I wanted to write about something that has been on my mind a lot this week. And it is overcoming anxiety.
I realize now how easy it is to cripple oneself. I used to worry that I wasn’t strong enough to overcome certain obstacles in my life so I would back down, or that I wasn’t good enough to be around other people so I avoided social situations. These fears took the form of anxiety which hindered my ability to accomplish things in my life, and kept me from becoming the person I deserve to be! Almost like a dark gloomy cloud was following me around, just waiting for it to rain. Getting rid of this cloud can be SO HARD. I found it very easy to fall back into bad mental habits and feeling sorry for myself (we are only human). BUT it is possible to overcome these habits and form new ways of thinking. Here are some of the steps I have taken and found helpful to overcome fear, anxiety and self-doubt. Hope they help you as well
1. Become aware: Empower yourself! Feed your mind with knowledge and awareness. Study these self-destructive mental habits. The only way I was able to move forward was by reading about where these mental patterns come from. I love studying psychology and the way the brain works. There are neural pathways our brain is used to taking which makes our old habits easy to fall into. But because of our brain’s neuroplasticity (defined as changes in neural pathways and synapses due to changes in behavior, emotions, thinking), you have the power to create new pathways! So, when you begin to think “I can’t,” recognize it, stop it and start thinking “I CAN.” If you would like to learn more in depth about how the brain works and how to transform your way of thinking, you can also read this very informative book called Superbrain, by Deepak Chopra and Rudolph E. Tanzi.
2. As NIKE (or Shia Labeouf) says, JUST DO IT: Fear thrives on inaction. I used to think in circles, make excuses for not starting certain projects, talk myself out of participating in certain social situations, and feel so overwhelmed that I would just sit in my bed. Instead of letting your mind run away with everything that could go wrong, just skip the contemplation and get right to it – JUST DO IT! You will find that facing something you would normally stress over and put off isn’t as bad as you thought. In fact you will feel more empowered, lighter, and hopeful! It feels good to face your fears.
3. Forgive yourself: EVERYONE makes mistakes. We are human. And it is so important to forgive yourself in order to move forward. I used to sit there and think, “UGH I should have done that,” or “Wow how am I supposed to move forward when I have already been doing this for so long.” WELL those thoughts are simply unproductive. And it is human to fear things; it is human to fall into old ways and human to make mistakes. So forgive yourself for being human and move forward and write a new chapter of your life!
4. Believe in yourself: You are worth more than you give yourself credit for. Seriously. Look at yourself and the beauty that you have on the inside and out. You are a unique masterpiece. You were created for a reason and you have more potential than you realize. As Christopher Robin from Winnie the Pooh says, “You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” You are AWESOME. If Winnie the Pooh books says it, then you better believe it☺
Thank you for reading! -Cassaundra