I can’t tell you how many times people have told me that because I’m an anxiety therapist, I shouldn’t be anxious. Uh, yes. But I am human, and emotions are really complicated things! Hello? It’s not like you become a therapist and instantly have mastery over your emotional self. But I digress.
The fact of the matter is that I’ve always had a tendency to be a little anxious. When I was a kid, I remember getting a stomach ache every morning before school. Looking back, I now know that was most likely anxiety. Even now, I still have days where I walk into work – and my heart is beating fast. It used to be so bad that I’d break out in hives. It. Was. Awful.
Stand your ground to anxiety as a therapist
But guess what? I always stood my ground in those meetings and I never, ever, ever, backed out. No matter how scary any interaction was – I always did it. And that’s what it takes, every freaking day. Even when I was in elementary school, I would raise my hand and introduce myself first. I might’ve been young and scared, but I knew even then that I could do hard things.
As an adult, and especially as a therapist, I have so many more skills. And I still have to show up and kick anxiety’s ass every day. When I feel anxious and frenzied, I make a point to sit down and catch my breath. I accepted support the other day at work when, normally, this would have made me anxious. Forging ahead and trying to take things one step at a time is where I try to live. Sometimes, you gotta go through your day with a little anxiety. You do it, anyways. You make “doing it, anyways” a lifestyle.
The mindset to overcome anxiety as a therapist
Now, I know it’s not always easy for people to just “do it” – but that is kind of the mindset that overcoming anxiety requires. It also helps having some anxiety myself, because I can see where these individuals are coming from. I can vouche for the fact that it helps to challenge yourself.
So if you’re ever feeling like a fraud, because you’re an anxiety therapist but you experience anxiety, t’s OKAY. You’re human and these qualities make you all the more legitimate and relatable. And if you’re a person going to a therapist, thinking they must be perfect..? No. We aren’t robots – we’re human, too, and we can probably relate to you more than you think.
No better feeling
At the end of the day, I don’t think there’s a better feeling than overcoming fear. I don’t think I’ll ever get sick of that feeling of accomplishment. Because I have a tendency towards anxiety and have to challenge myself so often, I know this feeling well. And I believe that makes me one bad ass of a therapist.
Keep doing all the hard things. I believe in you all so much.
Remember: this blog post is for informational purposes only. It may not be the best fit for you and your personal situation. It shall not be construed as mental health or medical advice. The information and education provided here is not intended or implied to supplement or replace professional advice. Always check with your own physician or medical or mental health professional before trying or implementing any information read here.