Are You Using Anxiety as an Excuse?
There is a quote I love by John Rohn. It reads if you really want to do something you will find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.
I love this quote. The words resonate with me across all things. As I look back on my life and the decisions I have made, it holds true.
When I wanted to do something I found a way. When I didn’t, I found an excuse.
Don’t believe me? Keep reading….
The Way and the Excuse
Think about everyone you ever dated. When you wanted to see them, you found a way. When you didn’t you found an excuse.
Think about school or work. When you wanted to go you would find a way. When you didn’t, you would find an excuse.
Think about dinner. When you wanted a homemade meal, you would find a way. When you didn’t, you would find an excuse.
Think about social events. When you wanted to go somewhere you would find a way. When you didn’t, you would find an excuse.
Are you picking up what I’m laying down?
By now you are realizing that all actions that people take are the result of a want to do something or an excuse not to. Obviously, there are exceptions to this rule but they are far and few between.
Anxiety is not an exception.
It really sucks.
- Anxiety keeps us stuck
- Anxiety breeds fear
- Anxiety makes us question our abilities
- Anxiety makes us question other people’s motives
Hey, I get it. I struggle with anxiety, and many times I fall victim to its hold. I’m human.
But that doesn’t change the fact that anxiety has provided me with an excuse.
- Anxiety is my excuse to stay in my comfort zone
- Anxiety is my excuse to not socialize.
- Anxiety is my excuse to retreat into my own head
Before you throw your iPhone, laptop or whatever mobile device you are reading this on at me, give me a minute.
I know that anxiety is immobilizing.
I know that anxiety rears its head in the most surprising places
I know that you have tried lots of things to manage your anxiety
I know that anxiety is something you live with, and as much as you want it to, it is not going away.
I know all of this.
Anxiety only controls you because you let it control you.
Give me a moment to duck for cover…..
I know you feel like you have tried everything.
I know that it feels like anxiety’s grip on you is so strong that you cannot pry its ugly grip off of you.
I know it feels helpless, and at some times hopeless.
But it’s not.
The fact is that if you want to manage the anxiety you would. If you don’t, you will find an excuse.
Alright, now that you are thoroughly appalled by my insight, I want to give you an out.
There is a way to manage anxiety.
It involves deciding you want to.
If you are like me, you have already tried lots of things to manage your anxiety.
And if you are like me, you sometimes feel like nothing is working.
Believe me. I am right there with you. Especially in the darkest moments when I feel like there is no way that I can get myself out of the black hole that I am in. It is much easier to just succumb to it.
After all, I know it will pass. It always does.
But you know what I figured out? Sitting around waiting for it to pass is no longer good enough.
I don’t want to fall victim to my anxiety anymore. After all, anxiety is just distorted thinking. I can be stronger than my thoughts.
As I write this, I am struggling with my anxiety and self-defeating beliefs. A world of negativity swirling around in my mind is causing me to want to bury my head under a weighted blanket.
I’m not going to do that.
Instead, I am going to manage it. You know why?
Because if I want to manage my anxiety I will find a way. If I don’t, I will find an excuse.
I am done with excuses.
The Next Steps
Maybe you are right here with me; wanting to find a way.
Or maybe you are still stuck. And that’s okay too.
When you are ready to stop letting anxiety consume you, you will know.
There will be days when you will find a way, and there will be days when you will use it as an excuse. That’s how it goes.
For me, writing helps. So as I was about to cry myself to sleep at 2 PM in the afternoon, I decided that I am not going to let this feeling ruin a perfectly good (albeit, rainy) Saturday.
I’m better than anxiety.
I’m stronger than anxiety.
Today, I am going to beat anxiety.
Tomorrow might be different. But for today, anxiety is going to be my bitch.
The Silver Lining
You don’t have to feel like Goliath every day.
Some days you will feel small.
And that’s okay.
If we think of anxiety like a living, breathing human being than we know that it is malleable.
Some days it will be fierce and some days it will be quiet.
Some days you will feel like you can manage it and some days you will feel like you cannot.
Both are okay.
You are growing. Cut yourself some slack.
Learn to manage the quiet voice of anxiety. You know, the one that creeps up and tells you that everyone at the party will be judging your outfit.
Learn to tell that voice to shut up. After you master the art (because it is an art) of managing your low-grade anxiety, you will build confidence to find a way (not an excuse) to master bigger anxiety.
If you read through this entire article, you went from wanting to punch me in the face to feeling like I am not totally full of shit.
The bottom line is that even though anxiety has controlled you for so long, you do not have to give it power. You can start small and build up to larger anxiety-producing self-stories as you build your confidence.
Managing anxiety is a process. You are not alone. I am still in the process myself.
Sometimes I fail. Sometimes I succeed.
But every time I am aware that it is a choice.
I want to manage my anxiety, so I will find a way. I am worth it. You are worth it. We are all worth the effort it takes to live an inspired life.