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How To Overcome Your Anxiety

life Sep 18, 2019
 

Out of all the disorders, anxiety affects the most. In the U.S. today, 40 million adults age 18 and above suffer with some form of anxiety but unfortunately only 36.9% ever receive treatment for it. 

I have always suffered with social anxiety but I have also created many strategies to help mitigate its effect on my life from day-to-day. I've learned to live with it for the most part but there have been times in my life where the overwhelming feeling of anxiousness consumes me and leaves me struggling to catch my breath. 

The worst attacks I have had has always been when I was presenting in front of people. You can now understand how the effects of my anxiety attacks has sabotaged my career during the most untimely moments of my life. 

I'm happy to say that today however, I've almost entirely beat my anxiety as a result of creating a strategy that has helped me overcome my anxiety and no longer holds me hostage from doing the things that I want to do career wise. My confidence is finally greater than my fear of failure. 

It all started when I discovered that our lives follow a series of of zones. 

Before I discovered this, I never really knew what was on the other side of my anxiety attacks. By that I mean every time I tried to do something important for my life, I would be struck with a massive anxiety attack that would prevent me from progressing and ultimately setting my life backwards. I could never really grow. I began to ask myself "why even try?".

I learned to live with my social anxiety. I learned that it was a mechanism that was really only trying to protect me. But protect me from what? I never understood that part but after discovering these different zones, I was immediately able to identify that it was actually trying to keep me in my comfort zone and that the only thing it was keeping me from was the learning zone. What's there to fear from learning? 

I immediately went to work on creating a system that would help me break through the Fear Zone so that I could move on with my life. 

Here are the 5-steps I created that helped me overcome my anxiety:

  1. What's causing the current anxiety attack? Identify what triggers the anxiety attacks so that you can apply this strategy effectively to it. For me, it was public speaking and making YouTube videos. More precisely, I was suffering from Impostor Syndrome. 
  2. What is your anxiety preventing you from achieving? Clearly identify the goal or effect you are trying to achieve if you didn't suffer with anxiety. For me, It was preventing me from effectively marketing myself and my businesses and in turn failing my potential customers and clients. 
  3. What similar action can you do that doesn't trigger the attacks? Doing this similar action creates familiarity with what you are trying to do which should lessen the degree of anxiety with practice. For me, I practiced making YouTube videos for weeks until I began to feel comfortable in front of the camera. The anxiety was slowly beginning to lessen. 
  4. What powerful story is driving the desire? Create a reason that is bigger than what you are initially trying to achieve. This is like adding jet fuel to your cause. For me, my powerful story was that my anxiety was keeping my family from enjoying the things in life that I wanted them to experience because it kept hindering my business performance. Beating my anxiety meant I could beat anything.
  5. How will you celebrate your success? Plan a visit to your favorite restaurant or do something you enjoy very much to celebrate this amazing achievement! I bought two beers and watched a couple episodes of Mind hunters on Netflix! I don't drink often, only when I celebrate something significant!

This is the strategy that I created for myself and it worked for me wonderfully but I don't think I ever would have accomplished anything had I not discovered the different growth zones. It was only when I could see visually what I was going through in this diagram that I could even begin to create this framework for myself. 

Did I cure my anxiety completely? I feel like I have but what feels even better is knowing that if it ever comes back, I now have a strategy to overcome it again. 

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