From anxiety to excitement

Updated: Sep 10, 2021

What is anxiety?

A collection of physical sensations experienced from an emotional response to a perceived threat. The collection of physical sensations we label as fear or anxiety are often labelled as unpleasant signalling an immediate threat of harm, pain or danger. Fear tells us to pay attention, and prepares us for or induces the fight flight freeze response in the body.

Common undelying fears of modern life leading to anxiety

Fear doesn’t discriminate, we are all familiar with it. It can be crippling or empowering. As a  psychotherapist, hypnotherapist and business coach I see many clients and practitioners with fear based thinking and behaviour holding them back. I have learned to face many fears in my life because I don’t want to restrict myself my life or feel dis-empowered by fear.

Here are some of the common themes I’ve encountered as a therapist that you may relate to:

Fear of not being good enough

Fear of the unknown

Fear of failure

Fear of rejection

Fear of judgement

Fear of losing control

Fear of losing something

5 Telltale signs that anxiety is holding you back

So how do you know if you are being restricted by fear?

  1. Are you focused on the negative? Anxiety selectively draws our attention to what could go wrong, what we could lose or the potential downside of any situation. The mind can get stuck in distorted thinking patterns of what if’s, disqualifying the positive, and imagining the worst.

  2. Do you feel stuck? Anxiety tells us to avoid the new or and be scared of the unknown, even if we are not entirely happy with our present circumstances.

  3. Are you avoiding discomfort? Anxiety constricts rather than expands us, and it feels uncomfortable. Emotional reasoning is when we treat our worries as if they were facts.  If you have a low tolerance to this feeling it will continue to have power over you. If we let anxiety guide our version of reality we remain stuck.

  4. Do you feel lost or not aligned with self? When anxiety or worry is present we often can’t hear our intuitive voice. Intuition is only available to us when we are relaxed and in flow with ourselves and the world around us.

  5. Do you feel unable to make a decision? Anxiety freezes us and stops us making decisions or taking action. Often there is fear of making a mistake, doing it wrong, or failing leading to self doubt ruminating thoughts and anxiety. Are you experiencing analysis paralysis where over thinking leads to doing nothing?

How to successfully engage with fear and anxiety

Antidote to fear of the unknown: be aware that we cannot know all the answers or predict the future. Stay in the present moment and be mindful of automatic fear based thinking patterns. Trust you’ll be OK – you don’t need absolute certainty to know that you’ll manage, because no-one knows all the details of the future.

Antidote to fear of change: understand that change is inevitable, it is the only constant. Relax and accept what is, practice going outside your comfort zone. A wise person once said, “Choose a path or a path will be chosen for you.”