Anxiety: A Little Insight

Anxiety: A Little Insight

Shit. This is too much weight to handle. Not sure if I should ask for a spot or not. Shit. I’m not ready to do this. I should have practiced more. If I mess up its all over. I won’t be able to show my face around here again. His hands approached the bar, trembling as they did. Finally, gripping the reality of his nearly impending demise, he musters the courage to type the words:

“Hey, how’s it going?”

If this is how you feel every time you want to message someone on Facebook that you haven’t spoken to for more than a few days, it’s probably because your dealing with some form anxiety, whether it be social or otherwise. To some of you who are reading this article, the little short above might sound funny, to others it might hit a little to close to home, and some might even say social anxiety is nothing like that and I have no idea what I’m talking about. This is all fine. I didn’t plan to write this article just so I could subject myself to the Ad Hominum attacks of the comment section. This is just a little bit of my own insight into the overly complicated, yet simple situations some individuals with anxiety might find themselves, and how we might start to overcome them. Hopefully, some of you who read this will find it useful.

Okay, let me begin by just asking a few thought-provoking questions. What is confidence and how do we define it? What is fear and how to we define that?

When we think about attempting something outside our comfort zones, fear and confidence are the ideas that stand out the most. Out of the two, fear is more natural to us. In essence, it is what keeps us, and has kept us, alive for the millennia that the human species has existed. But if fear is the primary catalyst of our survival mechanisms, then why do we so often encounter it in situations that, in retrospect, are harmless? There are many reasons why we feel afraid for seemingly pointless reasons. Reasons ranging from traumatic experiences that act as emotional triggers, to just feeling so terrible about yourself and your range of abilities that every new opportunity is looks like another chance to fail.

So then what about confidence? It’s what draws people to us. It’s what your employers look for. It’s an indicator for how well you will do in your life. Everyone loves it. So now we come to another question. How the hell do we find it? Growing up, most of the adults in my life (parents, teachers…etc) were all of the opinion that confidence is just something you have. That “having it” was just something you either found within yourself or didn’t, and that how much confidence you have is entirely up to you. For the most part, it is up to you. Just not in the way most people would think.

Confidence is absolutely not something people are born with. I think it’s more like a muscle. When I was 14 years old I was a scrawny little kid who couldn’t lift curl more than 15lb dumbbells. Through consistent practice however, I was able to get myself up to 20’s, then 30’s. Now why are my lifting habits so important? Because they illustrate a point I’ve been desperately trying to make since the beginning of this post. Nothing ever starts out huge, biceps or confidence. It takes time and effort to draw out potential in any area of life.

Now going to the gym was just my example. You might hate exercise and that’s fine. Still, I would urge you to pick something you’re good at and do it. Do it night and day. If you don’t think there’s anything you’re good at, perfect. Now is the time to start. Pick anything that you think is fun. By the simple act of doing that thing, you’re actively convincing your conscious and subconscious mind that you have an ability that you can identify with. This will raise your opinion of yourself as well as attracting attention from others.

In the photo above I listed some activities that I believe, for me, play an integral part of defining in what light I see myself. Exercise, reading, and writing are just some activities that exercise my confidence. In the red are some things I try to stay away from. Negative people and negative emotions. These things kill me mentally, emotionally, and physically, which also contributes to the amount of anxiety I feel on a day-to-day basis.

So readers, if you ever feel that your becoming too anxious to do the things you want, or even if you just feel that your not good enough for something in your life, feed your confidence. Feed it with something positive that you can look at and smile and say “Wow, I’m really glad I’m good at this” and sigh in contentment because you are confident in yourself and your abilities.

It’s 5:18am at time of writing and I’m beginning to think that I should wrap this up. I’ve been up for a while and my mind keeps floating back to this old fable I read. The story was about two wolves that lived inside of a cave, and every day those wolves would come out just to fight each other. In the story a young boy asks his grandfather which wolf wins. If we go back to everything that was spoken about above, can you figure out the answer?

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