managing anxiety

In a previous post about managing my anxiety I highlighted ways in which to tackle the problem head on, mostly by placing myself in crowded places that I tend to loathe and dread. I’ve had some positive results thus far and I’m glad to report I’m still standing (currently sitting).

After several trips to our populated Manchester city centre searching for a job and shopping for bargains I’ve not had one panic attack in such busy public areas. It proved to be a difficult test, but a change in outlook was paramount.

I have found that walking tall, or thinking tall, creates a barrier between the noise of the world and my own levels of confidence. Smiling at others for no particular reason also helps, if nothing else amuses me from some of the facial expressions I get in response. But what I’ve also been asking myself recently is why do we fear?

It’s a frightening issue, but why?

There is a phrase I often use as it sounds neat but is also true. I use it in the knowing that I can be quite the hypocrite at times when I say it. The phrase is; Fear is the Mind Killer.

Whatever your struggles or worries in life it is only fear that prevents us from achieving what our immense brains are capable of.

None of us are stupid, mad or uninspired. We don’t lack talent or aptitude; we just have to learn how to nurture it all. What we sometimes do lack, what I usually lack, is the confidence to say to ourselves “I am talented. I am brilliant”.

Fear is always the first and last hurdle between us and anything worthwhile. Initially it can prevent us from pitching ideas or follow up on old ones. We can fear applying for a particular job, speaking in front of a group or asking someone for a date (without them screeching and running away).

Fear also mounts up as we wait for the result of things. I fear waiting by the phone or email for an important response. I even slightly fear the act of waiting in a shop queue just in case I do or say something completely insane. I tend to be a fidget and a worrier of monstrous proportions for mostly no reason at all.

It’s scary to think, but can fear help?

The truth is fear is good, or at least it can be. Without fear we’d all be a bunch or loudmouth buffoons. Fear lets us assess a situation before leaping face first into embarrassment; like listening into on a conversation for a few moments before jumping in and saying something stupid.

Once in my teens I intervened into an adult conversation about “Coke” by saying fizzy stuff makes my tummy feel funny sometimes. Within a single second I realised it was more a private discussion about the other “Coke”. I apologised and reeled back from their dilated pupils.

These sorts of experiences are funny ones, but I still wince at the thought of it. Fear, like most of life’s nuances can be viewed and used as an appropriate tool.

It is a problem when fear takes charge over positive vibes then it is time that suffers the most.

We don’t have unlimited time, not that I want you to panic (quickly, quickly!). Instead, what we need is sheer belief in ourselves. We can’t control time, but what we do control is what we give back to the world and other people. In turn, most of us are fortunate to be in control of what we can achieve against any negatives we may have experienced.

Think about it this way; if you didn’t make that silly mistake at school or at work then no one else would learn from it. Not only do we intend and seek to learn from our own mistakes but the trick is not to beat oneself up about little errors that, essentially, are just source material to learn from, and others may well witness and learn in the same way.

We can’t keep living as enemies to ourselves. Sometimes there can be external forces at blame, but for the most part we just need to keep living with goals in mind and with pressure to succeed based solely on what we desire the most, not the occurrence of failures in which we fear.

Minor errors in the search for the finished article should be observed as teachings for one and all. So let’s learn from those very mistakes or wrongdoings that, if we’re honest with ourselves, are the very ways in which we have developed.

We are immense. We are brilliant. We’re scared but we’re also armed with the experience to make us great as writers, as parents and as children of Earth.

What are your perceptions of fear? Has it ever driven you away from something you want or love? Can you describe the feeling and why it might have occurred? And what are you doing about managing anxiety?