Being vulnerable is good. It’s honest. It’s authentic. Expressing vulnerability is sharing exactly where you are at the given moment.
Pretending to be anything else will increase your anxiety.
Owning your anxiety (naming, sharing your thoughts) can quickly liberate you from the distorted belief that no one will understand you or that you are the only one who feels the way you do.
We are more similar than different. We fear the same way, we all crave to love and be loved immeasurably. And, all of us experience some amount of anxiety.
Anxiety is a UNIVERSAL PHENOMENON. Anxiety is the result of raw pain, loss of control, the unknown and of over-exposure. Anxiety comes with being human. It is not always bad. It is not always wrong and often it is there to serve you with insight a message or direction.
If you choose to live a brave, bold, courageous life you will at some point feel vulnerable, and anxiety will likely creep in.
3 ways to Actively Convert Anxiety into Strength:
1) Accept that Anxiety is a part of being Human.
Simply acknowledging that it’s ok to experience anxiety may increase your ability to manage and learn from it. Many panic at the first trace of anxiety. Anxiety can protect and warn you, but let’s acknowledge it can sometimes be dramatically out of proportion from what you are experiencing.
Anxiety can only aid you if you welcome it. Running from it will only increase its power, and elicit increased nervousness, worry or stress.
Simply reminding yourself that anxiety is beneficial and may help you negate any fear or frustration you might feel for having it.
Accepting anxiety is the first step in using it to your advantage.
2) Stop Giving Your Anxiety A Bad Rap.
You may think anxiety is bad or negative, however, it holds many benefits.
Acceptance of anxiety increases your ability to shift your perception of it.
If you alter your bias to view anxiety as a tool or a guide you can begin to make space for it to benefit you. Looking for the helpfulness of anxiety as it settles in is the key.
Anxiety has many positive effects to include the ability to keep you quick on your feet, to motivate you to perform at your best, to make a deadline, to stay alert and focused.
3) Turn Your Anxiety Into Fuel.
When anxiety strikes it is easy to become hyper-focused on the symptoms it produces (heart racing, sweating, overwhelm, etc.). If you allow these sensations to take over, anxiety can paralyze you and limit your ability to find the best course of action.
Identifying, accepting and harnessing anxiety into action while it’s at a manageable level (before it escalates) can allow you to use it as a motivator, an extra strength and a superpower.
We can actually come to appreciate anxiety for the extra push it provides to accomplish, do the task, or make the next step. With zero anxiety, motivation might be very low. Extreme anxiety might paralyze you.
But wait, if I do all this will I still feel anxious? Yes, probably so.
BUT, when you identify and direct your anxiety it will no longer have the power to direct and control you. Hence, when you feel anxiousness you will know the path to embrace awareness, control and choice.
Over time anxiety might feel more like a friendly pal than a rival trying to knock you out of the game.