One single, practical formula for success: Anxiety + Courage = Growth.
It’s like the age-old saying: no pain, no gain but applying on a much grander scale of your holistic life. Follow me through this thinking and how it applies to your life.
That pit in your stomach. That time when it was tough. You had not been here before – in this situation, with these people. You were uncomfortable, awkward and maybe afraid.
Anxious feelings while exploring new territory are real and expected. Uncertainty of the outcome, lacking the skills and confidence in the new situation, lack of familiarity and trust of those around you; the list could go on for reasons why you feel this anxiety. So what should you do? Avoid those situations with all your might or go where the pain is?
During times when things are easy, complacent, slower-moving – it is pain-free and carefree but with ease comes complacency, boredom, and stagnation. Of course, there are times in life where you need to slow down and take a breath but what if you chronically avoided those awkward, tough situations?
Intentionally putting yourself in the face of pain doesn’t seem logical. But what if you forged toward them – straight into the face of the pain and anxiety? The unknown, the unfamiliar places you haven’t been before create anxiety because you are growing, learning, exploring new territory, experiencing new things.
It takes courage and strength to embrace tough situations; however on the other side of those challenging feelings is a bright new landscape filled with personal achievement, self-satisfaction, and self-belief that you didn’t have before. Anxiety becomes joy, strength, security, and ultimately CHARACTER. So next time you feel that anxious pit in your stomach, know that it’s just reminding you that you’re growing, learning, evolving. Embrace courage and go where the pain is.
Inspired by an excerpt from Fast Company Magazine, Mar 2000