So in the past, there have been times in which I am very ambitious for short periods, only to get insanely overwhelmed and eventually crumble under pressure. Obviously, this is not ideal for long-term success. The problem was that I was getting too far ahead of myself in my endeavors. Instead, I need to take things one day at a time. The rest of this post will address how I have come to cope with those overwhelming feelings and anxiety.

The biggest thing for me has been daily journaling. It allows me to see the progress I have made over periods. Reading what I wrote down helps me see that even though I have a long way to go, I have already come so far. I also like to compare this to running long distances. Whenever I go for a run or a jog, there inevitably comes the point where I feel like stopping and walking home. When that happens, I like to think about how far I have already run compared to how far I still have to go. It allows me to put the remainder of the run into perspective. The same applies to endeavors in business, creative outlets, and life in general. Journaling is my instrument that helps me put all of those things into perspective. It allows me to see the bigger picture more clearly.

The second element to help me deal with those dreaded feelings of overwhelming anxiety related to life goals is visualizing myself completing those goals. Visualization is a powerful tool that plenty of highly successful people utilize to help them achieve a higher level of accomplishment. Let’s look at athletics as an example. Dr. Biasiotto of the University of Chicago conducted a study to see the effects of visualization. He tested three groups. The initial test had members of each group shoot free throws, and their makes and misses were recorded. Then, he had those groups do different tasks each day. The first group practiced free throws every day for one hour, the second group visualized themselves making free throws (without actually shooting any), and the third group did nothing. When he tested the three groups again, it turned out that the group that did only visualization improved nearly as much as the group that practiced shooting every day.

I like to envision myself not only completing my goals but also visualize myself doing what I need to do to get there. It makes the process seem more manageable as if I have done it 100 times before, which I have just in my head.

The third tool I have at my disposal is getting outside and going for a walk to help clear my head. If you read the blog consistently, you know how much I love my walks. I go about my walks in two different ways. Sometimes I’ll leave my phone behind so I have zero distractions, and can really do a deep dive into that problem at hand. And sometimes, I’ll take my phone and listen to some good music. Listening to music releases dopamine into the brain. That coupled with going for a walk and getting your heart rate slightly elevated is seriously therapeutic. The music I listen to changes on a day-by-day basis, but no matter what, I always find songs that elevate my mood. Both the music and the walk itself do more than I probably even realize to help me with these feelings.

It’s okay to feel overwhelmed. It’s natural, we’re only human. Ryan Holliday in the “Daily Stoic Newsletter” said the other day, “you’ll be stressed either way”. What he meant by that is, that whether or not you are actively chasing a dream, or trying to better yourself in some way, you’ll feel stress. So why not go for it all? Marcus Aurelius said “I escaped anxiety today. No, I discarded it.” He corrects himself in the second sentence. We cannot escape stress, but we can choose how we deal with it. So let’s find a better way.


Published by Footy Foster

26 years young. Located in San Diego. I coach high school soccer, sell solar panels, podcast, and blog. My interest and hobbies include listening to music - hip-hop, alternative, and classic rock, - playing and watching soccer, and skiing. I aspire to travel and live a truly free life. These will more often than not be the subject matter of my blogs, as well as an attempt at humor. We'll see about that last part. Enjoy.

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: