Overcome Anxiety with Visualization

Have you ever felt so much anxiety that you didn’t dare to do something?

“He who has overcome his fears will truly be free.” – Aristotle

I found and still find myself in such situations. It happens to me often before important presentation, deadlines, social events or when I want to talk to a girl while I am going out. Sometimes it just happens unconsciously.

Anxiety is a state where you feel an inner disturbance. It’s triggered by the possibility of getting hurt in the future. You can look at it as a warning sign to avoid pain. But the mechanism isn’t yet adjusted to modern times.

When I am confronted by a situation that causes anxiety or generally feel anxiety, I use visualization to dissolve it or at least reduce it.

In this case visualization is rehearsal for serious scenarios. You can do it with following steps:

  • Lay down, close your eyes and relax (optional)

  • Visualize what causes your anxiety; be specific. Social Interactions, Tests, etcetera.

  • Visualize the worst-case scenario you can imagine. Do it as vivid as possible: Smells, Colors, Expressions etcetera. But most importantly how you would feel.

    • Ask yourself what are the consequences?

    • Can you live with this consequences?

    • Can you avoid the worst-case scenario or react accordingly?

  • Visualize how you would handle the situation and how you want to feel. Do it with a positive outlook!

    • Use the feeling as an anchor. Remember and name the feeling. If you want to feel confident think many times: confident, confident, confident …

Then you really get into the situation rehearse internally your anchor-word. If you still feel anxiety use the BUT.

I feel anxiety but I’m still gonna do it because I can live with the worst-case scenario.

„Quite an experience, to live in fear, isn’t it? That’s what it is to be a slave.“ – replicant Roy Batty in Blade Runner

I used this method before I created Bettertwenties.com. I wasn’t sure I could write articles and that people, including my friends, would criticize me. Writing isn’t really my domain. So I visualized the worst-case: Colleagues and family laughing about me. After that I wrote my first article and two weeks after that I created the side. The first time posting an article felt great! The worst-case scenario never happened. Visualization helped me to overcome my anxiety! Many times!

Call on Action:

  • Visualize the worst-cast scenario for the last thing you didn’t do because of anxiety!

  • Use the method the next time you are confronted with anxiety!

Your man,

– Gaius Wolf