How To Deal With Anxiety In 4 Simple (But Not Always Easy) Steps

by | Oct 22, 2019 | Mindset, Personal Growth

My Fears Aren’t Your Fears

Recently, I was at Rise and Climb (a high ropes adventure course) and I was sitting on the edge of the platform, about to jump off and be whisked away on the zipline cable… 

And I jumped off fearlessly and yelled with delight the whooole time.

Right. 

Well, for anybody who knows me, I’m not exactly the most adventurous person and so going on a zipline was a stretch for me. 

So, it looked a little more like this…

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I sat on the edge for a little bit working up the courage to go as I scoped out the end of the zipline. And then I scooched forward inch by inch until I had no choice but to go. 

Now, to be honest, the end of the zipline wasn’t anything big. 

But it was big for me because it was new and each one of us will have different fears. I needed to get past my anxiety and fear to being able to say, “I did it! I accomplished this!”

Surprise! Anxiety Is A Normal Reaction

Did you know that anxiety is a completely normal reaction when we feel afraid? And every single one of us experiences anxiety from time to time when we’re facing something new.

How do I know this? 

Well, because I hop on calls each week with other John Maxwell Team members and some of the other people on the call are highly trained professionals… people that I would think of as being full of confidence because of their past accomplishments. 

So I can tell you that I was more than surprised when I heard them voicing the exact same doubts that I felt.

All because they were stepping into something new and they were experiencing anxiety about it.

Just like me! Anxiety is normal. It’s okay. 

However, don’t stay in that anxious feeling too often because then it might become a habit or a go-to response every time you’re facing something new. And that’s not how you want to train your mind and emotions. 

Because anxiety can keep us from new growth. And we don’t want that. 

Photo Credit: Fabian Blank on Unsplash

The Cost Of Living In Anxiety Or Fear

What will it cost you if you continue to live in anxiety and fear? 

Well, it holds us back from incredible growth. In the end, the ultimate price that you’ll pay is to live with regret and that’s not something I want you to live with. 

“Too many people are thinking of security instead of opportunity. They seem more afraid of life than death,” says James F. Byrnes.

Now, when you step over the fear and into growth, you build your confidence and increase your faith in yourself. It helps you to learn new skills and it releases you into new adventures to see further goals. 

Growth means feeling uncomfortable. When we try new things, we stretch ourselves to go beyond what we know we could ever accomplish. 

On the flip side, if we allow fear to hold us back then we’ll miss out on incredible growth. And since that’s not what I want for you, here are four simple (but not always easy) steps to deal with anxiety.  

4 Simple (Not Easy) Steps To Deal With Anxiety

#1 – Accept The Fear And Name It

Call it for what it is — fear! Fear is real and the emotions that you feel when you’re afraid are also very real. 

But instead of avoiding it, or hiding from your emotions, take a deep breath and look it straight in the eye and name it: “This is fear.” 

#2 – Jump Over The Fear

Take a moment to look beyond the fear. Don’t listen to the taunting voices. Instead, refocus over or away from the fear. 

#3 – Focus On What’s On The Other Side Of Fear

Don’t try to control fear because it’s a slippery emotion that can get the best of us. Rather, focus on what’s on the other side. 

For, whatever you focus on will grow. If you focus on fear, your anxiety will become larger. But if you focus on what you want, that will eventually become larger than your fears.

#4 – Just Do The Thing You’re Afraid Of

Growth is on the other side of fear. Living in fear is a lousy option. And the best way to fight fear is to face it and keep moving forward.  

Dale Carnegie puts it like this: “Do the thing you fear to do and keep on doing it… that is the quickest and surest way ever yet discovered to conquer fear.” 

Photo Credit: Tudor Baciu on Unsplash

Practice Jumping Over Anxiety And Fear

Two years ago, we started building this business and to be perfectly honest, it’s been a pure exercise in jumping over fear. Almost every day, I’m doing something new, so it’s requiring me to step outside my comfort zone. 

Yet, I’m discovering that when I step outside my comfort zone, each time I’m learning that I have far more capability than I ever dreamt of. 

And the more I do things that I would have thought were impossible for me, the more I’m building the muscle of confidence that God is with me and I can do far more than I ever expected. 

What’s more, I want you to taste this too.

The more you practice pushing past your anxiety and stepping outside your comfort zone, the more growth you’ll experience. And I believe God has amazing plans and purposes for you that only you can accomplish. 

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What step do you need to focus on this week? Write down the number in the comments below!

About Ann

Ann’s work is centred on the belief that every woman has purpose. So her mission is to empower a community of women to live their extraordinary lives with joy…

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