“Perhaps your anxiety is specific to artists or musicians or to anyone who has to stand up and stand out and stand for something.
It turns out that your anxiety isn't specific at all. Perhaps it is due to the fact that you're trying to control things that you can't possibly control.
Your anxiety might merely be a sign that you care deeply about your work.
Anxiety is almost never a useful emotion to carry around. Even for magicians.
Now that you've been reminded that you care, it pays to let the anxiety go. Good riddance.”
I agree with Godin: anxiety is not useful and it’s good to let it go – but how? How do you do it? Three steps that work for me are mindful breathing, gathering information and taking action. Here’s more:
BREATHE DEEPLY. Number one, take a deep breath. Literally. Breathing deeply is an almost instant pathway to calm. Simply stop what you are doing and breathe in and out through your nose for 30 seconds to a minute. Make the length of your inhales equal to the length of your exhales and try to make each one last at least four seconds.
GATHER INFORMATION. Next, take stock of the source of your anxiety. Get clear about what is troubling you. Ask yourself to explore the thoughts behind the feeling. You may need professional help to do that – a coach, a therapist, or perhaps not. Sometimes a wise, trustworthy friend, a session of journaling, or a favorite inspirational book will do the trick.
TAKE ACTION. Once you understand specifically what’s troubling you, what can you do about it? You may just need a new perspective. As Godin mentions, are there things that you have no control over, like how people react or think about you that you can accept? Are you able to make your best effort and leave the results to providence?
On the other hand, if the source of your anxiety is overwhelm or lack of information - it’s usually helpful to take even one small step to overcome it. Make a phone call, develop a plan, write in a journal or just decide its okay not to decide about something troubling you.
In short, decide to make a small step, whatever it is (as long as it’s not unhealthy) that will let a little pressure out of the overfilled anxiety balloon in your belly.
Now, take another set of long inhales and exhales… and sit quietly for a few moments. Start to let your anxiety go – and to quote Godin, “Good riddance.”