Anxiety is about letting fear drive the train. Fear thrives on passivity. I was inspired to write this because I have so many clients who wait for things to come to them instead of going after what they want.

“Uncle Bob knows somebody who can get me a job” and they will passively let time pass because it’s a whole lot easier than dealing with strangers to job hunt. Passivity loves apathy if you don’t care then waiting just doesn’t matter. It’s easier to be apathetic then to face your fears.

Anxious people often squelch their own wants because it’s easier than fighting for something that matters.

Anxious people that have a passion are the lucky ones because they care so much they don’t suffocate their wants. Passion carries the lucky ones through the tough beginnings of anything new. Beginnings are always the hardest part because it’s awkward & easy to feel stupid because we don’t know enough.

So fighting your fears by caring enough to go after something is one way to combat anxiety. Perhaps start with something that you used to enjoy in childhood. Start small. Push through your social anxiety & find a meet up group that shares an interest you have, they have a group for everything.

Since medieval times they have been saying “Fortune Favors the Bold” which I believe to be true. So being willing to fail miserably, to make mistakes as everyone does at the beginning of something new and reducing your expectations of results is all very helpful to stepping into the unknown.

Passivity is easier. Indulging your own fears as reality is easier than finding out what will happen. Deciding it’s not worth it is easier. You have to change some inside personal myths. You have to find courage. You have to take action. You have to decide something is worth it.

It’s why I love the 1996 movie Heavy. A movie about an obese, anxious man who had been in a codependent relationship with his mother. His world has become strangled by his fear. It clearly demonstrates how it is possible to make your world bigger, no matter how scary a proposition that may be. The crisis of his mother’s death becomes an important opportunity to grow.

You can not grow without being uncomfortable is a constant refrain on my website, in my blog & podcast. It is so important to accept this as a reality. It’s why helicopter moms do their children a disservice when they erase the experience of discomfort.

Reality is about being uncomfortable. Try disagreeing with a friend or telling a truth to a partner. The more time you put into avoiding & deflecting the harder it will be.

So fight your inclination towards passivity if you have anxiety. Speak up to that boss after you are off probation, bump back someone you care about, try to let someone else know something that matters to you.

Decide that Trying matters more than Passivity & the “safety” of apathy.

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About the Rhoda Mills Sommer

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