Walking into a room, chin up, form-fitting clothes, flouncy hair, and a big smile, no one would ever suspect I deal with occasional anxiety on first impression. But anxiety isn’t just for the shy or awkward. In fact, I bet your boss, one of your role models, best friends, or even you have experienced it. Anxiety gets a bad wrap. And, it’s not always the most pleasant feeling. But what if you could wake up one morning and say, “I am successful and happy because of my anxiety!”?
As a born-worrier, I’ve dealt with occasional anxiety through most of my life, even before I knew what it was. Since a young age I experienced sleepless nights where revved nerves made me feel wide awake. I felt guilt over little things I said or did. And I over analyzed other people’s behaviors, possible outcomes, and tended to easily blame myself for disappointments.
It wasn’t until my first panic attack during my senior year of college that I heard the term “anxiety.” I thought, “there’s a word to describe the discomfort I feel?” If there’s a label, there had to be enough other people experiencing the same emotions. I wasn’t alone.
Whether it’s genetic, circumstantial, or a result of trauma, you should never feel shame about anxiety. However, it’s extremely important to learn how to identify and process anxiety in productive ways. When gone unattended, it can hurt out relationships, careers, and self-esteem.
If you know me, you know I don’t settle. I have been on a mission to turn my anxiety into my best asset. I am learning how to take my anxious personality traits and make them my greatest strengths to propel me into success and fulfillment. But I don’t want to be the only one reaping these benefits. So today I’m breaking down how to turn the 6 most common anxiety personality traits into your biggest strengths based on the book From Panic to Power by Lucinda Bassett.
1. Perfectionism to high standards
Needing everything to be perfect all the time is confining, controlling, and stressful. So let’s ditch it, girlfriend! Release perfection and swap it for high standards. You can still appreciate a clean home, pressed dress, beautiful hair, and healthy lifestyle without feeling so attached to them. Having high standards is empowering and gives you flexibility.
2. Inner nervousness to high vitality
Our thoughts create energy inside our body. If we don’t know how to respond to this energy it can be overwhleming. Did you know the body doesn’t know the difference between excitement and fear? Keeping this energy locked up inside is useless and potentially petrifying. But, if we can turn it outward, it can be powerful and productive. Next time you feel angst over public speaking, meeting a deadline, flying, or confrontation, realize that same energy can be used to give you excitement, motivation, and strength to face fears, meet goals, and try new things.
3. Guilt feelings to taking action
Whether it’s slipping up on healthy eating, missing a workout, arguing with a loved one, or saying something “silly” in a work meeting, how many times have you felt guilty over your shortcomings? Feelings of guilt are unproductive and can lead to low self-worth. Instead, use these moments to simply recognize your mistakes and motivate change.
4. Emotional sensitivity to knowing yourself
Do you deal with indigestion? Cry easily? Panic during scary movies? Have sensitivity to caffeine? Lucky you, you have a very strong mind-body connection! Being sensitive can make you feel vulnerable. However, it can also create a strong self-awareness that allows you to grow, create boundaries, and choose the activities, careers, and relationships that actually bring you joy.
5. Indecisiveness to allowing mistakes
There are no right or wrong decisions. However, we can become indecisive when we lack the self-confidence to take risks and stay committed. The road to success is never perfect, it’s filled with mistakes. Let go of your fear of failure, it doesn’t serve you. Instead, realize your inner #bossbabe – you can do anything you set your mind to, no matter how many times you screw up!
6. Obsessive worrying to goal setting
I have a very creative and analytical mind, to say the least. I can come up with lots of ways I could completely “screw up” my life. However, when I decided to use this creativity to come up with hundreds of more ways my life could completely flourish, I was able to create real goals and meet them.
Do you experience anxiety? How do you deal with it? I want to hear all your tips in the comments below 🙂
Health and happiness,