Every week I am completely terrified to make a YouTube show starring my own stupid face and my imaginary characters.
Every week I make that show anyway.
Does this mean I beat anxiety? That the loophole to social anxiety is hiding behind a camera? No. Not at all. It does mean that I realize my anxiety can only slow me down, it can’t stop me. It means that some days I have to lay in bed and write down what I want to do. Then convince myself that somebody in the world wants me to get out of bed and make those ideas real enough for them to see or hear.
The other option is, of course, convincing myself that the rest of the world would rather I stayed in bed and did nothing. A much easier conclusion to reach, but usually not right.
As long as I get out of bed and manage not to hurt anyone, or force my show and ideas down their throat. Then there is no reason to second guess my plans for the day.
Done. Let’s make a show! Right?
Almost there. Once out of bed and the internet is read you’re reminded that everyone hates everything… sooooo… I probably shouldn’t give them something else to hate and go back to bed.
No. There’s still no proof that everyone hates the thing you haven’t even done yet. A therapist told me to always make sure I have proof that everyone thinks I’m stupid and terrible. Before I decide to be a stupid and terrible person who lives under a pile of blankets.
Turns out I don’t actually have any proof of that. So it must be okay.
Anxiety beaten… oh but wait. Only a few hours have past. I didn’t forget my doubts at all… I do keep forgetting about the lack of “proof” I just reminded myself of. So I do Yoga or go for a walk and reset my brain once again.
The show is only 10 to 20 minutes long each week. It doesn’t take long to film. It doesn’t take long to edit and add animation and cats. It does, however, take an eternity to convince myself that I’m allowed to film, edit and animate each part of the show. Even a 15 minute task can take 2 hours of convincing and showga meditation(show+Yoga) before I can do that show related task.
Is it hard to overcome Anxiety? No. It’s impossible. But it’s very possible to understand that sometimes anxiety keeps you safe from danger while most of the time it’s trying to convince you everything is dangerous.
It’s okay to treat anxiety like a friend and say, “thanks for looking out for me, but I don’t need my spider-sense to tingle right now. I got this covered.” A real friend would understand and Anxiety really just wants to keep you safe… like a real friend. Just remember that even the best of friends need to give you space every once in a while.
Now watch a what Anxiety plus imagination equals and try to get excited for next Friday instead of terrified.
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