Anxiety is loving certainty. It is stressful to live in an anxious world, and learning to embrace uncertainty seems impossible to those suffering with anxiety. We must each find a strategy to help us shuttle back and forth between the comfort of what we know, and the discomfort of all that we don’t know to become healthy. Anxiety is about fear being in charge of most of your choices. Getting stuck in fear robs you of possibilities in your life. An example of this is when you are too afraid to make mistakes. Making mistakes is the lynchpin to learning, in fact we learn far more from our mistakes than our successes. If you have anxiety you must learn to use your thinking to balance your exaggerated feelings of fear. Courage is the ingredient that, if sprinkled on that world, would make all of us better people. Greater courage is the antidote to anxiety. Learn to imagine new ways to have courage and to make your world larger. Real courage always has fear attached. Fearless courage is only the foolishness of youth. Follow your curiosity and try new small steps out into the world instead of waiting for life to happen to you. Invite fear to take a back seat instead of driving the train. Fear and excitement always travel together. Remember being scared of learning to ride a bicycle and being excited at the same time? Learn to allow room for both emotions. Don’t let fear erase excitement. Growth depends on one foot being in the familiar and one foot in the unfamiliar… Confusion is the emotion that is crucial to “allowing room for change,” which is exactly why adolescents are both confused and changing. From “Anxiety, Control & Codependency” by Rhoda Mills Sommer, L.C.S.W.

“The fear of becoming old is born of the recognition that one is not living now the life that one wishes. It is equivalent to a sense of abusing the present.” – Susan Sontag

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