Choosing Excitement over Anxiety

Choosing Excitement over Anxiety

As I looked at my planner and thought of all the things I want to do and accomplish, I started feeling reaaally anxious. Heart beats faster. Thoughts start swirling. Panic attack in the making.

Pause. Come back Steph.

You see, I’m a dreamer. I don’t know if I was born this way, or if I learned to be this way. Either way, my reaction is to think and dream- not, do. This process has its advantages and drawbacks. One of the drawbacks being not getting things done and getting lost in my mind. All these plans and grandiose dreams lead to a dead end. Because ideas without action aren't worth shit.

“An idea that is developed and put into action is more important than
an idea that exists only as an idea.” ~ Buddha

The problem with dreaming and living in your head is you're creating feelings and thoughts that aren't real. This can just add fuel to the raging fire of anxiety.

But, back to the story we go.

A few years ago, I pictured myself doing work I loved and being mad excited about it. I could see myself coaching and loving every minute of it. I would smile as I thought of all the things I would be doing.

Fast forward a couple of years and I am doing work I love. However, much to my surprise, there is an overwhelming feeling of anxiety that engulfs it. Because now that my dream is real, there’s more at stake; at least that’s what my brain tells me. (Which, by the way, is normal. We're wired to lean towards the negative. It takes time to mold our brain in a different direction.)

With more at stake, I get stressed and panicky and think of allllll the ways that things could take the wrong turn. Heart beats faster. Thoughts start swirling. Panic attack in the making.

Problem is, that's not how I want to live my life. I don’t want to be hating and wishing the process away. Because the process is what makes up 99% of our life. I want to enjoy the here and now. I want to seek nectar and find the silver lining in all situations. I want to create my own magic and excitement, especially around the work I do.

(Un)fortunately there is no magic pill or fairy godmother who can magically shift my anxiousness to excitement. Dammit. But there is one person that can help. One person that can change it all. 

And that person is Me. In your life, that person is You.

However, sometimes, I’m tired. Those of you that battle with gremlins on the daily (or hourly!) know what that’s like. You basically have a naysayer following you around all day. Criticizing, judging, and evaluating your every move. It can be exhausting, draining, and feel like you ran a mental marathon- or two.

Yet, there I sat, staring at my planner, wishing the anxiousness away. Making a conscious decision I was going to be excited instead. I decided I was going to smile as I worked away on my laptop. I was determined to smile and say “Yes” to challenging hours and opportunities.

Because even though I’m is tired, and sometimes I just want to throw in the mothereffing towel and scream "That's it! I'm DONE!” I also want to be happy now and live a meaningful life. And I know that a meaningful life is created in the present moment. By choice.

Meaning is not a statement we say as we look back at our lives and tell our bedside caretakers, “Yes, my life was meaningful!”
Meaning is a question, asked right here and right now, in every moment, “How can I create meaning from this? How can I grow because of it?

So, my fellow friends who are also tired and anxious and worried, I ask you make a choice. Right here, right now, as you’re reading my words. Pause. Take a couple of breaths in and out. Exhale deeply. Shift your perspective. What makes you excited? What do you do and lose yourself in? How can you create meaning in the process? Where's the silver lining? Find it and hold on to that little thread as if your life depended on it.

Now, if the answers don’t pop out at you like a jack-in-the-box, don’t lose spirit. That’s normal. Listen to the whisper. Listen to the gentle voice trying to speak up. If you can’t hear that voice today, that’s okay. Try again tomorrow.

Sometimes that voice has been buried deeeeeep down, so it can take some time for it to trust us again and come out. That’s okay. I’m here with you. We’re all in this together.

Action > thought.
Opportunity > challenge.
Heart work> hard work.

Yours in excitement,


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