Let’s talk about anxiety:
Maybe you’re like me and have a relationship with anxiety.
My process of anxiety:
Anxiety is wasted energy on worry and holds us back from reaching our full potential.
I’m an extrovert and excellent at improvising, so I do a great job of hiding my pain. But I struggle with anxiety, doubt & fear.
This anxiety hinders my creativity & thought process. There were times when I wrote a post, or had an idea but would not implement it because of fear or doubt. I never felt good enough.
I looked to others for validation. This crippled my self-worth.
In my own hands I was dirt, unless someone spoke a diamond into existence.
I am an ‘overthinker’. I spend so much time in my head that it breaks my self-esteem. When we over think we tend to place emphasis on weakness rather than improving strengths. Overthinking consists of a large amount of doubt. We are prone to thinking negatively and conclude that we are not enough.
For example: Forgotten Magic would have been brought to life earlier. But every time I thought about it I never believed that the dream I had was meant for me to carry. I’d focused on all of the ways that it could fail and all the things I didn’t have to succeed.
I was afraid.
Fear keeps me in a cage and I convince myself that the cage is comfortable. It isn’t. Fear is fuel, fear is not your destination. When you’re afraid you forfeit your dreams, plans and future off of a pretence. The fear of failure, the fear to succeed and be accountable holds us captive. And sometimes the fear to be uncomfortable makes us forefit our freedom.
Once upon a time I went zip-linning with friends. At first I didn’t join in, I sat on the side and watched them because I was afraid. I was slightly afraid of heights, and at the bottom was a river. I couldn’t swim.
As I watched my friends zipline. I watched in awe at their lack of fear. Until one of my friends came and spoke to me. I shared with her my fear of failing, falling and shame. She listened as I spoke and took into account my perspective. Whilst I spoke, my fears began to unravel. I focused so much falling that I hadn’t noticed their courage, the safety tied to their waist or the life jacket. There wasn’t a lack of fear as I had initially thought.
The presence of courage outweighed their fear.
I finally stepped out of my fear and perspective after talking to someone.
Talk about your worries, talk about your fears. Talk it out.
I’ve taken this cue from many strong women in my inner circle.
From my mother, who isn’t talkative but an essential speaker. She taught me to know when to speak. As well as my sister’s, who taught me about the right people to speak to. And my former boss, who taught me how to share. My former boss & I spent a good amount of time talking.
We spoke to clear our mind and release all the anxiety we had built up. By the time we were done, the magnitude of the problem drastically reduced. Sometimes we found a solution. Other times our focus had shifted, we were filled with hope. Our fear was overcome by courage and we didn’t feel alone.
Strong women are still human. Being strong does not make you immune to needing help. “The day i realized i too needed help.”
In conversation with one of my oldest friends. We spoke about my realization of strength versus her realization of help. The most difficult part of being a strong woman is being able to put your strength away and be vulnerable. Your vulnerability is not meant for every eye but it is a necessity.
Vulnerability & help is often associated with shame and weakness. But sharing & needing help should never be associated with shame.
Who is perfect?
Stop striving for perfection and start living outside of your fear.
I’m working on my anxiety. Taking a leap of baby steps. Each day is an opportunity and blessing. It may not always be easy but it truly is worth it.
How do I overcome my Anxiety?
I can only tell you the small steps and activities that contribute to me overcoming my anxiety daily. I would strongly suggest speaking to a therapist. Sometimes anxiety may become server and detrimental. These steps are in no particular order but are the little things i do. They have become a big help and are easy to incorporate into your routine. Often times, some of these steps are based off one’s personality, what they like to do and what brings them joy. This list sounds impressive and cool, but it could also be intimidating. Sometimes the hardest part is getting out of bed which is why we go on baby steps. Doing the best you can is better than doing nothing at all.
–Shower: The therapeutic and healing powers of water. A shower or bath does not only leave you physically clean but mentally refreshed.
Music: 9/10 times I am listening to music. Music is a big influence on one’s mood, vocabulary, interests and actions. Music is one way that I set the tone for the rest of my day. Whether you play, listen or sing, music can be an incredible creative outlet.
Writing: How do I feel? How can I improve? What do I love about myself? I write down my prayers. Writing makes you more aware of what you want, who you are and what you say. Writing encourages self-awareness and can help in eliminating the urges of anxiety.
Consume a motivational perspective: What are you watching, reading, following? Consume materials that keep your spirits elevated. And to be honest cartoons like Mulan, Lion King & Moana are my go to materials.
Talking: Speaking to a therapist is always the first point I’d suggest. But on top of that talking to someone who knows you, cares for you and loves you is also important. Having the support of someone close to you reminds you that you are not alone.
Take a walk: Out door activities are refreshing and leave you filled with purpose and determination.
This time I’m taking my power back. Focusing on progress not perfection, I’m going to be the best me that I can be! There is no room to be anyone else.
Grow & Glow with us.
Cynthia Branch is a licensed therapist and I’d recommend her to all the ladies reading this. If you are looking for a therapist get in touch with her Cbranch214@gmail.com Feel free to follow her on Instagram as well @cynthiabranch
Written by Cecilia-Karen W’emedi.