Today saw me facing another challenge. My intention yesterday as I was dreading this challenge was to write this post detailing how I got through it, how I managed each symptom, and what my overall outcome was. However, I’m sorry to say, that unfortunately isn’t the case.The challenge for me was a big one. It was outside of my comfort zone, and included presenting myself to a client and a group of approximately 20 people (not face to face but on a conference line). I was also leading my team, so leaving wasn’t an option. It was something that a year ago I’d have said ‘no chance’. The difference this year was knowing I was able to at least go into it with slight determination.
The first thing I wanted to do was ensure I had everything prepared. I’d set everything up so I had what I needed and didn’t have to worry about anything other than myself. I got into the room, connected to the meeting and had to wait. By now I was anxious, but nowhere near what I used to be. Legs were shaking and I was feeling hot, but nothing drastic.
This was all standard as the meeting got going, but in a strange twist, as I was focusing in on my anxious thoughts I was able to say ‘snap out of it! Stop shaking your legs, you’re hot because it is hot. You’re fine. This is no different to before’. And in precisely 16 minutes, I’d gone from feeling anxious to completely comfortable in the meeting.
This was bizarre. Where were my nerves? Why was I so comfortable. I’d gone from sheer dread to volunteering questions and taking everything in. I’d got focus and direction I hadn’t had before in these situations. I was feeling in control, a control I hadn’t felt in something like this for a long time. A confidence even.
The meeting went on, and was interesting. I learned from it, enjoyed it and was able to take things away from it.
He biggest thing I took away was how incredibly far my anxiety battle has come. I’m often worried about detailing these kind of positives for fear of ‘bragging’ that I’m conquering it, but it’s important I do so because it allows you to understand that constant fighting isn’t on vein. It does work. It may only work slowly, it may feel like a constant battle, but with the right knowledge, education, support and frame of mind, you can make the difference and make the changes you want so badly.
A special thanks to a group of people who reached out to me today to offer support and words of encouragement. It really does help to know you’re not in this fight alone. You all know who you are.