“If you lower anxiety one notch, it’s a better world.”
Murray Bowen, pioneer of family therapy
Anxiety is a word you rarely hear leaders speaking about in relation to themselves, especially men, probably because of perceived negative stigma. Yet it is more prevalent than you might imagine.
Stress, anger, frustration, doubt, insecurity, mental fog and dis-satisfaction are all symptoms of anxiety.
Don’t be fooled by what you see.
It’s very common for outwardly successful people to be inwardly crippled with high levels of anxiety at times – it doesn’t stop them being good at what they do but often it causes major blips in performance and severely hampers their ability to enjoy life.
The definition of anxiety is the response of an organism to a threat, real or imagined.
Two words stand out to me: response and imagined.
Your imagination is worth watching because left to it’s own devices it can create amazing inner movies about:
- The economy
- The climate
- Your children
- Your job
- Your business
- Paying the wages
- Paying the bills
- Your relationships
- That pitch or presentation
- Hitting your target
- Your confidence
It’s important to realise that your mind works like a movie projector i.e. you bring your inner stories to life on the big screen of your mind. We believe these inner movies all too easily but how often do we query if that inner movie is actually true?
Which brings me to the other key word: Response
How I respond to people, events or circumstances (PEC) determines my level of anxiety. I can’t control PEC but I can control my response, which if you think about it is about managing what I’m thinking. And that is within my area of control.
The more you do this, the more it becomes a habit. Which is also what anxiety is – a habit of anxious thinking.
For what it’s worth, 2 things I do WHEN I feel anxiety:
- Check my inner movie projector and change the film to a more positive one, that deals with what’s happening BUT in a more empowering way
- Remind myself that ‘this too shall pass’ i.e. be okay with the feeling of anxiety because it’s transient just like the clouds in the sky.
Simple stuff you might say. IF you do it.
Where can you work on yourself this week?
PS – Reducing anxiety levels is one of the many positive side-effects of my MindShift program which is now taking registrations. Other include an increase in clarity, control and confidence. Details here.
Latest Podcast Episodes: Listen for free on my website here or on any major podcasting platform.
- 89: The Rough Is Only Mental
- 88: Two Elements To Real Confidence
- 87: How To Be A Catalyst For Change