The Anxiety Challenge: How to Outsmart Anxiety
When you are faced with a crisis, the first thing you need is to address your “thinking” or “mindset.” If you see the issue before you as a crisis or problem, you have adopted an adversarial or “fighting” attitude towards it. A more productive approach is to view the crisis as a challenge or puzzle to solve, or, if not to solve, at least to deal with. It is not there to “break” you, but to bring out some hidden strength or ability from within you. It doesn’t make you evil or bad or a loser. These types of difficulties are not sent only to you. Everyone faces difficulties in life. If you are willing to adopt this attitude, you can “make friends” with the challenge, and then you will be much better equipped to outsmart anxiety.
Isn’t that just a mind game? By calling something a challenge instead of a problem, aren’t you just fooling yourself?
No. By abandoning the attitude that the world is out to “get me”, you transform debilitating negative energy into positive practical energy, which you can then use to help solve the problem. Your challenge is to harness as much of the mental and emotional energy at your disposal and make it work for you, instead of letting your pent-up anger and negativity drain you.
This “mind game” has very real effects. Look at it this way — it takes thirty-eight facial muscles to frown and only eighteen facial muscles to smile, so it makes sense to save physical and emotional energy and smile at your problem.
But why me? Always me! Why does everyone else have it so easy?
First of all, it’s not true. Even though it may appear that everything goes smoothly for your neighbor, friend, or boss, it is simply not true. That person may not be going through what you are, but each person faces challenges tailor-made for him or her to bring out their unique hidden strengths and abilities. Each person has a unique array of inherited DNA, genes and chromosomes and a special set of parental, social and economic circumstances that make up his or her personality. Just as there are approximately six billion different human faces in the world, so too there are six billion different, special and unique individuals in the world, each with his or her own challenge. You are unique in the universe. No one else has your set of abilities and weaknesses, therefore no one else has your set of personal challenges.
Now, when a difficulty or problem comes your way, you must realize that it has never been presented to a person with your genetic or behavioral makeup ever before in world history. This is your special project or mission, for better or worse. It has your name on it. Only you can solve it or deal with it, in accordance with your unique set of abilities and weaknesses.
Your neighbor’s marriage, job, house, and all of his or her issues are his to deal with. Looking over your shoulder or envying the situation of your neighbor is merely a waste of personal energy that you should be conserving to deal with your own challenges.
Now, when the “going gets tough,” consciously step into “spiritual mode” and view the difficulty as your unique challenge. You will be able to factor out any “why me?” issues, which are sourced in your thinking of yourself as a victim – and be able to focus on the task at hand of dealing with your challenge from a spiritual growth perspective.
Don’t waste physical or emotional energy by comparing yourself to others. Harness all of your special strengths and abilities to enable yourself to concentrate and deal with the issues before you, and grow in character in the process. Therefore, when the going gets tough, the tough get spiritual and access their higher self – the personality qualities and values that reside in their spiritual center. It is this spiritual core – this essential self – that is best suited to help meet the challenge before you.by