Anxiety – that curious beast, it’s holding me back.
There plenty of this flying around, especially in today’s current climate. How can I be anything else?
I was driving the other day and the song Sad still by Quinn XCII came on Spotify. He sings “We don’t want to feel this bad, so we sweep it under the mat, I take this red pill, green pill, black pill, I know deep down we’re sad still”. Then it goes on about our mask, images on instagram, reality stars, how it’s a taboo, and needing something stronger than Advil.
So if we’re taking all these pills and we’re surrounded by “successful” role models, why do we still feel sad?
Well for all those reasons and more. Comparing yourself as not good enough to all the shiny pics on social media, the stories on how fabulous my life is right now, not talking about how you really feel and not living as your real authentic self, all contribute to a less than happy self. Add isolation and uncertainty to all this, it seems like a mountain not a mole hill to climb.
In order to manage and solve a problem, we have to get very curious about when it started, how it works and what outcome you’re wanting. So
Three simple rules of the structure of the problem. In order for a problem to remain, it has to be in balance, some good and bad reasons to keep the problem. When the scales are tipped, as in I’m so uncomfortable with this, it’s not serving me anymore or it’s more hassle than it’s worth, then we can work to find a solution.
So the taboo part, I hear people say, “oh people think I’m so together, I’m exhausted at the end of the day keeping this mask up, I feel it starting to crack”. What if people saw you for being human, just like everyone else, not knowing everything, not being in control all the time. Would that be so bad?
Or the other side of the coin. I have clients that say “everyone knows I’m anxious, so I have an excuse not to do the things I don’t really want to, as I say my anxiety is high today, so I don’t have to tell them how I really feel and hurt their feelings”. Who would I be without it, I’ve had this for so long, I don’t know whether it’s the anxiety speaking or me.
Whatever the reason you’re anxious, just know it, own it and decide right now what you want to do about it.
Some clients say, oh I’ll have a think about that tonight and try and let it go. So I say, oh you want the problem for another 6 hours or so and then you’ll be ready, how about right now?
Because it’s become so familiar, it’s like an old relationship, that you know you should break up with, but just don’t have the Ooomph to get you over the finish line.
It can feel tiring to let go of old habits and patterns, I get it. Clients feel like they’ve had minor brain surgery when they come in and see me. Which they have, because their neurons are making new neural pathways or rather reconnecting old ones, re-routing and firing off into another direction. But it’s more tiring to carry them around, The anxiety is like constantly having a heavy ruck sack on your back full of rocks. Each old unserving pattern you let go of, the bag becomes lighter, you feel more able to breathe, you see things differently and begin to appreciate the here and now and get excited about the future instead of worrying about. You know what it’s like at the end of the day getting that heavy bag off your shoulders (or that restrictive bra!!) It feels great to get it off, to finally fully breathe.
So the 3 step – When, How & What.
When did it start – Was it a memory from when you were young, or after a big event in your life. If you can’t remember a time when you weren’t anxious, where did you learn it from? Was a caregiver always anxious, do all your family worry about everything. Some problems are ingrained in our DNA so ancestorial patterns need to be cleared.
How – how do I know I have anxiety, what physical and emotional sensations do I have. Where in my body do I feel it. Is it a constant feeling or does it happen at certain times.
What – what do I want to do with this anxiety. What does it mean to me? Do I want to keep it?. Is it useful, do I get more attention, can I ask for that attention elsewhere, What do I want to feel like, what will happen if I’m not anxious anymore?
Sometimes our biggest fear is not what we think it is. Our biggest fear can be stepping into our most fabulous self, because we might over shadow our friends and family and make them feel inadequate or bad. They might say who do you think you are or reject us? Standing out from the herd and being seen used to mean danger to us, challenging for the “top spot” of leader, banishment could mean death without the protection of the tribe. But raising ourselves up does not over shadow anyone else, you become the sunshine, the bright light that lifts others, that leads the way to freedom and personal success and shows people how it’s done. If others have an issue with your success, that’s for them to recognise and heal within themselves.
A candle that burns bright can light a thousand other candles, but does not become dim it’s own light in the process
3 steps to success
You maybe wondering why motivation is after movement, surely I need to feel motivation in order to move? That’s not how our minds work. Even the most motivated athletes, speakers or great writers and artists have times when they don’t feel like showing up . But instead of saying, oh I’ll give it a miss today, they move, they go through the familiar patterns and steps that’s led them to the success they’ve already felt. We have muscle memory, when we exercise regularly, that kicks in and helps us through a work out. We also have the same muscle memory in our brain (even though it’s not a muscle) which activates and keeps us moving forward towards our goal. Then as we’re moving and taking action, our motivation kicks in.
We feel motivated to carry on until our desired predetermined time, then we “must” turn and look back at our progress and celebrate our success. That’s a very important step. Our mind will then store that information and replicate it again more easily. So when you’re not feeling the motivation and you start to move, many references will filter in and spark the motivation quicker.
Then there’s mindfulness – In order to cement these new patterns and behaviours we have to practice mindfulness, because it’s easier to snap back into old comfortable patterns (like those sweat pants and sloppy t-shirt you love so much) than it is the keep in the new unfamiliar ones, until they’re practiced and become your new habits.
We need to change the stress levels in the mind and body. We can’t change how we first feel, that’s our human-ness 🙂 but we can change if we react or respond to the situation.
When we’re running too fast in our mind, stop, breathe, look around for 5 things I’m grateful for, then close your eyes, breathe, count to six as breathing in, notice the breathe coming in, hold for three, breathe out for three, change the counting to suit yourself. Say I’m in control or my thoughts, my thoughts don’t control me.
Are my thoughts true, are my thoughts kind, are my thoughts useful to me. I can let the negative go and bring forward my happy and safe place and feel good. Go to a very happy memory where you feel relaxed and everyone around you is smiling. Really feel it. Well done.
I control my thoughts, my thoughts don’t control me
Kasona – be happy, stress less
Successful people aren’t born, they’re created