I use the words ‘anxiety-free‘ a lot when I talk about how I want to live my life and how I want to help the women I coach live theirs.
But what does it actually mean to live anxiety-free?
I state my vision as:
And who wouldn’t want that, right? But there’s that phrase again… ‘anxiety-free’…
So, ten years ago, when I began my journey into understanding and hopefully one-day conquering anxiety, I would have said that living anxiety-free meant complete calm serenity all the time.
No more nerves.
No more worrying.
No more negative forecasting of any kind.
No matter what the situation.
I would be totally Zen and calm – always.
I would be confident. 100% sure of everything I was doing from the start – no second-guessing.
Now, believe me, this seemed a long way off in the beginning, but it was the Holy Grail I was always on a quest to find.
On my journey, I have come to realise, that to live completely calm and zen all the time is not living just ‘anxiety-free’. It’s living emotion-free; feelings-free; and maybe even ‘life-free’.
I was on medication for a long-time which kind of controlled my anxiety – it stopped me feeling overly anxious about life, scared I wasn’t good enough, or paralysingly nervous in front of people.
But it also stopped me feeling excited about trying new things. It stopped me challenging myself to do better. It stopped me feeling exhilarated when I accomplished something wonderful.
It seems you really can’t get rid of the bad without getting rid of the good too.
And that’s when I came to realise that living ‘anxiety-free’ is not about numbing emotions and reactions.
It’s not about never feeling nervous again.
Everyone is nervous about something.
It is a normal part of the human experience.
Afterall, if we weren’t nervous about anything, we would do stupid, dangerous things without a second thought.
The problem occurs when healthy nervousness spirals out of control into something else entirely. Something disproportionate and unnecessary. Something that limits you and stops you from doing the things you need and want to do.
The ironic part is that in the end, you become scared of being scared.
I feared the nerves themselves.
Because, in the past those initial nervous butterflies in the stomach – you know the ones I mean – they can be excitement, nerves, trepidation. Well those little buggers always, without fail, spiralled into anxiety, panic and sometimes a full-blown panic attack.
Almost as if I had no choice but to follow that reaction to its ultimate conclusion.
So, I avoided anything that caused the nerves.
Even good things that would make me happy in the end. Or would help me achieve my goals long term. Because, if the nerves came, the panic always followed. Like some kind of creepy stalker!
So now, I try to be aware. To bear witness to the nerves as a slightly disinterested observer.
Taking a step back and witnessing them, but not feeling the need to get involved. It’s not easy, but it is possible.
I tell myself nerves are ok. I remind myself that everyone feels nerves. I’m not special!
But I also remind myself that I am not compelled to develop these feelings into an anxious state or a panic attack.
I have a choice.
And that’s what living anxiety-free is.
Feeling and experiencing the full range of human emotions – even nerves.
It’s knowing that I will get nervous sometimes, I will feel worried sometimes. But I no longer live in fear of where that nervousness or worry may eventually take me.
Hi there, my name’s Kathryn and I’m an Anxiety Release Coach at My Chakra Life.
My mission is to help women live anxiety-free; reconnecting with their inner-selves, so they can shine in their career or business with CONSCIOUS, CALM, CONFIDENCE.
Over the last ten years, I have honed and tweaked the tools and techniques which worked for me, into my three-stage Anxiety Release Process:
Why not join us in our Facebook Group – our community for creative women who want to learn how to live anxiety-free, reconnect with their inner-selves, and shine in their career or business with conscious, calm, confidence.
Or you can download my guide: ‘Journal your way to CONSCIOUS, CALM, CONFIDENT‘ to give you a little ‘Consciousness Jumpstart’!