I believe one of the core tenets of simple living means questioning the status-quo. Asking questions about what is “normal” or what it means to live “the good life” can provoke a lot of anxiety and fear in all of us. I think it’s important to acknowledge those feelings and push them back.
When I get anxious or fearful, I try and think of a few core principles. The 4 tips below help me push past the emotion I’m struggling with and get unstuck.
1. Being uncomfortable leads to growth.
If you think something is important enough, sit with your anxiety. Ask yourself what you are afraid of and push back. Every situation I’ve been uncomfortable with has lead to growth. For instance, I started this blog over 2 years ago and it’s grown a little every day. More readers visit and my writing has improved. But I still have to deal with the little voice that says:
Who do you think you are? You aren’t a writer. No one wants to read your stuff.
I listen to the voice, acknowledge it and keep writing. I hate being fearful or filled with anxiety, but I continue to push past those feelings. And that’s where the growth happens.
I’m not arguing that you shouldn’t listen to your intuition. Intuition is powerful. Especially if the little voice inside your head says:
Hmmmm, you shouldn’t go down that dark alley.
Listening to your inner voice can be a good thing. But most of the time, I think the voice prevents us from reaching our full potential and doing work that matters. So our big ideas, like starting a small business writing and infusing art into every project fall to the side.
2. Acknowledge your anxiety and fear.
A lot can be said for acknowledging a feeling. Many people are either comfortably numb or extremely unhappy. So we mask our true feelings by consuming alcohol, drugs, watching television or going shopping. It’s so easy to get caught up in the external and not really understand why we’re walking around pissed off or anxious all the time.
3. Embrace the feeling.
By embracing anxiety or fear, you’ll be able to push it away and stop worrying. A feeling is just that, a feeling. They happen in moments and I believe we have a choice to move forward.
4. Push back the anxiety and fear.
Rather than focusing so much on consuming the next cool thing or worrying about what is going to come next, do something. Push back the fear and use your privilege to do something amazing.
You can change the world and make beautiful art. Life is too short to keep dreaming or be scared of failure. Stop worrying about the “what-if” scenarios. The “what-if” line is fear or anxiety talking. Leave the lizard at the door.