by Sarah Davis
Maybe you're one of those people who handles major change with an incredible amount of ease, but this blog is for the rest of us who catch ourselves freaking out a little bit. This guide is for anyone out there who feels like right before major change happens, they want to abandon the project, die, or even vomit...
Big milestone achievements are amazing, right? People give you flowers, you get your makeup done, you get congratulated. Is it always a smooth ride, though? Is it normal for these big milestone achievements to have a little PANIC mixed into them? If so, does this mean you are abnormal in some way? Or, a trainwreck who can't be happy about your own life? One word: NO! It means you are a breathing human being reacting to a major change honestly.
I have been working on a book about my speech disorder for about a year now. It's almost been published a few times now (and by a few, I actually mean a few, as in two), but I am still scared to have people read it! Book readings, book signings, all of it- it's scary. I hate public speaking (it's what the book is about). As someone who is the inspirational field, I should be out there doing lectures or vlogs, but it scares the hell out of me. My fear is making it VERY hard to get back out there and let more agents and publishers see this work and my fear is also making it hard to promote myself. Lately, I've been dealing with a lot of anxiety about this. I've been having dreams about being 9 months pregnant but being unable to give birth (or being so close to being done with this book, but not having enough guts to do something with it). How will people ever be inspired by me if I'm still not entirely okay with my flaws?!
There is a LOT of fear attached to something like publishing a book. It's probably just like giving birth to a baby and constantly asking yourself "will I die while giving birth?!" Or getting married and constantly thinking, "Is this guy even going to like-or, I mean, LOVE, me forever?!" Or, "What if I fall while walking down the aisle??!"
Our minds can take us to totally irrational places when we're hearing our fears out. And, fear LOVES to stand guard at the gate of opportunity.
It's important to know that all of this is healthy. If you weren't debating if you could actually pull something off in full-on freak-out mode, you probably wouldn't need to be because you weren't anywhere near success. It's important not to give up, even if you feel completely 100% unequipped in the last moments, because if you do, you won't ever see the REWARDS for all of your hard work and enduring through a natural response to change: a 'lil bit of panic. I've learned that this is a blockage that occurs right before something amazing as a final question from God, saying, "Do you want it? You have to want it." Then, you have to push one final time through your own fears.
But, how do you push?!
1. Surround yourself with healthy people. Surround yourself with your closest friends who are going to give you a pep-talk through your freak out sesh'. Sometimes it can be as easy as a gentle reminder from friends. The other night, I saw Katy Perry: Part of Me at the movie theater and I noticed that right before every show, she bonds with her dancers and team. They do a "circle" and give each other a little encouragement. I don't know about you, but right before going on stage in front of thousands of people, I would definitely need a little pow-wow with the people going out with me.
2. Take a chance on yourself.
How many times do we take chances on other people? Or new jobs? Today, if you are struggling with something about yourself that you don't exactly love about yourself, take a risk and get out there and do what you want to do anyway (even if it is scary).
3. Avoid searching for validation and keep your eyes on the prize.
You've made it this far on your own. Now is not the time to seek validation for something that isn't going to matter once you "cross the bridge." Think about going skydiving. If you didn't need validation to get yourself on the plane, you certainly don't need validation to jump. You put yourself up there. Just keep your eyes on the prize. Allow yourself to just react. If you're scared, at least you know that this is an honest reaction coming from YOUR soul. You don't need any validation for this, because only YOU can ultimately push yourself through this blockage. Focus on the high you will feel after you accomplished something as insane as skydiving. The prize will be worth the pain and the fear you're experiencing now.
4. Engage in on-the-spot meditation.
There is a myth that meditation can only be used in a quiet room with Buddhist music playing softly in the background. I believed this for a while. You can close your eyes, calm your spirit, and tell fear to "hit the road" at any time. The other night, I had a bad night. There was no other way to describe it. I was driving home from experiencing someone say that I was too young to be writing a memoir and I felt like a huge loser. But, I took a moment to meditate for a few seconds and I literally felt a wave of relief wash over me. I heard a voice say, "Stop this. You are on the right path, that's all that you need to worry about." It only took a few moments for me to meditate in the middle of a panic attack.
5. Don't do anything destructive because you are TOO close to what it is you've been after. We all know people who love to drink, especially when things are getting rough. Why not, right? Drinking definitely doesn't alleviate fear, however. It might for a moment and give you a crazy, unconventional amount of confidence, but it won't help you address any real situations in your life. Plus, it might make you weaker in sticking to your standards of not needing any validation. If you love a good shot of tequila, save it for after you've said "I do" or published that first book. Save it for a celebration. Only drink when you aren't in a bad or unstable mood.
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