Anxiety → Excitement

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Anthony Pica
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Anxiety → Excitement

Anxiety → Excitement

What makes you anxious?

Presentations would stress me out. I'd worry about typos on my slides, the audience feeling bored, or someone asking me a question I couldn't answer.

Anxiety can be soul-draining. It steals our attention and consumes our energy.

If you search Google for "how to stop anxiety," you'll get more than a quarter-million results. It's a real problem affecting work performance and mental health (and I'm not even talking about clinical anxiety). There's a lot of advice out there on how to be calm and not worry. But in my experience, it doesn't truly work.

The problem I've seen is that trying to fight against anxiety only creates more anxiety. It's a feedback loop: worrying about worrying creates more worry.

Here's what has worked for me:

Don't fight anxiety. Accept it. Embrace it. Understand it.

Anxiety and excitement are similar chemical responses in the brain. If we lean into anxiety rather than fight it, we can shift the mind to a state of excitement.

It's the approach I took for a best man speech.

I was anxious about delivering the perfect speech. I practiced to get it right, but the more I practiced, the more I worried. And the more I tried to relax, the more anxious I got.

Instead, I told myself, "yeah, I'm anxious about this, most people would be, so what, love that you get this opportunity, enjoy it; and whatever happens, happens."

I transformed anxiety into excitement.

When I finished the speech, several people came up to me and said it was the __best__ best man's speech they'd ever heard.

I no longer try to fight or fix my anxiety when I give presentations at work. I embrace the anxiety and use it as fuel to express my enthusiasm and show charisma. It's not always easy at first, but it works.

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