My therapist dropped a bombshell on me the other day. He told me that anxiety is a good thing. At which point, I was like — in my head, of course — “Dude, you cannot be serious. Anxiety sucks!”
And then he proceeded to explain something. Something pretty obvious, yet still profound. I wrote it down, and every time I read these words, I get this delightful whoa-there epiphany jolt.
In a nutshell:
I am anxious. Often tense. Worried about a hundred things. Nervous when I step into the unknown. And what does that represent about me?
- It means I care.
- I hold myself accountable.
- I have high standards.
- I am not in denial about my shortcomings and strengths.
- Every day, I try hard to do better.
- I am realistic because, why yes, I DO HAVE FLAWS!
- And it means I want to be the absolute best version of myself.
- “So why wouldn’t you want to be anxious, Pavi?” he continued. “Seems to me it’s helped you find success, happiness, and a strong sense of identity. Why change something so powerful about yourself?”
See what I’m talking about? Pretty compelling stuff, right?
Obviously, the goal is to keep the positive parts of anxiety without letting it debilitate me. Let it be a driving force rather than completely take over the steering wheel. And yes, that is where the road gets uphill. But, hey? If I keep walking, I just might get to see a spectacular view on the other side.
Next steps: embrace the worry. Step into the darkness. Humor the demons while dodging their claws.
Why ever not?