Two days ago, I joined a weight loss program, and if that wasn’t enough, I challenged my anxiety by attending one of their meetings at a local church. I felt I needed the accountability a group could provide; yet, my introverted self would much rather have participated in an incognito online program.
Now if you suffer from anxiety to any degree, perhaps you could understand that each step was difficult, and I have found for myself that to deal with anxiety when facing an unknown situation, the best thing for me to do is to break the challenge down into smaller steps…a series of hurdles to the finish line.
Each hurdle involves a choice…cut my losses and run or deep breath and stand firm. Admittedly, I have done both, but the longer I battle anxiety, the more I find a feeling of regret accompanies a decision to run…except from social functions. I have very rarely experienced regret when fleeing from a party social situation where I know no one, and another reason I have given myself permission to attend no more of these types of functions, but I digress.
Each hurdle faced also involves a personal check-in and a pep talk. How am I feeling right now? You’re doing great. Just see what happens. You can go at any time.
Here’s my hurdles broken down. A glimpse into my anxious self with rating as to anxiety level.
Hurdle One: Finding the location and parking – mild.
Hurdle Two: Getting out of the car – high.
Hurdle Three: Asking a Bible study group where the meeting was held – high.
Hurdle Four: Entering the door to find a huge lineup of women waiting to be weighed and greeted by the organizer – high.
Hurdle Five: Getting weighed – moderate and shocking.
Hurdle Six: Finding a seat and attending meeting – moderate.
Hurdle Seven: Answering when put on the spot as to why I joined…umm, jump-start modelling career? – moderate
Once I reach that finish line, I suffer from both exhilaration from facing my fears and also exhaustion. It takes a lot of energy to be anxious…too bad that doesn’t translate to weight loss.
I could choose to be frustrated with myself that these things are so hard for me, yet not a big deal to so many others; however, I choose to be proud in these little accomplishments. I think they translate into resilience currency, and I’m working on building up my reserves.
To all my fellow anxiety sufferers, a high-five if you challenged that anxiety a little today. It’s not easy.