Making Friends with Anxiety

I don’t know about you. But the moment I start something new, I’m filled with anxiety, a subtle sense of dread and danger.

Like now, trying to write my next book. My inner voice is relentless in its ruthlessness. “Don’t do this.” it shrieks. “Don’t you dare do this!”

I can’t say it’s debilitating. But like a barking dog late at night, I’d do anything to make it go away.

Sitting at my desk, staring at a blank page I had a sudden flashback to an interview I did during my days as a journalist. The interview was with the famed psychologist, Rollo May, author of The Meaning of Anxiety. I knew I needed to find those notes.

When I finally did, I had no doubt…this was a pep talk directly from the Divine, through Dr, May’s words.

“Anxiety is always triggered every time we face the possibility of fulfilling our potential,” Dr. May explained.

“If it were not some potentiality crying to be born, we would not experience anxiety,” he said. “Anxiety signals danger. Not a tangible danger. But a psychological threat…to our present security.”

If we try to escape this tension and fear through drugs and overwork or apathy and denial, anxiety becomes destructive. It leads to futility.

If, on the other hand, we feel and face our anxiety, enormous creativity is possible. Anxiety acts as a stimulus, he said. “It stimulates us to find new experiences, new ways of meeting problems.”

In fact, he insisted, “It is the ability to tolerate and push through anxiety that underlies every successful endeavor. All great things were done with anxiety.”

For example, May was 82 when I met with him. He’d written over 15 books and was dubbed “one of the superstars of psychology” by Time magazine.

Yet, he confessed, “Every time I write a book, I think my writing is terrible and I don’t know what I’m saying. But I keep writing anyway.”

This is exactly what I needed to hear. My goal is no longer to mute the fear, but to muster up the courage to keep moving forward, despite any apprehension.

Yes, my anxiety persists, but my commitment is stronger. I remind myself it’s a sign I’m going for Greatness.

Have you used anxiety to push yourself past your comfort zone? Were you surprised at the results? Leave a comment below.

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Comments & Feedback

  • Tricia Melvin

    The one job that our brain is responsible for is to keep us safe! The slightest bit of anxiety about change or taking a new action can send the brain into a frenzy! I like to visualize the important actions I’m going to take in my business or personal life before I make the changes. I’m more likely to get important things done in a shorter period of time by preparing the brain through visualization before I embark on a major change.

  • Eva

    Damned, that barking dog paralyzes me again and again. It is a tedious process. I do notice that once I get moving and focus on the task, the noise seems to fade, again and again.

    • barbara huson

      I hear you, Eva. The barking dog is a bitch!!! But you’re right, action can quiet it down. I haven’t taken action since I wrote that…which is exactly what I need to do next. Thanks so much!

  • Janis

    Wonderful article Barbara. This is important guidance for all of us. Thank you!

  • Paula Taylor

    I notice that somehow I spring into action when forced into a new situation, anxiety be damned! I am a Psychic, and at a party, the host requested (really, demanded) that I do some mediumship Readings for several of the guests. I had NEVER done that before, so I just stepped up to the metaphysical plate, and started doing them! And lo and behold, images of the passed loved ones came to me quite vibrantly! And the guests all said they were accurate, even though I’d never met any of them (dead or alive) before. So that was a real confidence-booster, and a sign from the Universe and my spirit Guides that I don’t have to be afraid to take that step into the Unknown, and that I was born with the capacity to do this and many other things. Trust thyself!! Now, I am writing a book about my experiences, and it was tough to get started because of those still nagging ‘you’re not good enough’ voices. Once I started, I am loving it! Stay the course, as long as I stay away from ongoing distractions, I will finish it!

  • barbara huson

    Thank you for your inspiring story, Paula! And congrats on your book. That’s very exciting. I’m still working on starting…where are my spirit guides when I need them????

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Meet Barbara Huson

When a devastating financial crisis rocked her world, Barbara Huson knew she had to get smart about money… and she did. Now, she wants to empower every women to take charge of their money and take charge of their lives! She’s doing just that with her best-selling books, life changing retreats and private financial coaching.

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