Anxiety is a very common feeling within each of us. I am sure you know how to explain it. Your heart rate speeds up, your mind is going 100 miles per hour and your thought process is far from positive, your body won’t stay still, and your emotions are out of control. There are many different variations of this feeling and it differs from person to person. I acknowledge this highly sensitive topic that tears people apart and I understand, to an extent, how bad anxiety can be for some people. If you are not overwhelmed with anxiety but are plagued with stress the advice here will also be applicable. Now a little bit of stress here and there is “healthy.” I am an anxious person. I worry, I mean I over-worry about little things that cause anxiety. I believe I have been able to focus my anxiety to become a driving force for progress. Here are two personal examples that occur most often in my life that illustrate how my anxiety is turned into a motivating push. (I will mention biting your nails down to the nubs, as I do, is not a step in the right direction.)
Looking Ahead Anxiety
Often when I begin to think about what is to be done an overwhelming feeling pervades my mind and my heart. I feel discouraged and incompetent. I lose faith you could say. This anxiety paves a road to failure if I keep this thought process. What do I do? Well, in this case I have an internal process that turns into actions that work for me. I will outline it here:
- Begin with a reminder of your potential and capabilities. A positive thought will lead to positive thinking.
- Think of how it will feel when you accomplish your goals.
- Desire to prove to yourself, and only yourself, that you can!
- Write down your goals.
- Plan for success. “Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance” -Kai Green
- Focus on the day at hand.
- Strive diligently and evaluate along the way.
I want to always progress and never regress. I get overwhelmed with tasks from biting off more than I can chew (not referring to my fingernails). I plan well and diligently strive to accomplish my goals. Somewhere along they way I feel as if I am at a great pace then, for some reason, I slow down. When it comes time for deadlines or due dates I end up with a bigger work load than I anticipated. Here comes the anxiety. Juggling many responsibilities is not easily or efficiently done with a jumbled mind. When I realize I am overwhelmed with tasks I clear my mind and then I follow this:
- Write down all the tasks. Visualize the goal.
- Prioritize each task from most important to least important.
- Allocate a chunk of time each day until the deadline. It’s less stressful to do a little each day and the quality is better because you aren’t rushing to get it done. You can stay calm and know if you plan X number of hours a day, you’ll be done in X number of days.
- Focus on one at a time. Don’t focus on three at once, it takes longer.
- As you complete a task check it off. Your mind wants to see progress and that check mark will lower anxiety.
- Try not to worry, understand you are doing what is needed therefore you’ll succeed!
To summarize this simply; by small means great things are accomplished. There will be no achievement if your anxiety stops you at the door. Anxiety can be a motivator and a boost of confidence. A former employer of mine taught me if you’re not somewhat nervous then it’s not worthwhile. Use that anxiety as a driving force to impulse you to success. Most entrepreneurs thrive off of other people’s “can’t” comments. You know, “you can’t do that,” “you’ll never make it,” “that’s impossible,” or “you won’t succeed.” But when people tell themselves they can’t, that is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Doubt shown by others seems to drive you faster but self-doubt stops you dead in your tracks. Remind yourself that you can, then plan for success. Anxiety can simply be a wake up call. It doesn’t have to be your demise.