I’ve been thinking a lot lately about Self Motivation. The topic has come up for me lately with my working through my anxiety challenges- and also from reading your recent comments here.
Recently a friend said to me, “I hope I come as far as you someday. Your website is wonderful – it’s been a really big help for me. Knowing you’ve recovered as much as you have takes a lot of self-motivation.” That’s true, it does.
We are half way through the calender year of 2012. This is a good time to take a look at where you are with your anxiety recovery goals. How are things going in your life? Are you feeling better than you were when the year started, and what would you like to achieve before the year ends? That’s exactly what I’m looking at this week myself…Getting to the Source of Self Motivation for Anxiety Recovery
As I sit here writing this we are in the thick of an incredibly hot July. The recent heatwave and all the activity in my neighborhood normally would have me over the edge with anxiety. (Last night there was a pool party right outside my bedroom window!)
But I am surprised and delighted to report that even though I don’t *love* this time of year- it still feels very pressured to me- I am not suffering from anxiety like I did even a year ago.
That’s good progress… I am learning to love pieces of summer- like early morning and evening. And find myself again in the process…
Come September I will be at my job one whole year. It feels so amazing to be able to feel like what I do matters, that I am starting to fit in, and that I can show up and not be freaked out and anxious the whole time. I remember just thinking about having a job again used to have me tied up in knots with worry and anxiety.
Of course I have my moments. I’m not always feeling great and I have days when the last thing I want to do is have to deal with anxiety again. But most days I do just get up and about there and live my life. I practice my tools to the best of my ability.
I think finding the source of self motivation to keep on going with the slow & sometimes painful process of anxiety recovery is different for everyone.
If you really want to make progress and get better, being self motivated is key.
Here is a great article I love on continuous self motivation. A good way to find your self motivation is to use a few steps regularly and as you do, the momentum builds and it propels you forward to continue on.
Here are 5 Steps to Self Motivation for Overcoming Anxiety
1. Be enthused.
See having anxiety as the opportunity of a lifetime to help yourself. Because it is. (I know, you think I’m crazy right?) Anxiety sucks, but do try to see the roses through the thorns. Getting better feels wonderful. Little victories add up and they feel like you won the damn lottery.
Get creative and see how you can challenge yourself to do better and better. There are so many ways to approach different anxiety situations. So if for example, self hypnosis for panic attacks worked for you for awhile then not so much, switch it up and try a different strategy, like using Panic Away, or the Anxiety Road Map.
I like to use as many tools as I can in my anxiety self help toolbox and switch them up as needed.
The point is find tools that work for you. And then work those tools. Every time you succeed you get a little bit closer to being that person you were before anxiety and panic attacks affected your life.
2. Know yourself.
When you are hungry, eat. When you are tired, rest. Learn to become better acquainted with yourself and your body’s rhythms. If you’re a female, track your menstrual cycle as this can really affect your anxiety level.
Knowing yourself too involves another important element that is self compassion. Do the best you can and appreciate your efforts!
You’re not in a race and you don’t have to live up to anyone’s expectations, except your own. Be kind to yourself, just as you would your very own child or a beloved pet who was struggling with something.
Know that anxiety symptoms can flare up significantly when you are Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired, or Sick. Use these cues to help know when to be extra compassionate with yourself and where you are.
3. Just do it.
Stop thinking about it and dreaming about getting better. Get up off the couch and start living. Little by little. Don’t try to do everything all at once. But you have to start somewhere. Why not start today? What have you got to lose? What do you have to gain? (hint: Freedom- Life- Happiness!)
Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breed confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy. – Dale Carnegie
4. Measure your progress.
I look back now to a few months ago when I had severe symptoms of fainting anxiety at work. I kept exposing myself to the situation little by little. I did the best that I could, and I just kept doing it. And now? It’s gone. I have mastered this & I am so happy.
When you see some improvement, notice it and nurture it. Keep it up! The reward is a bigger world for you!
5. Share your victories.
Whether it is talking with your partner, a therapist, leaving a comment here, or at an online forum, let someone know you did good and are proud. It feels good and validates your progress.
Surround yourself with positive and motivated people who are also working on their own issues, whether it be anxiety recovery, or something else.
Shortcuts never work, by the way. Looking back on the past 4+ years I have invested in my anxiety recovery, it was all those little victories that added up and taking consistent daily action that ultimately got me where I am today.
And going forward? I create a new vision of where I would like my recovery to take me. I create a new vision of where I want to go next in my life.
You create your own vision for your life and feel it and see it and feel it and smell it and want it with all your heart. Once you get a taste of how wonderful that vision is That will fuel you on to work towards it. That is your motivation.
Just wanting or wishing anxiety away doesn’t work.
Everyone wants anxiety to go away. We’ve all wished it would just disappear. Heck I stayed numb on medications for decades because I didn’t want to face the work involved with recovery. It was that scary to me.
Having broken free of the dependency on medications, I only wish I had started sooner. How I wish I could go back 10 years & whisper to myself:
“Honey you are so worth it. You have what it takes. I promise once you start you’ll never look back.”
I can’t say that to myself but I can say this to you, and to anyone reading this who is still suffering tremendously from anxiety and panic attacks and doesn’t see a way out.
Find your self motivation using the tips above. Get inspired to get better. I’m telling you it’s possible. 6 months from now you will be so glad you took action.
I wish you peace,