Changing my outlook to improve my income: managing anxiety

the scream1

Do you feel anxious about things?

So do I! Most of the time.

Now I’ve decided that the greatest improvement to make in my life would be to overcome my anxiety.

It has prevented me from achieving and experiencing the best I can in life, and in the past has tied me down to a negative way of thinking and a negative bank balance. I have to change my outlook and improve my income.

I’m upbeat about 2014 and have many things to prove to myself and the people I love.

It starts with confronting the devil on the shoulder.

My devil wants to live there permanently, and rent-free. He has to go.

What’s My Experience?

I was always a shy kid, and to this day I have not fully grown out of this fragile mindset. Through my adult age I have experienced a series of panic attacks in shopping centres and other public places like train stations (too many people, you see).

Experiencing mild to full blown panic attacks on public transport has not helped me, especially whilst on the way to job interviews or training.

My last attack was recently in a Primark store whilst shopping for clothes. I got lost in the big shop and couldn’t find my way out for a few minutes.

I need to eradicate this from my life. People and money should take centre stage and displace fear. I won’t reach my personal and financial targets if I don’t take charge of my happiness.

Many of you will already know about it all, perhaps through your own experience or that of loved ones who suffer in similar ways. Panicking over menial or major tasks dampens the mind to the point of denial, and makes you both emotively and financially restrained.

Anxiety stops us from being who we truly are.

It also makes us believe we’re not in control. Anxiety contributes to us living as quivering prey instead of becoming the monetary and social predator we are born to be (a playful predator not a killer one).

What’s the Battle Plan?

My challenge over the coming days and weeks is set to a three-pronged approach. The prongs are:

1) Face the fear head on.

Firstly, the challenge will be to enquire about a handful of jobs in the city centre, three times a week. This may seem like a normal and straightforward thing for many, but for me shopping centres are hellish.

The point in this challenge is not simply to get more part-time jobs but to disengage from my fears and feel normal again. The challenge is about asking, really.

To get even one response will also make my time worthwhile and give me confidence.

2) Smile and be social.

Another way to trample fear and move around more is to start reading and writing in coffee shops.

There’s a village nearby that has plenty of cafes. It’s always a busy and friendly environment. It will be refreshing and will also save me money by not using so much electricity at home (so long as I bring my own sandwich and don’t pay for lunch!).

As well as focussing on the importance of my learning it’s an opportunity to smile more.

Smiling accompanied with passing conversations with strangers will brighten my outlook and gather new writing material. People are often more relaxed and open in coffee shops and I need to learn to do the same.

I’ve always been observant of others and their characters; maybe it’s time I spoke to more people and hear some of their stories. Everyone has a story to tell and I’m willing to listen.

3) Help myself by seeking support.

Facing my fear of crowds alone is not enough. I need the advice of experienced professionals before I get wrapped up in my own ideas. We often try to solve our own problems but for me it’s time to hold my hands up and ask for help.

I have recently been referred to an NHS service for dealing with anxiety attacks. There is a ‘Clean Break Course’ available that runs over six weeks here in the North of England. At only two or three hours a week it won’t take up a lot of time from my effort to improve my income. Quite the opposite, it could help me achieve that.

If anyone is interested to have a look at the website of the service I’ve been referred follow this link. You can navigate through the site to view their services. There may also be similar programmes running in your area. As an NHS service it is free of charge for UK citizens.

Free is good, right?

Have you got any success stories of overcoming your fears? Do you have experience of anxiety and how have you managed them? And has removing your fears led you to better prosperity and financial stability?

I’d very much appreciate any input. Thank you.

6 thoughts on “Changing my outlook to improve my income: managing anxiety”

  1. I always said I am the shyest person in the room, but I managed to overcome it. I keep putting myself in situations where I am challenged or forced to step out of my shyness. One of my toughest situations was when I had to entertain a group of small business owners (20-25 couples). My wife and I had to make small talk to complete strangers with the only association was they did business with the company I worked for. We came through the experience unscathed and proud of the accomplishment. It took some time to get there though.

    1. That must have been daunting, though as a recent quote from writetodone says “Don’t worry about what other people think of you. They’re not thinking about you at all. They’re thinking about themselves… just like you are right now.”
      So the truth probably is that a lot of the business people in that room had feelings of shyness too. I guess in business the profession demands a confident, larger than life persona. Writers tend not to, but I guess my real challenge is to find ways to feel more confident around others, and that starts with sticking my neck out instead of reeling back in fear.

  2. It helps me to become an alter ego sometimes. If I need a boost of confidence, or if I feel myself going into a mini-meltdown, then I decide to be ‘Amanda’. She’s got guts, she speaks her mind and she isn’t afraid of anything. I’ve done this so often that I’m noticing that ‘she’ takes over even when I don’t ask her to, so my confidence is naturally growing.
    Good for you for getting help from the NHS, that program they run sounds really good.

    1. Seems like a neat trick, and a great way to achieve things. I could do the same, so long as I don’t turn out to be one of the more peculiar characters in my head, to which there are many 🙂

  3. I know somebody who completed that 6-week stress course at the end of last year. Apparently it is really good. Hope it goes well.

    Also, you should check out Choose Yourself by James Altucher – you’ll have to ask Maria for her (I suspect well-thumbed) copy!

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