Anxiety over the Future

I’m starting to sweat.

I can feel a tiny droplet – a moist, salty bead trickling down from my forehead, clinging onto the very tip of my nose, ready to fall. Anytime now.

I’m sweating not because it’s hot. It used to be about a month ago during the sweltering summer heat. I’m sweating because I’m about to take the plunge into the unknown. A new venture (which shall remain hush, hush for now…shhh🤫). Let’s just call it my “project”.

This project is about me taking chances: it’s an investment financially and with my time. It’s also very very exciting for me. So excited, I needed to write about it.

Truth is, I’m sort of nervous. I’ve not been one to take many chances in life. Mostly everything’s been carefully calculated with the usual analytical questions: Should I go for it? How much will it cost? What’s the worst that can happen?

That last question’s a stinker. It’s a completely valid question, but it’s one that’s always held me back from going forward with making a big decision. Some examples:

  • Should I ask her out? What’s the worst that can happen? She says no and I can’t stand the thought of rejection. So I don’t.
  • Should I buy that brand new (fill in the blank)? What’s the worst that can happen? I don’t end up liking what I bought, can’t return it and I’m down x dollars. So I don’t.
  • Should I go on that trip to Iceland? What’s the worst that can happen? I don’t end up enjoying it and again, I’m down x dollars. So I don’t.

I’ve been wrestling in my head about taking the plunge with my project, leaning towards the fear. Leaning towards doing something outside my comfort zone. Taking a calculated risk. Leaning towards a big YES! Hence, the sweating.

But what’s my life going to look like in the next five years if I do?

I’m tossing and turning a lot in my sleep over this last month. Feeling anxiety, fear, nerves, yet pure excitement. On top of that my second book launch is a mere matter of weeks away (if not less). Work was getting hectic and I have an upcoming trip to Iceland to plan for (yes, after years of rejecting the idea, I finally decided to go!) I had a hard time containing these feelings, feeling restless and at times irritable.

So here’s what I did:

  • I started meditating more often. Mindful meditation to be precise. Paying attention to the here and now. What sounds am I hearing? What feelings are resonating through my body? What thoughts do I have and how I can acknowledge them to bring them to rest? Upping my self awareness made it possible to re-center myself.
  • I went out to play basketball with my son when I felt anxious. I knew the endorphins released from trying to keep up to my 17 year old would be a remedy for my nerves. True enough. It worked. Plus I got to spend some more quality time, bonding with him.
  • I practiced some self care. I love taking baths. But unfortunately not the type with big fluffy foam bubbles and Epsom salts. I just like to bathe in warm/hot water…in my own filth. Sounds horrid but it still relaxes me.
  • I journaled. Writing’s always been a great outlet for me. Whether scribbling notes in my notebook or writing a blog, I feel instant relief afterwards. Best part is, I don’t even need to write good…er, well.
  • I scheduled some appointments with my counsellor. I often do if I feel weary or a bit broken down. Plus I was due for my annual mental health checkup anyway. She offered some great advice and thought provoking questions. The most important one being: what’s more important for me, my mental wellness (feeling happy), or protecting myself from feeling fear? The former of course would be to take the plunge with my project, knowing how happy and excited I’d feel to do something different. Something new and something I feel passionate and connected with.
  • Though I’m weeks away from making a final decision, I feel more at ease today than I did weeks ago. I know I can only control my feelings in the present, and in doing so, I’ll be in the best position I can be to decide what’s best for my future.

    Jason Lee, Author of Living with the Cat, the 9 biggest reasons why your life sucks!

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