How most people would describe anxiety: overwhelming, horrible, debilitating, THE WORST.
How I (try to) describe anxiety: my hidden talent, my secret weapon, my superpower.
Now I know I know. This seems..ridiculous? Unreasonable? A stretch? (man I’m on a role with adjectives today aren’t I?!).
But it’s true. Anxiety is my superpower.
And as I’ve found better ways to tackle my anxiety, I’ve also started to learn how to use it for my benefit in my business.
Lemme show you how.
How to Use Anxiety as A Superpower in Your Business
Before I jump in, let me break down how this post is going to work.
There will be three parts to each superpower quality:
- The traditional anxiety symptom
- The way in which this symptom is actually a perk
- How you can activate this perk and turn it into your superpower!
Sound good? Cool! Then let’s dive in.Make anxiety your hidden talent, your secret weapon, your superpower. Click To Tweet
Symptom: When I am anxious, I feel like every inch of me is on fire, and if I could just somehow peel away my skin, I’d feel a lot better. Morbid, but true.
My anxiety It makes me super aware of every limb and line of my body, and it used to terrify me.
Perk: I know when something is wrong, usually pretty quickly. Because I am so aware of my body, I am also aware of any changes…no matter how small.
From being just one degree hotter to feeling the early stages of an anxiety attack, being hyperaware of my body also gives me great insight into what’s going on.
Activate: The problem with hyperawareness isn’t the awareness in itself, it’s how it’s used. Transfer that awareness to be a more productive, positive citizen of Your Body, USA!
Do you feel your breath quickening and your heart beginning to race? Cool! Don’t ignore the feeling, and definitely don’t fight it.
Thank your body for being so keen, and then address it head on. Use that awareness as a time to connect with yourself on a deeper level.
Question the moment, and then reason through it: is it just that you drank too much coffee? Is it related to your growing to do list and your lack of focus on what business idea to tackle next? Or are you truly in the beginning stages of an anxiety attack?
How can you use that energy to get through the moment?
Can you transfer your focus to another area of your body – something that might be more soothing? Can you close your eyes and focus on the feeling of your eyeballs as you move them back and forth?
Can you channel the energy into a project that you’ve ben struggling with? Maybe you can use it do an activity that you know inspires creativity – like going for a walk or driving.
Keep asking yourself questions until you find something that resonates with you. And then throw that hyperawareness into that instead.
Symptom: Ever since I was a little kid I’ve been
overly very very perceptive.
I have always been the type of person who would rather sit back and observe the world than get too into the weeds of it. But being an anxious person doesn’t always allow me to observe with a positive eye.
Instead, I find myself nitpicking at the small things I see. “Oh shoot, someone made a slightly negative comment on my latest post on Instagram?!?!”
Ya know, that sort of bullshit.
Perk: Picking up on the little things can be a good thing.
I’m very aware of how people react to the words I say, how I phrase things, my tone of voice, and even my body language.
I can tell when I need to redirect a conversation or clarify a point just by noticing their eye movements or facial expressions.
While it can drive me personally insane sometimes, it does make me a better communicator, presenter, and allows me to be more compassionate in my copy.
Activate: Just like with hyperawareness, being over-observant can be used for good and not evil!
I find that channeling the observations into more positive activities helps me overcome my more negative mind.
Instead of letting my head run wild about past things I’ve observed, I move those observations into the future.
Maybe someone did make a slightly negative comment. So what can I change in the future?
Maybe I can change my wording and clarify what I’m trying to say so that they understand my point better.
Or maybe I need to be more aware of who my target audience is, and make sure I’m reaching people who will resonate with my message.
Don’t let your mind taint your observations. Take them at face value, and then use them for good!Don’t let your mind taint your observations. Use them for good! Click To Tweet
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Caring Too Much
Symptom: I care about everything. From what other people think about me to how clean my apartment is…I care about it all.
Now this is made worse by me being a Type-A people pleaser….so really I’m just working against myself on this one.
Perk: Caring = compassion. And while I may care too much, isn’t that better than not caring at all?
Really though, having that much compassion means that I have the capacity to be passionate about a lot of things.
I’m passionate about blogging and building up this community.
I’m passionate about building ma business for myself, so I can live a life I love.
I’m passionate about maintaining my relationships, and keeping my apartment clean, and on and on and on.
By caring too much, it allows me to spread the care around to everyone.
Activate: Now this one isn’t about turning a negative into a positive; it’s about making sure not to spread yourself too thin.
Because I care so much about so many different things, my to-do list is always pages (yes PAGES) long.
I can’t sit still, because there’s always something to do. And I find it hard to prioritize.
That’s when two things come into play; two things that most female entrepreneurs struggle with: planning and self-care.
But let’s talk planning for a moment. I separate things I care about into Care Categories.
Each day (in addition to doing things like showering and eating), I try to do one small activity from each Care Category. For instance, my Care Categories are Work, Blog, Relationships, Self-Care, and Cleaning.
So for Sunday, maybe my plan is to update my resume, catch up with some social media and blogging groups, reach out to a friend, give myself a face mask, and do the laundry – one item from each category.
Nothing too crazy, but it allows me to keep my caring in check!
Symptom: Anxiety throws all my emotions into a tailspin. I feel everything stronger and with a more negative filter. In short: I’m a hot mess 78% of the time.
Perk: I keep the tissue company in business.
No but really. I let my emotions out. I don’t keep them bottled up, I release them and then I deal with them.
So my friend, if you feel like crying, go ahead and cry. At the end of the day you’ll be better for it.
Activate: After you have a good cry (or screaming session or whatever emotional release works best for you), thank yourself.
Because girl, your body just did an amazing thing!
It let you know that something is/was terribly terribly wrong!
Now in the future, you don’t have to be blindsided; it literally gave you a flashing neon sign that says “HOMEGIRL THIS ISN’T RIGHT CHANGE IT!”.
And that’s pretty freaking cool.
So thank yourself for that moment of clarity. Show yourself some grace and compassion (yeah that’s right. Don’t forget to add yourself to your care list).
And then share your insights in your business.
Yeah that’s right, I’m talking about opening up about your struggles, and getting real with your audience.
Sometimes we forget that our audience are people and not numbers. And people buy from people, real, honest to goodness, “wow she’s just like me!” people.
Because really girl, it’s not about that fact that you cried. It’s about what you do after.It’s not about that fact that you cried. It’s about what you do after. Click To Tweet
Related post // Why It’s Ok to Be Unproductive
Symptom: So there’s definitely a trend here with doing things too much, so it makes sense that overthinking is on the list.
If there is more than one thought to have about something, then you can bet your bottom dollar that I will have thought them all.
It’s a good time.
Perk: Because I think about everything, usually more than once, I don’t take any decision lightly. It makes me prepared for the worst, and also helps me make educated decisions.
Activate: The key here is to let your emotions be there, but keep them focused and useful.
Sometimes I let my thoughts run legit wild. Not good my friend, not good.
Let your thoughts exist, but don’t let them turn into a monologue. Make it a conversation.
Ask questions, provide counterpoints, and ask for supporting arguments. Make this a full on debate team competition.
Because just like the crying, these thoughts are providing you some insight into your true feelings. Just don’t let them stage a revolution without your consent.Don't let your anxiety stage a revolution without your consent. Click To Tweet
And if you’re struggling to provide counterpoints to your thoughts, this is a great time to involve your audience1 Ask them their opinion on what you’re struggling with.
Not only does it help up your “authentic factor”, it also gives you insight into the opinions of your target audience!
Related post // 44 Self Love Affirmations
So what have we learned today class?
- Anxiety is not a bad thing
- None of the symptoms of anxiety are inherently bad
- Girl if you feel like crying, go ahead and cry
- It’s all about how we use our powers: for good or for evil
- You are a badass. Whether today your anxiety is crippling you, or whether you are using it to your benefit. Either way – still a badass.
Until our next adventure within,