If you have been struggling with fear and anxiety you may know first hand, how these emotions can easily make you feel trapped and disempowered. However, it is really not the emotions that keep us stuck, but the ways we approach them. Usually we don’t know what to do when we feel anxious, we resist change, or we identify with the problem. Let’s look at these three issues further.
We don’t know what to do. When we feel hungry, we know it’s time to eat. When we feel thirsty, we know it’s time to drink. When we feel tired, we know it’s time to rest. We understand the meaning of these sensations, and we know how to address them so they disappear. But what do we do when we feel anxious? We look for potential danger or go into the “what if” mind-set, preparing to fight, flee, or hide, because we often interpret anxiety as a sign that there is either something threatening outside of us or something wrong with us internally. By interpreting anxiety this way, we give greater validation to the feeling and freak ourselves out, which further fuels the emotion rather than helping us to understand its real meaning and address it appropriately.
We resist change. One of the most common fears is the fear of change, which makes changing fear and anxiety appear even more challenging. Change usually entails leaving our comfort zone, which is why we perceive it as a somewhat uncomfortable risk. Comfort zones are created by our mind so that we can experience and engage with different aspects of our lives from a place of safety, familiarity, and control. In contrast to a healthy comfort zone, an anxiety-driven one tends to work in the opposite way. Its size decreases, and its boundaries become rigid walls. Anxiety morphs comfort zones into protection zones that shield us from that which makes us fearful and anxious. Our lives shrink as we perceive an increasing number of situations and people as unsafe and, therefore, something we must avoid. A constricted comfort zone can be one of the greatest obstacles between us and positive change. The longer we stay in that constricted zone, the more we avoid and resist leaving it, even if we aren’t at all comfortable in it anymore.
We identify with the problem. Fear and anxiety are especially problematic when they become a part of our identity. The moment we refer to ourselves as an anxious person or a worrier, we know that we’ve started to identify ourselves with these emotions. Anxiety becomes our emotional default setting, gradually restricting our choices and actions. This identification with the problem limits our self-awareness, which can diminish our ability to access our true potential to change, grow, and succeed. Eventually, we may even find it impossible to imagine life without anxiety. As a result, we believe that the best we can hope for―besides making it through the day alive and possibly unharmed―is to reduce the intensity of the feeling.
Sound familiar? The question is, how can you approach fear and anxiety in a more empowering way, which allows you to end your struggles with these emotions? Tune into empowerment radio and learn how the upcoming “The Fear and Anxiety Solution Video Seminar” can help you make peace with anxiety and move from stuckness to empowerment.