By Jo Green
I struggled with feeling anxious for years, looking back now I know I was very anxious as a child too. The ‘Sunday night blues’ as my mum would call it, was absolutely anxiety. But why? Why me, why did I struggle so much with it?
I used to get caught up in that question every time anxiety turned up, every morning when I woke up with that familiar feeling of dread within me. Now whilst it’s good to get curious about things, firstly this wasn’t curiosity it was absolutely judgement. I was judging & shaming myself for feeling that way and secondly, when you’re caught up in the height of the emotion, that’s not the best time to go looking for the answer to your Why!
The thing that bemused me the most was that I shouldn’t have been feeling anxious, I had no reason to feel anxious. I had a great life. Loving family, nice home, good friends, I knew I was good at my job and so there was no logical reason. All this did though was made me feel ashamed for feeling anxious and stopped me from reaching out for help for fear of being judged.
It was only when I finally got to a point where I knew I couldn’t go on that I reached out for help. I remember clearly driving there crying my eyes out for 2 reasons. One, I think I was scared they wouldn’t be able to help me, then what would I do and secondly, as I said, I was scared of being judged.
What actually happened was the amazing person I reached out to did what I wasn’t able to do, which was to validate how I was feeling. That was the start of everything changing for me and on my journey of learning to let go of anxiety I realised what was causing the anxiety. This has been confirmed over and over and over again for me in the work I do now, working with amazing, brave people. The root cause of anxiety is simply not believing you're good enough, not seeing and appreciating you, not believing in yourself.
And that makes sense. If you don’t believe you’re good enough then of course you’re going to feel anxious that you might fail, upset someone or any number of other outcomes you may fear.
So yes absolutely use tools in the moment when you’re feeling anxious to help you feel better but if you want to let go of chronic anxiety, then you need to work on what you think of yourself. To allow yourself to see and appreciate you and all your unique amazingness! When you do, everything will change.
To get started, allow yourself to notice the good things about you. What would the people you love say about you? Start to tell yourself those things & let the words sink in.
If you want some support on this journey, this is exactly what we’ll be working on in the next round of The Sisterhood that kicks off in September. Learning to see yourself and life differently to create a life you love. Reserve your place now and receive my online course ‘Learning to Let Go of Anxiety’ for free.