Feel the fear and do it anyway…

Facing the fear is one of the rules to overcoming anxiety.

Most people struggling with anxiety focus on running, hiding and avoiding anxiety……….which of course you would. Nobody wants to feel anxious.

The problem with avoidance is that it’s the number 1 thing that will make your anxiety worse.

I realise you’re all thinking that the last sentence doesn’t make sense. Of course you’ll avoid anything that makes your anxiety worse because, well, it makes you feel more anxious.

Think about avoidance like this………

If going to Tesco makes you feel anxious, you’ll stop going. You may try another supermarket to see if that’s any better but ultimately decide that all supermarkets make you feel anxious. At this point, you may only go to the much smaller Tesco express or the local co-op because you don’t feel as anxious. But guess what, every time you go, you start feeling more and more anxious. You may decide that home delivery is the way forward. Home delivery seems to have sorted the food shopping thing out, but, you realise that going in any shop is making you really anxious.

You get the gist of this thing; anxiety is like a virus that spreads and grows.

Even if you avoid it in one area, it starts to spread to other places.

The truth is that by avoiding things, you never get to disconfirm your fears. You’re acting on the assumption that supermarkets, and all supermarkets make you feel unbearably anxious. But, you’ve been in supermarkets and shops before and not felt anxious, so you’ll be able to again.

Feel the fear and do it anyway is about facing fear, and also the name of my favourite book on anxiety.