I'm on about Freedom but not the Wham song from the 90's .
I'm on about freedom from those crippling bouts of anxiety, the ones where you feel sick to pit of your stomach and want to cry.
Well, what if I told you there was a way for you to have freedom from those moments.
Would you want to know more?
You see, I used to feel anxious and 'on the spot' around authority figures. At school it was the teachers and older kids from the cool group.
At work it was management meetings and presentations, sometime even getting up from my desk and walking across the open office floor would do it. I’ve always hated the feeling of being criticised, so at work I’d work really hard at being good and getting things right.
When I fell pregnant, the anxious feeling came when it was time to make decisions about my care, if I asked questions I automatically felt stupid for not know the answers and ‘putting them out’. I guess this was a throw back to my school days in the classroom.
As a new Mother those anxiety levels would escalate. Especially if was I was walking into a well-established Mother and baby group. I’d sometimes blush or stutter when talking to people, or say the wrong thing, or at least think I’d say the wrong thing. So I’d say very little. I’d be the quite one in the corner, trying not to look awkward.
It got to the point where I’d start to avoid social events because I felt uncomfortable. I’d make up excuses in my head not to go to that baby group coffee morning or keep up the baby class. Telling myself its baby’s time to sleep and attending wouldn’t put him out of routine and I wouldn’t want that.
Have you even done that, made excuses to avoid the feeling of anxiety?
My social circle as a new parent got steadily smaller and smaller.
I reached a place where I knew I had to overcome these feelings, that they had taken over and made life miserable. And that was when I changed my life for the better. That’s when I invested in my emotional health and well-being.
Mental health can be a bit of a taboo subject. A topic that gets brushed under the carpet, it can feel shameful, leave you feeling guilty, incapable and incompetent. You feel like no-one wants to listen to your troubles and just supposing they did, you don’t want to burden anyone either.
So you go deeper inside your mind and the issues get bigger.
You feel judged and criticised enough without spilling the beans on how you really feel and confirming their thoughts and your fears.
Catch twenty-two springs to mind or ever decreasing circles. I call it getting stuck inside The Anxiety Loop.
Over the last 10 years I’ve see this pattern repeat itself in many of my clients. Some of them are pre pregnancy; some expecting and many of them are Mothers. These issues tend to get bigger in motherhood.
They tell me they;
• Avoiding being centre of attention
• That making a fool of themselves is one of their worst fears
• Often feel panicky when around new people
• Need the approval of others, especially those close to them
• Go out of their way to people please
• Feel uncomfortable being semi naked in front of their partner since giving birth
• Often chose their words carefully, to make sure they say the right thing
• Go back to work and sometimes feel like a fraud and that people will see through them
• Dislike or avoid going to the toilet when other may be able to hear me
• Would just 'die of embarrassment' if I had wind in front of their peers and colleagues
• Fear pooping in labour
Like my clients, when they first come to see me, I couldn’t fully comprehend there was a way to be free from these uncontrollable feelings. I’d dream about a life free from anxious feelings but I honestly thought I had been born like it, it was just how it was for me and some people are just luckier than others.
I’d tell myself to dream on.
You see I didn’t know any better back then, it wasn’t my fault I just hadn’t learned how to manage my mind. So it was no wonder I kept failing. Failure was what I saw through my eyes anyway.
It’s okay to have and to be experiencing this kind of anxiety or something similar. Sometimes there is good reason for your anxiety BUT sometimes its old experiences, thoughts and feelings suck on repeat. Stuck in The Anxiety Loop that I mentioned earlier.
When it gets to bad for us to cope with alone we are encouraged to go to the GP, The doctor might prescribe antidepressants or tell you to self refer to your local talking therapies service. Not wanting to medicate you feel there is some hope with the local talking therapies service only to be told the wait list is long and for you to overcome your anxiety will take time.
Deflating isn’t it having that rug pulled from under you again, where do you do from here?
Be kind to yourself someone once said to me when I was at my worst. I didn’t know how to be kind to myself and even if I did, I didn’t think I deserved kindness. After all I been so crap at everything it felt like a bit of wash out.
Just think positively, someone else said. I tried this, it was okay when left to my own devises but when I put myself back in those situations my anxiety ignited, bigger and stronger than ever, It was just another thing that didn’t work. Another thing that cemented my belief further that this was just how it is for me.
The official terminology for these feelings is social anxiety. Some of us are more predisposed to suffering social anxiety than others BUT that doesn’t mean you still have to suffer.
Let me repeat that bit. Just because you are more prone to social anxiety doesn’t mean you have to suffer with it.
So you can breathe a big sigh of relief.
Now if you resonate with any of what I have written above and you want to be free for these feeling once and for all, know there is a way forward for you and over the next few weeks I’ll be sharing more information on how you can do this once and for all.
Just like I have.
Freedom from those uncontrollable unnecessary bouts of anxiety, sound good?
The Freedom Spectrum is one of the Seven Pillars that I’ll walk you through in The Breakthrough Formula. A formula that is unique to you that’ll show you how to make anxiety your friend.
Email me firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how The Breakthrough Formula can help you.