Good to know before starting
To begin your journey to your anxiety-free life, you'll need a few things.
Choose a notebook. A notebook that makes you feel good, that you will enjoy using. Pick a nice pen or some markers with your favorite colors. Your favorite pen, or a new, beautiful, original pen.
Don't use it as an excuse to hang around and not start. If you don't have a nice notebook, make with what you have.
On the first page or on the cover you will write: “my new life starts today”, or “the (your name) new life” (or something else that will motivate you every time you read it).
To create and follow your exposure hierarchy, take one notebook per challenge, or a binder in which you can easily reorganize your pages. You will need between ten to twenty pages per challenge.
Baby Steps – Chi va piano, va sano
Yes, you will have to face your fears, but don't worry, the secret is to do it slowly and gradually. Who throws a child who can't swim into the ocean? Not me! With my help you will build your own learning and your own steps. This is your challenge baby!
Let's do some math. Let's say you're only advancing 1% per day. 1% it's not scary and it's within everyone's reach. And yet, in 100 days, you'll have achieved 100% of your goal! Magic, isn't it? So there's no need to do too much, too fast. You will always go further than if you do too much and give up because you got exhausted and discouraged.
The “Comfort Zone” Thing
I'm not going to give you a speech, just look at the picture and you'll understand quickly. Everything you want, everything, is on the other side of your fears. You will need courage, time, learning. Don't forget that when you lose your focus. If you want to get better, you will have to change and face your fears. No tricks, no shortcuts.
The good news is that everyone can do it, you just have to really want it, from the depths of your heart.
When you feel discouraged, look at this drawing, it will remind you that it is normal that it is difficult and that it is worth it.
You don't have to do it alone
You're going to have to push yourself a bit and challenge yourself. On your own, it's not as easy, let's not lie. Find a growth buddy and do it together. Really, do it. Find a support group on facebook or elsewhere, introduce yourself, explain your process and see what happens!
The idea is to have someone who also work to change something in his life so that everyone pushes each other not to give up and share their progress with someone who understands. Do a video-call once a week or every other week and share your experiences and progress.
You can also look at Jia Jiang's platform. He shares his 100 days of rejection therapy. You will see that you are not alone and that it is worth it.
The path you are about to take will be long, and sometimes difficult. You are doing it for yourself. Many people don't have this courage, many adults complain about their life but don't have the courage to act and do what needs to be done. I am proud of you. Be proud of yourself! And when you succeed in doing something, reward yourself, always.
Take your notebook and make a list of all the rewards that would make you happy.
It could be eating a chocolate bar, doing something you want to do but never do, taking care of yourself, doing something nice etc.
Don't hesitate to involve your parents if necessary by showing them all the things you will have to accomplish and what you would like to be given. We're not talking about a Tesla either! It could be that your mother makes your favorite food, that your parents let you play longer if you're a gamer, that they invite you to a restaurant, that you don't have to do your housework etc... But be careful, it's about celebrating, not pay you for your efforts. You're doing it for yourself, because you deserve a better life, not to get a gift, or cash, that wouldn't work.
The 60 days rule
We often hear that it takes 21 days to change a habit. But we forget to specify that it is 21 days minimum. In fact, researchers at the University College of London have proven that it takes an average of 60 days to break a habit and create a new one. It can even take up to 6 months. So promise me that whatever you choose to try, you will do it for at least 2 months before you say it's not working and give up. Okay?
We are all different, and what works for one person, will not work for another. It is natural that not everything works for you, but you have to really try to find out.
Yes, faith is essential for success. You have to believe in something to move forward. Not necessarily in a God. But you should have a sincere faith. First of all in yourself. Believe in yourself, believe in your resources, believe in your success. Believe also in the method. If you have too many doubts, it will stop you and your mind will use it as a false excuse not to move forward.
Then you need to believe in what can sustain you. It can be God, a guardian angel, the universe, Gaia, the love of your family, the strength of a friendship, science, destiny etc. It can also be a mentor, someone who inspires you like Nick Vujicic who has no arms and legs and swims, surfs and lives happily with his wife and 4 children.
When you think your life couldn't get any worse, think of Nick! If an immigrant child harassed at school, without arms and legs has managed to build his happiness, you can too! I think Queen B is a great mentor too! Or why not Monkey D. Luffy who never give up.
Do your best
You are different every day, sometimes you have energy, sometimes not. Sometimes you have a good day, sometimes not. It's normal! So I ask you to give as much as you can each day for your healing. It will be a lot one day and nothing the next but the important thing is that it is the best you can do in that day. If one day is too much for you, don't blame yourself. You have the right. Just tell yourself that today you gave it your best shot even if it's not much.
Failure is a word banned from this kingdom forever!
Yes, I am very serious! There is no such thing as failure.
To be good at something you need 10,000 hours of work, okay? Do you think Beyoncé was born Queen B? No, she worked hard for it! In the beginning nobody knows how to do. You learn by doing it over and over again and one day you're bound to get it right!
For real! As long as you keep trying, you haven't failed. And if it doesn't work right away, just try again.
Only one rule: there are no rules
I'm going to offer you different techniques, different ideas. It will be up to you to choose what you like, which challenge to start with, how to organize yourself, at what rhythm...
I will guide you to build your own plan and take action. But you are free to do it the way you want. Forget about "I must" or "I have to". What you start should always be a choice. Not an obligation.
A choice you make out of love for yourself