One of my biggest fears in my twenties was public speaking, so I would deliberately seek out opportunities to speak in public, starting off smaller, but graduating to more challenging experiences. By gradually exposing myself to my fear like this I learnt that it was ok to feel anxiety and that nervousness before public speaking is completely normal and can actually help your performance. Even today I continue to practice this, with my latest exposure being performing improv comedy at a local theatre.
With a background in outdoor pursuits and a degree in Outdoor Education I decided to start incorporating outdoor sports into my own recovery process. The outdoors provides incredible opportunities for people to experience fear in a positive way and to overcome it. When these experiences are integrated properly, they can be very helpful in overcoming anxiety problems. One example for me was mountain biking. There was an obstacle that I was afraid of doing, it just looked ridiculously dangerous and I presumed i´d never be able to do it. But by slowly building up my skills and gently pushing through my fears I was able to do the obstacle and later take on much bigger ones. It wasn´t that I didn´t feel any anxiety, quite the opposite, but I learnt how to accept the uncomfortable feelings and to just do the thing that was scaring me. Now the same obstacle doesn´t bother me at all.
This is so applicable to anxiety in everyday life. We can learn through experience that it´s ok to feel these uncomfortable emotions without trying to get rid of them and that if we let them be or even face them head on, they will lose their power over us. This knowledge has been like gold dust for me and can make all the difference in overcoming anxiety problems.
Robert James Pizey (of Robert James Coaching) is not a medical professional and is also not providing therapy or medical treatment. Robert James Pizey recommends that anyone experiencing anxiety seek professional medical help straight away to get a medical opinion and rule out other conditions or illnesses. The comments and opinions as written on this site are simply that and are not to be taken as professional medical opinions. Robert James Pizey provides coaching, education, accountability and peer support around Anxiety through his own personal experiences.