Tip #108: Make a list of anxiety goals.
The Why: Anxiety is like a spontaneous hurricane, it comes into your home without warning, flips over your tables and chairs, rips off your roof and throws you around like a hacky sack before suddenly disappearing, leaving you breathless and shaking, desperately clinging on to a bannister with no idea what just happened.
When attempting to figure out how the heck to overcome such a force of nature, it can seem like a task that is simply too overwhelming. Anxiety has so many facets and manifestations that there is no one thing that will cure them all.
This is why I have found that making small, manageable goals helps you realise exactly how to defeat the beast of anxiety.
Number One – Gettin’ Specific With It
Of course, setting goals like “Overcoming anxiety” is a really good place to begin. It’s important to always keep in mind the end aim of your journey.
However, it is equally important to be as specific as possible when setting goals, as it will help you actually realise the steps that must be taken for you to get to that final, fearless place.
Breaking your journey down into smaller chunks makes the task at hand seem far more doable, which will give you the motivation to continue with what lies ahead.
For instance, if you suffer from social anxiety and feel anxious in social situations, write down goals like:
“My goal is to be able to go to a house party without having a panic attack” or “my goal is to be able to go on a date without reaching for a paper bag to breathe into.”
Another example is if you feel anxious when speaking in front of audiences, write down goals like:
“My goal is to be able to be able to speak in front an audience of 10 people” or “my goal is to be able to speak in meetings”.
Number Two – Dream Big and Small
When creating your anxiety goals, don’t be afraid to dream big.
For instance, if you feel a great chill of terror at the thought of going travelling alone but one day dream of doing so, write it down.
Don’t be hesitant in articulating your biggest and most secret dreams, as well as dealing with the small stuff, as it’s a good way to push yourself.
Writing down your big dreams and anxiety goals will inspire you to keep going, as you know what amazing things await you at the end of your long, hard road.
Keeping in mind what you truly desire in life will make it all seem worth it.
Number Three – Be Bespoke
It’s important to remember that every person’s anxiety manifests itself in a variety of different ways, and no people’s triggers are exactly the same.
Always keep in mind the ways that your anxiety presents itself. What symptoms do you get the most? What are your personal triggers?
Knowing yourself and knowing your anxiety will help you to write detailed and focused goals that deal with all the different parts of your experience.
Number Four – Keep Them In A Place You Can See
When you have anxiety, there will be times when it all feels hopeless, when you have no idea how you’re going to defeat it, when you feel lost.
This is why I keep my goals somewhere easily accessible in my room, so I can always see exactly what I’m working towards, and what I need to do to truly call myself fearless.
Number Five – Tick Them Off With Pride
One of the most motivating things for me is that moment, that brief but brilliant moment when I get to tick off a goal I have reached.
Looking at the long list of anxiety goals I have, and over time seeing more and more get crossed off serves as a powerful reminder in my darkest moments. It shows me how far I have come, it shows me I can get over my anxiety, and it shows me that I am strong enough to do anything.
Being able to walk to my wall armed with a bright, red pen and tick off my fears tells me that one day, one beautiful day, I’m going to be fine.