Anxiety and How I Beat It Back

What’s the BEST that can happen?

Kind of a personal share today.

My chest is getting a bit tight just thinking about all this. Breathe…

I’m working on a couple of projects that I’m very excited about or at least I should be. I’m sworn to secrecy, so I can’t say what they are, but they’re very important to me. It’s also very exciting.

That’s all fine and well, but the old sinking feelings set in. I start asking all the wrong questions in my head. What if I fail? What if I miss my deadline? What if no one likes it? What if my wife gets on me for spending more time on this than housework or finding a “real” job. What if I’m successful? Ooh pressure… What if there’s criticism? See also all of my personal PTSD triggers…

If anyone needs me, I’ll be curled up under my desk.

Procrastination sets in. I start spending way more time on social media. I play Diablo 3 like it’s going out of style. I do housework until my body says “no more.” The cats are avoiding me because of too many snuggles. Time to be my own therapist for a change. None of this pattern is new to me. Time to break the cycle.

What’s the BEST that can happen?

The worst case scenario has had enough time in the limelight to last me a lifetime. I took Public Relations in college. I know how it works. But I’m done with thinking about what could go wrong. Let’s project what it looks like when things go right.

  • Use positive affirmations to build confidence back up. If nothing else, I am okay.
  • Speak it into existence with gratitude for what will happen. “I am so happy and grateful now that I am a successfully published RPG writer.”
  • Take inspired action. Don’t let those good ideas sit on the shelf.
  • “Lean into the suck.” (Thanks Laura DiBenedetto!) More on that below.
  • False Evidence Appearing Real. Let the demons go on a diet. No more fear.
  • Stay calm. Relax. Breathe. Stay present in the moment. Every now moment.
  • Get knocked down 99 times. Stand up 100 times. Failure is part of the process.
  • Do not compare oneself to the images on social media. The grass is always greener in someone else’s front yard.
  • Finally, criticism is also part of the process. Trust that it isn’t personal. Learn. Grow from it. Keep going with the knowledge that change and growth go hand in hand.

A good friend of mine once said, “Lean into the suck.”

Yes, there’s stress. But…

Yes, there’s going to be stress. It’s part of the process. Yes, there are challenges to overcome. If it were totally easy, someone else would have done it by now. Sometimes, you just have to push through all the fear, stress, concerns and challenges to come out on top in that place of gratitude. Even Elon Musk and Jeff Besos have off days and problems to solve.

Inspired action is still action and sometimes that comes with more challenges (or consequences.) I know I have to step out of my comfort zone. I have to reach for those goals. They’re not just going to happen magically while I sit on my couch and meditate. (Yay meditation, but still…)

Yeah, sometimes things are going to suck. There are setbacks. They’re not permanent. Hold my Dr Pepper. I got this.

I have to constantly remind myself I am NOT my feelings.

Sure, I have feelings. (My man card is burning. LOL!) The thing we tend to forget is that we choose our feelings. I’m not in any imminent danger of being eaten by a bear, so I can choose something besides stress.

Yeah, criticism is likely. But my editor is human. I’m still going to put my best foot forward and do my utmost to meet deadline. If it’s not perfect, we’ll figure it out together.

I am not my diagnosis of PTSD, ADHD, depression, anxiety disorder or anything else psychology labels me as having. I am capable of staying positive and present. I can do this. I’ve got this.

Thanks for bearing with me on a personal share. Sometimes I just need to put it down in words to feel my way through things. The interweb is my vision board.

I am so grateful for all of you. Be back soon.

If you’re interested in more life changing suggestions for personal growth, you can check out The Six Habits by Laura DiBenedetto. This book and its author have helped me so much these last three years.

Gratitude for the Storm

I AM GRATEFUL FOR: The dedicated people who worked super hard to clean up this mess. Having refrigeration. An opportunity to clean out my fridge. Air conditioning. Trees. Wind. Rain. Fresh Salads. Warm Pizza. Popcorn. Time with the kids. Having everyone safe after a weather disaster. Having a car that runs. Being able to charge all of our various electronics. A chance to get my wiring projects caught up in the house. (Power was out, so may as well, right?) Cold beverages.

I apologize for having to take a couple of days off. We had some really severe storms roll across the state of Iowa three days ago that wiped out our electricity until a few short hours ago. This whole near-disaster was a lesson in gratitude, appreciation, acceptance and love. Oddly enough, I’m actually happier tonight than I was before this thing hit.

Another thing that belayed my posting is my bosses were “sitting in” with us. All it really meant was a lot of long, very boring meetings about the stock market and why we should watch it. Which is hilariously pointless given I work overnight and it has absosmurfly nothing to do with our jobs. And even more ironic given that they’ve already said they’re cutting our jobs. I think they’re just trying to figure out which ones they want to keep. (Like it’s not already bloody obvious?) Again, I’m just laughing at the whole stupid thing. But in the interest of decorum, I tried to stay somewhat present and not post from work.

So, two nights of working with the clown and pony show followed by two days of coming home and trying to sleep with no air conditioning. I stayed surprisingly calm and centered through the whole experience. Our power came back on and my family was super excited. I’m just as calm as I was when it went off. Why?

Again, I’ve been practicing Presence. It’s one of the Six Habits created by Laura DiBenedetto. I know I shamelessly plug the book and the program a lot, but it has done wonders for my state of mind and spiritual well-being. This latest disaster is another example. I’ve really been digging back into my habits lately.

The other morning I noticed how quiet it was. Now, my neighbor’s genny ran non-stop, plus all the chainsaws and traffic out there along with the occasional police/fire sirens. How is this quiet?

Simple. No TV, no Internet, no phone (trying to save on the battery,) and the kids weren’t all up yet. I would bet 200 years ago, this site I’m living on would have been beyond peaceful. As it is now, just listening out the window is pure joy. Even tonight as I listen to traffic and crickets. It’s easy listening for the quiet mind.

I want to end this post with a gratitude list. I won’t go into all 25, but just the highlights I have realized over the last few days.

I AM GRATEFUL FOR: The dedicated people who worked super hard to clean up this mess. Having refrigeration. An opportunity to clean out my fridge. Air conditioning. Trees. Wind. Rain. Fresh Salads. Warm Pizza. Popcorn. Time with the kids. Having everyone safe after a weather disaster. Having a car that runs. Being able to charge all of our various electronics. A chance to get my wiring projects caught up in the house. (Power was out, so may as well, right?) Cold beverages. Last for now, Gaia. And God.

As I’ve been saying, Gaia smacked us and God saved us. That’s pretty much what happened. But the greatest gift from ALL of it, are the lessons learned and gifts we can appreciate. So, thank you, Universe, for again showing us all the marvelous experiences we can have here on Earth. Thank you!

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