There are so many people who have turned down amazing opportunities through being scared and anxious and I completely get it. When you are riddled with anxiety and fear you want to avoid anything that sets it off, which means avoiding meeting new people and trying new things. It means missing out on opportunities and staying safe in your comfort zone where it’s familiar and, well kind of boring. I mean, we only have one life and what kind of life will it be if we don’t move from our comfort zone and do things which scare us, develop us and allow us to grow into a better person.
When Vitality invited me to join them on a new project called #WomenInSport I felt excited and a little anxious. A voice in my head told me “you can’t join a team sport, you’ve never been part of a team before, you go running, you go running alone”. But how could I possibly turn down such an incredible opportunity, the only option was to feel the fear and do it anyway!
To give you a bit of background, the Vitality #WomenInSport project is all about inspiring women to join a team sport and overcome their fear and anxiety of being part of a team. A small group of like minded women have been bought together to meet and learn from professional women sports team. I even had an exclusive interview with the Arsenal Women’s Team *pinches self*. During the project we will be overcoming our fear and joining our local sports team, the sport is of our choice and I’ve opted for Netball!
Scottish Women’s Rugby Team
As part of the #WomeninSport project I was recently invited to Edinburgh to meet with the Scottish Women’s Rugby Team. I feel incredibly lucky and honoured to have been invited on this trip but the thought of trying something new and meeting new people still made me feel a little anxious. Nonetheless, I wasn’t going to let feelings of anxiety or fear get in the way of an amazing opportunity.
My trip to Edinburgh was absolutely incredible with thanks to wonderful travel companions, Sophie etc and What The Blonde Did. After a morning of sight seeing we met the Scottish Women’s Rugby team who shared with us their Rugby skills and knowledge. I was a total newbie to Rugby and had absolutely no idea how to play and to be honest, I was nervous, really nervous!
Of course there was no need to be nervous, which got me thinking about how we build things up in our head and feed our anxiety and fear to be something bigger than it needs to be.
That’s why in today’s post I want to help those of you who also struggle with feelings of anxiety and fear and help you manage those feelings, because you deserve to say yes to every single opportunity which comes your way. Let’s step out of our comfort zone and stop letting fear get in our way!
You Are Not Your Thoughts
The first step to not let fear and anxiety stop you from living your life, is to acknowledge your negative thoughts and feelings. Most of us have developed negative thinking habits and we don’t even realise it! We fear the worst without any concrete proof that what we are thinking will actually happen, and it usually doesn’t. We over analyse situations assuming that something will happen, maybe because it has happened before and we think it will happen again. Then there are times when we believe that we are mind readers, assuming that we know what others are thinking of us. Other times we become fortune tellers, believing that we know what the future holds for us.
Listen to your thoughts, they might be the reason why you’re feeling anxious. Challenge your thoughts with positive statements and try using affirmations every time a negative thought comes to mind.
Take Care of Yourself
I’ve found that a good night’s sleep and a regular exercise routine can set a great foundation for fighting anxiety. When I feel tired or if I’ve been eating unhealthy then it can have effect on my mind as well as my body. Taking care of yourself also means taking time to practice self-care. If you don’t give yourself a break from work then you are more likely to feel anxious as you are feeling overwhelmed from general life stresses. Also, when you are able to blame your feelings on something specific then you can stop your anxiety from spiralling out of control. That could be recognising that you’re feeling vulnerable because you’re hung-over or you’re feeling shaky because of all the coffee or sugar you’ve consumed.
Schedule time in your diary for ‘down-time’, this is time when you can switch off from work and do something relaxing. Take this a step further by creating a morning routine, your morning habits set you up for the entire day and if you start your morning with a mindful routine then you will have a happy mind from the beginning of your day.
Let it Out
Sometimes those with independent, outgoing and confident personalities end up experiencing feelings of anxiety and fear. Their calm and collected exterior means they can bottle up any feelings of worry, stress and pressure, resulting into one hit of fear and anxiety. Yet, as a whole, it’s becoming easier to talk about anxiety and a little less taboo which is great because talking openly about your feelings can help you to manage them.
Try creating a list of people who you can call or meet with when you are feeling anxious and who can help to calm your mind. If you’re not quite ready to look for support then use your journal to write down your thoughts. Getting them out of your mind and onto paper can reduce your anxious feelings.
Never Give Up
As I said above, feel the fear and do it anyway. Know that you are strong and resilient and these feelings are only temporary. You deserve to live your life to the fullest and enjoy every moment, so don’t give up and don’t turn down amazing opportunities which come your way, because they may just help you to overcome your anxious feelings.