We got a puppy. And for the first week after getting Nakoa, I felt a whole lot of shame and anxiety. I’ll probably write another blog regarding the shame that I felt, but I was recently blown away by a talk that I heard regarding anxiety which made sense out of what I had been feeling.
This talk was given by Dr. Becky Kennedy (drbeckyatgoodinside on Instagram) and can be found within the Self Healers’ Circle (the.holistic.psychologist on Instagram), both of which I highly recommend following.
Dr. Becky compared anxiety to an addition equation which looks like this: uncertainty + underestimation of coping skills=anxiety. She went on to explain that most of us focus on controlling uncertainty in our lives and because of that focus the energy that is placed into believing we can handle the situation is diminished which creates even more anxiety.
After her explanation, a light bulb went on in my head, as I hope it’s going to in yours as well. By trying to control the puppy and the uncertainty of the new transition in our house I was creating even more anxiety. All that I really needed to do to lessen my anxiety was to place focus on how many times I’ve been able to handle changes in my life up to that point and believe I could handle this one as well.
Initially, I was trying to micromanage all of the things: the people and how they interacted with the dog and everything the dog did. Can I tell you how useless trying to micromanage these things was? Not only could I not control the puppy, but in trying to micromanage everything I became a really fun (NOT) person to be around.
What I wasn’t doing was looking at all of my successes in handling change and transitions up to that point in my life. I have managed to navigate every. single. one.
So, if you are experiencing anxiety in your life right now I invite you to ask yourself what you are focusing on. Are you focusing on trying to control the uncertainty and micromanaging all of the things outside of your control? Or are you focusing on looking back on all of the times that you have successfully handled uncertainty and how you can absolutely handle this situation as well?
And, I’m not saying don’t place boundaries around or have a plan in place if possible for uncertain times. What I am saying, however, is what if you turn up the volume on believing that you can get through this uncertain time like you have all of the others up until this point?
This, my friends, has been a game-changer paradigm shift for me. I believe it can be for you as well if you let it.