The Anxiety Hiders

From a coaching perspective anxiety is one the most common blocks that stops people from even attempting to try to do the things they really want to be doing

Anxiety stops them in their tracks before they even start. It’s like a huge obstacle that’s been placed in their path that they can’t see a way past. It paralyses them into inaction and keeps them stuck where they are unable to move forwards

What I find really common is just how much people who have these anxiety issues keep it hidden from others. This really resonates for me because for the many years I had issues with anxiety I did a pretty good job of hiding it from everyone I knew too

On the inside, we ‘Anxiety Hiders’ would be running all of the symptoms of an anxious person, the increased heart rate, the dizziness, feeling sick, ‘spaced out’ and unable to concentrate. We’d not sleep well, have the same ‘What If?’ thoughts running around our heads and feel as though all we wanted to do was run away from our problems

For me anything that took me outside of my comfort zone, was different or meant change would trigger me off into an anxiety loop that just feed off of itself until I became too exhausted to keep running it or the thing that had triggered me was gone

All of the time though I would try to keep it all bottled up, not tell anyone about what I was going through, how I was feeling and keep carrying on as though nothing was wrong. I would laugh, joke, smile, pretend everything was alright and try to convince everyone else I was fine. I ‘d put on a brave face, take on a character that was not really me who pretended to be laid back and in control. Other anxiety hiders have told me they’ve done exactly the same thing

The big problem with trying to hide anxiety is that it leaks out into your behaviour and without fail starts to impact on your life. For me it would lead to bouts of really low moods, feeling grumpy, snappy and generally negative about everything and everyone. Excuses would be made for not doing anything or trying anything new to cover up my problems which resulted in failed friendships, relationships and careers. My world revolved around me trying to keep everything under my control and if I couldn’t do that then anxiety would kick in and I’d be back in the mix

People have spoken to me about how creative they could get with their excuses; the migraines, the upset stomachs, pretending they didn’t like travelling or certain people etc as a reason not to do things. Of course people start to get bored with your excuses which in turn feeds back into your anxiety

The reasons that people do hide their anxiety often revolve around not wanting to show that they can’t cope, or that they’re weak in some way. For me I didn’t want to tell other people in case it made them worry about things too because what I really wanted from them was reassurance that everything was going to be ok

The turning point for me was when I actually started to say to people ‘‘I feel anxious about this’ or ‘I feel a bit scared

Just letting other people know lifted a huge weight off of my shoulders. It meant I didn’t have to carry the anxiety monkey on my back and others could actually help me. For many people who speak to me about their anxiety issues it’s the first time they’ve ever told anyone else about how they feel. Just the process of having this first conversation can help them to start managing something they’ve always thought they had to do alone. It can be the start of the process that gets them managing and beating their anxiety issues and in turn they realise that it’s not a sign of weakness but a sign of strength; you’re taking the action to do something positive to change your life

If you’re a fellow ‘Anxiety Hider’ who’s letting it stop you from doing the things you really want to be doing in your life and would like to do something about it, you can always contact me for a no obligation chat

Thanks for reading

 

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