Julia Lorent, interviews Jaemin Frazer, entrepreneur, podcaster and personal development expert.
The downsides of being somewhat of a risk taker with a with an entrepreneurial spirit are that it seems one has to manage a seemingly never-ending sea of uncertainty. So where did the anxiety come from?
I’m sure there are just as many costs involved in being risk-averse, but when I decided to back myself, follow my gut and launch into business 9 years ago, I certainly underestimated some of the mental and emotional impacts of stepping out.
In fact, I only lasted 3 years before I needed a 12-month sabbatical because I found myself overwhelmed with anxiety. I handed the operations over to my business partner and checked out.
Interestingly, the sabbatical year was initially incredibly confronting.
I went from doing everything to doing nothing overnight. To my surprise, that only increased the anxiety! Yet, in the process of holding the space for myself and not going back to my business until I’d solved the anxiety problem, I learned some wonderfully valuable lessons that have served me well ever since.
Anxiety needs a back story to survive.
Contrary to popular opinion, I’m not convinced that anxiety is a condition that you simply have to survive or endure. It doesn’t come out of nowhere. You are not broken. What’s more, the source of your anxiety is not strange, random or unknowable. There is always a reason, an underlying belief, fear or insecurity that has created the anxiety response to something in your reality.
If there was no limiting belief, then it just doesn’t make any sense to be anxious.
Anxiety always flows from a story of inadequacy. At a deep level, you are insecure about not being enough for the challenges you are facing. This leaves you feeling incapable of doing what needs to be done and then the only thing left to do it be anxious.
Therefore, the aim of the game is to live out of a story where to be anxious just doesn’t make sense.
Only focus on the next thing.
Former Australian opening batsman Justin Langer defines mental toughness as the ability to just focus on the next thing. The last ball has already passed, and the fast bowler you are afraid of is not on until the next over, but right now all you need to focus on is the very next ball. Be totally present for the next thing.
When I am worried about the challenges of tomorrow before I go to sleep, my simple instruction to myself is to focus on the next thing I need to do – which is to get some peaceful sleep. Once I have completed that job, I’m allowed to focus on the next thing I need to do. One thing at a time. With this strategy, there is no room for anxiety. It just doesn’t make any sense to be anxious if all I am focused on is the current task right in front of me and I believe that I am capable of completing it successfully.
Change the language
Susan Jeffers in her book “Embracing Uncertainty” says that if we tie our happiness to things working out the way we want, then we are perpetually bound to disappointment. Why tie happiness to matters outside our control? It is still crucial to be very clear about what we want, but we need to work out how to be happy because of who you are, not just when things go the way we want them to.
To be anxiety free, it is crucial to cut the cord between your happiness and your outcomes. This starts with the language you use with yourself.
I have two mantras that I find particularly useful to win the game with anxiety: – “Whether this works out or not, I still deeply love and accept myself.” .”All I need is within me now. I am a good person, a creative person, an intelligent person. I have no idea what will happen tomorrow, but when I get there, I know I will work it out, just like I have every other day of my life till now.” This means I am able to totally pour my best energy and effort into what I am doing and then let go of the need to control what is outside of my control. In this story, anxiety makes zero sense.
Jaemin Frazer featured author
Jaemin Frazer is an Australian personal development expert and is one of the leading voices globally in dealing with personal insecurity.
Jaemin is the founder of The Insecurity Projectt, the voice behind the popular one minute coach radio segment featured on stations all around Australia, author of “Elegantly simple solutions to complex people problems, and soon to be released “Unhindered – How to be free from insecurity before you are 40.”
He specializes in helping 35-40-year-old entrepreneurs eradicate insecurity so they can show up to life unhindered by doubt, fear and self-limiting beliefs.