How to Overcome Fear and Anxiety Caused by Work or Relationships

Fear and anxiety are so pervasive these days. Amongst our biggest fears is the fear that we are not good enough. This leads to other fears like the fear of failure, the fear of abandonment and the fear that we will never be loved. If only we could realize that these fears are illusions, we could then break the grip that they hold over us, banish our anxiety and start living the beautiful lives that we were born to live. 

Don’t get me wrong. Life will always have its tests and trials. Challenges and obstacles are necessary in to teach us the lessons that will help us to grow wiser and stronger. As humans we have a natural tendency to resist adversity. We would rather ignore it with the hope that it will go away on its own. Our resistance, however, creates more anxiety and pain in our lives. It also makes us feel helpless. In order to reverse this downward spiral, we need to face our fears and overcome them.

  Photography by Paul Garrett

Photography by Paul Garrett

Two of the biggest places where so many people feel stuck and unhappy is in their careers and in their love lives. Let’s start with careers. Are you happy with your current job? I know people who feel trapped and unhappy at work. Their reasons vary, but the two things that generally hold them back are the fear of not being able to pay their bills, and the fear of not being able to find another job. These fears build over time and create anxiety. 

I have a friend who recently experienced this. She was becoming dissatisfied at work and she didn’t know how to find another job that would create a good career path. In a wise move she hired a career coach to help her. One of the first things that they did together was to answer the following important questions in order to create a vision of what her perfect job would look like:

  1. What are your skills?
  2. What are your interests
  3. What are your values?
  4. What is your personality? (Myers-Briggs)

It is so important that we align our skills, interests, values and our personality with our careers. If we are not a good fit for a job and it does not align with the questions above, we will likely become dissatisfied in a short while. 

  Photography by Paul Garrett

Photography by Paul Garrett

You know that expression, “Do what you love and you will never have to work another day in your life”? It turns out that it is true. When you love what you do, it does not feel like work. So think about the things that you love to do. What are you passionate about? Once you are clear on your vision, you will be amazed at how quickly you can manifest a great job. This is how it went for my friend and it can also work for you. Do not trade your happiness for money. If you have to downsize your life to make the transition to another line of work, then do so. Hating your job is a source of anxiety and it is not good for your spirit or your health. Life is short and settling on the account of fear is a bad compromise.

Intimate relationships can be another source of high anxiety and fear if we are not aligned with our partners. So many people settle for unhappy relationships because they are afraid of being alone, they don’t think that anyone else will love them, or they fear that they will not succeed financially on their own. These are all forms of co-dependency that can cause a person to remain in an abusive relationship. 

There are three forms of abuse that are all deal breakers in my book:

  1. Physical abuse
  2. Emotional/verbal abuse
  3. Neglect 

It’s easy to understand the first two, but the third form of abuse is more subtle and is probably the most common. When your partner withdraws or emotionally disengages from you, this can send a message that you are not important to them. It can also be their way of not dealing with emotional issues. None the less if this is not addressed, it can become a major source of anxiety and loneliness. Through couples counciling partners can work together to overcome this issue. Far too often, however, the one who withdraws continues to do so. This is a learned coping mechanism. It can be reprogrammed, but it takes courage, love and commitment to examine the root causes and to learn how to become fully present and engaged with their partner.

  Photography by Paul Garrett

Photography by Paul Garrett

A toxic relationship can literally cause life threatening diseases and depression. I know that it is scary going through a divorce or breakup. Believe me, I’ve been there. However, your happiness and well being are important. It is much better to go through a short difficult period than to suffer in silence for the rest of your life. You don’t need that anxiety and unhappiness. There is someone out there who will love you like you’ve never been loved before. In the meanwhile, love and appreciate yourself enough to make the changes that you need to make to find the happiness and the peace that you deserve.

To learn more about overcoming anxiety read my article called, “How to Calm Anxiety - 11 Helpful Tips.” Also be mindful of your excuses. There are always things that you can do to change your situation in the face of adversity. As Jim Carrey said in his commencement speech at Maharishi University, “So many of us choose our path out of fear disguised as practicality.” Don’t do that, it will only lead you to more fear and anxiety. Once you realize that you are the author of your life, you can rise above and create the life of your dreams. This is possible for all of us once we create a vision for our lives and believe in ourselves. 

Wishing you happiness, love and courage,

Paul


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