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4 Steps to Deal with Anxiety and Get Motivated!

You want to be successful, but you want to avoid negative feedback.

You want to get married one day, but you don’t want to feel rejection.

You want to ask for a raise, but you fear the negotiation won’t go your way.

You want to go in to work tomorrow morning and earn a pay check, but you don’t want your clients to tell you you’re incompetent.

You want to go to the gym to work on your fitness, but you’re worried other people will think you look funny.

Anxiety lives on a spectrum between total relaxation and total paralysis.

If you’re finding yourself sliding toward the latter end of the spectrum and you’re looking for ways to stay motivated this blog is for you.

What is anxiety and how does it relate to motivation?

In a state of total relaxation, we are content and immovable. There is no danger. We are solid as a rock.

In a state of total paralysis, we are afraid and immobile. We sense imminent danger. We are petrified as a rock.

Somewhere in between, there lives a level of anxiety that makes us motivated and productive.

What are Different Types of Anxiety?


A low level of anxiety can also be described as excitement. It’s motivating and positive.

High Functioning Anxiety

Many people have highly functioning anxiety. They perform their jobs well, put in overtime and make the boss happy to avoid negative outcomes. I see many of these individuals in my practice who are facing burn out, have weight issues, heart problems, diabetes or are feeding other chronic diseases due to poor self-care.

Generalized Anxiety

Others, feel generalized anxiety. They can’t put a finger on quite what is causing them to feel anxious, but they are uncomfortable, unhappy and unproductive.

Clinical Anxiety Disorders and Phobias

If anxiety interferes with your ability to go about your daily life or greatly interferes with your daily life then you might have a clinical anxiety disorder or phobia. If this is the case, seek treatment from a health care professional. There are effective treatments including therapies such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and medications.

4 Steps to Deal with Anxiety and Get Motivated!

If your anxiety is interfering with your life, your goal may be to bring anxiety down to a level that makes you motivated and excited rather than nervous and paralyzed.

Maybe you’ve signed up for a 5-class personal training pass that you were excited about, but when faced with climbing the staircase to the studio you turned back home.

Or, you’ve found a great job advertisement, but after your initial excitement you had thoughts of doubt so you avoided updating your resume.

What can you do next time to get up that staircase to work towards the body of your dreams or to apply to that dream job with great benefits?

Step 1: Be in the moment

Anxiety lives in the future. More precisely in your thoughts about the future.

Stand at the bottom of the staircase and gaze upward. Don’t climb the steps. Don’t think about how your bottom is going to look in your downward dog. What do you see at the top of the steps? What do you feel beneath your feet? If there are no dragons or quicksand, you are in the clear.

Open a blank word document. Let the cursor blink on your screen. Take a deep breath.

Be where you are right now.

Step 2: Tame the critic

Think about your inner monologue. It’s the dialogue you hear in your head that runs basically all day long from morning to night while you’re going about your day.

Where does that come from? Who is controlling it? And is it mostly positive or mostly negative?

For example, if you drop a glass and it breaks on the floor your inner critic may call you clumsy.

If your inner monologue is particularly anxiety provoking, you may be thinking you are so clumsy you should never be allowed to handle precious glass objects or they will jump out of your hands and break into a million tiny pieces that you will never be able to clean off the floor causing life threatening danger to you and your cat.

If either or those is the habit of your inner critic, the next time your inner monologue is negative practice saying something neutral and grounded in the right now.

“I see there is a broken glass on the floor.”

Add something neutral about yourself, “I have two hands.”

Then something positive, “I only have a tiny cut on my big toe.”

Eventually, you will find your inner monologue will more frequently saying the positive things first rather than running away with anxious thoughts.

Step 3: Take a small action

After finding yourself in the moment and taming the inner critic - test the waters.

Decide on a small action that will move you toward your goal.

Take a first step up the yoga studio stair case.

Type your name onto a blank word document.

Take one step toward a broom.

Still anxious, but still no piranhas in your vicinity? Take a deep breath, you’re in the clear.

Practice identifying those negative critiques. Then, like training a puppy, teach your inner critic step-by-step to move to neutral and then positive thoughts.

Step 4: Stay in motion

Repeat steps 1-3 any time you feel anxious.

Practice makes perfect.

Trust the process.

Do you have a goal you want to reach, but find yourself too anxious to pursue? Reach out to me on my home page and join my mailing list for more tips!

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