I’ve learned that if you can conjure up enough bravery you can in fact use what you fear most in a positive way for yourself, let me give you an example in my own experience:
I walked on the tennis court for a showdown in a low level pro tennis tournament a few years back, and as I walked on court I could feel the eyes of the crowd glazing down at me. Anxiety and uncomfortableness creeped in and I reminded myself not to do anything stupid like trip on my own feet as I walked, slowly I inched my way to my bench and laid my 10 pound tennis bag down. At that moment I was more interested in what others might think of me instead of focusing on the task at hand, which was to come up with a sound strategy in order to win the tennis match so I could afford to play the next tournament (money is extremely tight in tennis futures events).
As the match got underway I tried everything to try and focus my efforts on the tennis match, and not on the anxious sensations I slowly began to experience. These sensations usually spiraled out of control quickly and led me to a full blown panic attack most of the time, but rarely while I was on the tennis court so this was a new experience. The idea of a panic attack in front of all these people made things worse for me, I was stuck not only battling this worthy opponent across me but also battling to hold myself together mentally and physically so I could still give myself a chance to win the match. I was beginning to hyperventilate after points even when the rallies weren’t long, and I could tell some of the people watching were becoming more and more interested in why I was looking so exhausted and nervous after a point. “Are you feeling ok?” The referee quietly asked me as I sat in my seat thankful that I could take a break from the intense pressures I put on myself of winning each and every point. “Not really,” I said as I was barely able to control my water bottle enough due to my shaking hands to get some water in me. I quickly found myself running out of time, and the match was close to being over. I just couldn’t accept the fact that I might lose an important tennis match because of the fears I had of a full blown panic attack, and that’s when things started to turn around for me. Something struck me hard, and I let go, I began talking to myself out loud as if no one was around when a point was over, consistently saying things like “is that all you got” or “if you’re gonna kill me do it now.” The audience who was watching were confused and a little scared also, but I didn’t care anymore of what people thought, I needed the win.
It was one of the first times I looked my fears straight in the eye and asked it to do it’s worst, I basically waved the white flag in complete surrender and made a decision that although I had started the match with increasing anxiety levels that caused many uncomfortable sensations, I would not end that match in this way. Although I still felt incredible tightness in my chest and palpitations at the time while points went on, I used the high levels of anxiety I was feeling FOR me rather than AGAINST me, and that came in the form of energy. I created a new meaning for my anxiety from that moment on, I didn’t shy away from the feelings, I used the feelings to lift me to a new level of intensity on the tennis court that I had never felt before, and played some great tennis from that moment on.
I eventually came back from behind and won the tennis match and was told how inspiring the effort was by the people watching. How fast was I able to change the meaning of what I was feeling around? In an instant, that’s right, and so can you. If you suffer from panic attacks and constantly fear the worst which in some cases is the fear of dieing, it’s time to create a new meaning to these feelings you may be experiencing, they are not harmful at the moment or will they be for your future, and they shouldn’t dictate how you live your life. Get angry at the feelings, talk to them the way I did with great emotion behind your words because what you fear most will NOT come true,m believe me. I stopped respecting the thoughts and feelings I was experiencing and with it found a way to turn fear into energy, put this to practice, soon you will be able to break through panic attacks once and for all.
Follow fight or flight fridays to get all the best information on how you can overcome your own mental health challenges as I have. Also don’t forget to pick up your free Anxiety Reducer Game Plan now at http://www.anxietyend.com.