I’m Done Letting Anxiety Hold Me Back

Like many people, I set some goals for myself for the new year. I have the typical ones: lose weight, stay off my phone, drink more water. But after seeing an article about an actor, I added a new one. 

I was scrolling through Facebook and saw an article about Jonah Hill (you know, that kid from Superbad?). There was a photo of him in his Brazilian Jiu Jitsu gi with a short paragraph he had written. In it, he says:At 35, I try and get over the stuff that made me feel weak and insecure as a teenager.” That really spoke to me. He went on to say that he was scared to try BJJ and always wanted to and now was the time. He had been working on improving himself and this was a way to do just that. 

This inspired me to add a new goal: stop letting my anxiety talk me out of things I really want to do. 

In the past, I’ve missed out on so many fun, memory-making opportunities because I let my anxiety take over and convince me there were a thousand reasons not to go/do/be involved. At 38, its time to take the reins away from my anxiety. 

One month into 2023, and let me tell you it has not been the easiest habit to break. For example, the other day my friend messaged in our group chat that she was struggling. Her husband was out of town for work and she felt overwhelmed managing her three kids’ schedules and routines without her partner in crime. She was in need of rest and community. My immediate thought was: “Ask her to have lunch with you and the kids!” Then anxiety crept in: “Do you really want to get all three kids out and got to a restaurant? What if they destroy the place? What if you guys don’t even get to talk? What if she’s horrified at your kids’ behavior and regrets even opening up? Maybe she’ll feel more stressed because of it!” I almost didn’t offer to have lunch. But then, I decided to silence anxiety. 

“No,” I thought. “Your friend needs you. Full stop.”  I asked her to have lunch. And guess what? The kids were a little raucous (thank goodness there were other kids there to drown mine out–ah, the magic of Chick-Fil-A) but we still got to chat and by the end of it, I could tell her cup was full and so was mine. I was so glad I didn’t let anxiety take away this opportunity to fellowship with my bestie! 

I know it will be an uphill battle and that there will be times anxiety will win. But for 2023, my hope is that anxiety loses the fight more often than not. 

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Jessica is a SAH/homeschooling mom who works part-time during the school year for her church's MDO program. She's married to her preschool sweetheart (you read that right!) and has three kids, Hermione, Indiana, and Rohan. She has a BA in Journalism from UCO and worked for five years as a ghostwriter for a publishing company. In her "free time", Jessica loves to run, watch sci-fi, and pluck on her banjo!


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