the person that you used to know; or the person that you want to be seems like a pipe dream.
There’s much debate about whether some anxiety is good for you, but that depends greatly on what you deem as “good for you”. The instinct of fear keeps us from going out into the street without looking both ways, or staying away from a dangerous animal. That’s not anxiety, that’s simply our mind protecting us. One of the things that anxiety does is take our built in fear instinct and send us into overdrive, trying to take over our very existence. Before you know it, even the most routine daily situations are seemingly insurmountable tasks.
I remember talking with my good friend of mine and amazing anxiety warrior, Jodi Aman, about this; how the very grip that anxiety has, is based on lies and tricks. It uses our vulnerability, our self-perceived weaknesses, and past events to bring up a host of self-defeating mindsets that serve only steal our joy, hold us back, and keep us from experiencing what life has to offer.
It will try to make you believe that you aren’t worthy of anything, that you can’t trust your own judgment, that you are crazy, and that you should just suffer in silence and isolation, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
When you work with a Life Coach to help you in your battle against anxiety, we explore just what exactly is going on in your life now and what’s happened in the past, that anxiety is trying to exploit. After all it’s important to understand that while daily circumstances in life can cause a host of anxious feelings, the past also plays a big part in what anxiety will try to do to you.
I’ve mentioned many times that when anxiety gains power, you lose power. Think of it as a scale; when anxiety is in full force and we feel helpless, the scales are tipped in its favor. But, when you start to understand just what’s going on, and where it’s coming from, you immediately begin to tip the scales back in your favor!
When you start your journey of overcoming anxiety, one of the first things we talk about is that the power to beat it is already inside you. Yes, I said that…take a minute for it to sink in. Even if you’re shaking your head right now and saying to yourself, “I have no power to beat it”…trust me when I say that you do! It’s there, but anxiety itself has caused you believe yet another lie…that you are helpless.
You are not helpless my friend, you are powerful and you are resilient. Say that yourself right now… “I am powerful and I am resilient”.
The very fact that you are waking up each day and doing the best that you can, is a testament to your resiliency. Sure it’s not easy, and maybe you’re just barely getting by most days, but it doesn’t have to be that way forever. Overwhelming anxiety is not a life sentence.
Let’s see where you are right now in life, and understand how the past plays into that, and begin working towards an empowering feeling of waking up each day knowing that you can handle whatever comes, rather than dreading it. To realize that the joy and contentment you want and deserve is there…ready and waiting for you!
You can do it! I know you can, and I’ll be with you every step of the way. Consider scheduling your free intro session and let’s chat! We’ll discover if working with an anxiety coach, is right for you.
-Matt Pappas, CLC