Have you looked in the mirror and analyzed every inch of yourself… fearing it wasn’t good enough? Have you ever wished you were someone else; suspecting that you may be the only one who fears ridicule, rejection or exclusion?
The tendency to compare yourself to others can lead to severe anxiety. The best way to prevent anxiety, is to embrace who you are and what is right for you. Easier said than done… I know.
But the truth is, you’re important and special because you are unique. Your authenticity is your biggest asset. Soren Kierkegaard said, “Because it is possible to create – creating one’s self, willing to be one’s self… one has anxiety. One would have no anxiety if there were no possibility whatever.”
If you find yourself feeling anxious and want to turn it into your creative superpower, here is how. Use this 7 step process to make anxiety work for you.
Step 1 - Embrace The Feeling
When you find yourself feeling anxious, embrace the feeling. It’s a message that’s trying to get your attention. It means there are endless possibilities! The best part is you get to choose what’s right for you. You have the freedom to be anything you want to be!
Embracing your awesome brand of uniqueness will alleviate anxiety. Denying who you are will cause more of it. When you see something in someone that makes you say, “I like that”, it means you have the potential to incorporate it into who you become.
Take those moments of admiration as good sign. What we admire in others is already in us, we just have to cultivate it in a way that accentuates our unique signature.
Our desires are not to be ignored, but embraced because they exist to push us toward what is mean for us. They are an indication of tremendous possibility! Use them as fuel and motivation knowing anything is possible.
It is up to you to set the intentions and do the work necessary to achieve it. If you do the work, there are tremendous rewards waiting for you at the finish line.
Step 2 – Investigate
Dig into what prompted the anxiety. Are you feeling pressure to conform or choose something that isn’t right for you? Write down what is triggering your anxiety and why. Ask why three times and go as deep as you can.
Are the choices you are considering really in line with who you are and what you stand for? Or are you feeling pressure because of what others say you should do? Get clear on what you want and get rid of anything that perpetuates the discomfort. Listen to what feels right in your body, it is smarter than you realize.
Close your eyes and imagine each of the options in front of you. The choices that are not right for you will make you feel uncomfortable. You will notice a tightening feeling in your body. When you think of the choices that are right for you, you will feel a release in your body. It will feel light and freeing.
Step 3 - Know Thyself
Get to know yourself. What is your personality type? What are your strengths? What is your love language or value language? What are your triggers? What are your core needs?
Know who you are so that you can embrace what is right for you. If we don’t know who we are and what we need to be happy, we will continue to make choices that cause anxiety and eventually lead to depression.
Have you ever noticed that some of the coolest kids have their own unique style? Everyone is special, and yes, you are pretty cool too. You are valuable and worthy of love and connection. You have a gift that is needed by the world.
Step 4 - Kick Fear To The Curb
Be willing to do what is right for you. “It takes courage to grow up and be who you really are.” Don’t be afraid to be different. Fear is False Evidence Appearing Real.
You may fear that choosing something different than your peers may bring criticism or rejection, but it’s not necessarily true. In fact, they may look up to you with respect and admiration.
As long as you are trying to be someone else, you will always be second best. Build a life based on your unique strengths and abilities and no one can compete.
Step 5 - Find An Example
Having someone to model ourselves after can bring reassurance and guidance. If we find someone who has done what we are hoping to do that means you can do it too.
It is hard to believe until we see someone who has done it before us. We need the examples to show us what is possible.
Study their habits and learn from their methods. Notice what you admire in them and incorporate it into your life. Don’t try to become them, but let them inspire you and inform who you want to become.
Step 6 – Make A Decision
Make a decision on what you want. What is most important to you? Know who you want to become and start exploring what you want to do in life.
No decision is far worse than the wrong decision. Make a decision and take action on it. You can always course correct later.
Life is like making soup. You will add a little of this and a little of that until it tastes right. You may need to counter balance or make a correction, but in the end you will have an awesome soup.
Step 7 – Take Action
As my role model, Marie Forleo says, “Clarity comes from engagement not thought.” Once you learn to take action, the feeling of anxiety will subside and be replaced by a feeling of joy and accomplishment.
Take initiative to make the necessary changes. Sitting and thinking about it will only make things worse. I promise the worry over the possible outcomes is far worse than what will actually happen.
Life can be scary, IF we allow ourselves to worry about not being good enough or making the wrong choice, but worry does little to no good. On the flip side, life can be awesome, if we change our perspective. It IS a choice.
Choose to look at life as a game or a puzzle. It can be fun to learn how to piece together your unique character, strengths, passions, interests and social needs you care about.
Leverage the factors that make you you and no one can touch you. It will take time to realize what makes you special, but if you keep exploring and have faith in yourself, I promise, you will find sometime amazing. And the process of discovery will be fun!
You will become the best version of yourself and do something so fulfilling and meaningful that you will forget why you were anxious in the first place.
Now its your turn. What is one thing that makes you feel anxious? More importantly, what new action can you take to alleviate it? What new choices can you make to build on your new-found strengths and accentuate the unique gifts you found here.
Share as much detail as possible in your reply. Thousands of incredible people could benefit from your insight and find inspiration. Your story may help someone else have a meaningful breakthrough.
As long as you are alive, there will be opportunities for anxiety. Don’t let it slow you down. Don’t give in to fear and worry. Use it as an opportunity to become more of who you’re meant to be and express your authenticity.