Many of my clients come to me because they are seeking an answer to this exact question.
“Probably because you aren’t doing life right.”
I then get a bewildered look paired with, “there’s a “right” way to do life?”
Yes, that is if you want to stop feeling anxious, tense, stressed, and overwhelmed all the time.
Most people try to deal with anxiety in all the wrong ways. They end up scrapping at symptoms rather than solving the REAL problem.
Any of this sound familiar?
- You have trouble sleeping so you take some Advil PM every night, or have a few glasses of wine.
- You wake up exhausted instead of rested, so you NEED a few shots of espresso or a Red Bull before you can even shower.
- You work on “time management” and get a new planner because you think if you just weren’t so over-scheduled, you would feel better.
- You learn to meditate, and do breathing and journaling exercises to calm your racing mind.
- You go to your doctor and get anti-anxiety meds.
- You vent to your friends and family in hopes they have some good advice.
But I’m going to let you in on a secret…
The #1 reason people experience anxiety is because they are living life INCONGRUENT to who they are at soul-level, their truth, their essence…. whatever you want to call it. This means you are essentially trying to be someone that you aren’t and making choices that go against your purpose, gifts, and what you truly value. You are NOT listening to your spirit.
Here are some examples of what “not doing you” looks like.
1. Have you assumed the identity of the roles you play?
- As a mother you “should” be nurturing and take care of the family. Therefore, you push your own desires and needs aside to take care of the kids, and obligate yourself to carpooling to soccer 4 times a week
- As a husband you “should” be the breadwinner. You pull long hours and miss out on family vacations because your eldest needs braces and your wife wants to remodel the kitchen.
- As a corporate executive you are strong, tough, and don’t show emotion as this denotes weakness. You then get in constant arguments with your spouse because he/she thinks you are emotionally disconnected.
- As a church-goer you always do the selfless thing and help any friend in need when they need it. Secretly, you feel the resentment growing inside you because you feel like a doormat.
When you shape your entire identity based on a role, you start to take on demands that fit into that mold, whether it’s in alignment with you or not.
2. Do you make choices based on negative experiences?
Victims of childhood dysfunction often create a story about themselves that sounds like “I am unlovable”. They then break up with any potential romantic partner before the relationship even takes off, because they just aren’t “worth it”. Maybe you had breast cancer, and a double mastectomy. Now you decide you are physically broken, unattractive, and anything but a sexual woman. You stop dating altogether. If you are making your experiences WHO you are, then shit, you are opening the door for one giant anxiety party.
3. Do you make decisions based on the expectations of others?
Have you chosen…
- and lovers
..based on what you think you “should” be doing, what looks good, or what is expected based on your family background, economic status, or gender? I got a school teaching degree because my father said it’s better to work for the state to get a steady paycheck. I hated the job. I know others that invested years in law or medical school because it was a “family” business, and they felt obligated to follow suit. A few of my female clients used to force themselves to attend “girls nite out” because they were told (by their boyfriends / husbands) that they needed more girlfriends.
4. Do you seek opportunities based on what you happen to be good at versus what you are truly created to do?
Many moons ago (when one coded HTML by hand), I worked a couple years as a website designer. I happened to be great with technology, and learned it early on from my father who was a graphic designer. I was really good at it. But I HATED it, even worse than the teaching gig. For a long time I wondered why I found something I was so good at, so unfulfilling. The truth is, I am not designed at soul-level to hide behind a computer and write code. I am designed to teach, inspire, transform, and to read energy. My web designing days triggered more anxiety than revenue.
Do you know who you truly are?
Anxiety is quite the chameleon. It’s sneaky, and you might feel like you are being you, but if you feel like you have anxiety for no reason, I guarantee that SOMETHING is off.
Most people have no idea who they truly are because they are so caught up and enmeshed in:
- past experiences
- meeting the expectations of others
- and what they happen to be good at
At soul-level, you are a perfect being. You have a purpose, gifts, and a special way of operating in the world. NO outside force or experience can shape who you are or change this! When you align to the “right” you, you swim with the current and experience flow even during challenging times. You free yourself from anxiety, and welcome inner-peace instead. But if you try to adapt to a way of being that’s in direct conflict with your truth, then you are swimming against the current and it’s hard and exhausting. Now anxiety becomes your BFF and hangs out with you on a daily basis.