One of the biggest mistakes people make is they think their aim is about getting rid of anxiety, the second is they think they have to protect themselves from feeling it, so they hide away, avoid social interaction, run away from thoughts and feelings, push them away.
Remember the aim is not to, not feel anxiety, it’s to no longer care if you do or not. This is why people buy numerous books, see numerous counsellors, walk around with 20 sayings and 15 safety behaviours. Their aim is to either get rid of it or not feel it.
Both are wrong, you must actively go towards it to unravel the lie behind it, to desensitise to it, to build up new beliefs and habits. Don’t try and protect yourself by avoidance, the respect for the thoughts and feelings just grows, instead of trying not to feel it, ask for more, don’t hide away, reveal your anxiety to yourself and to the world. By this I mean don’t treat it as the thing to protect yourself from, to hide away from, don’t treat it as your little secret you have to keep from others, putting on an act hoping your secret is not revealed. Go from caring to not caring, go from trying to keep it at bay to welcoming it, go from trying to not feel it, to feeling it at will.
I spent years in a loop of trying to not feel it, years trying to get rid of it and to no avail. My realisation came that everything I did, every book I read, every counseller I saw was all with the aim of one of them telling me how to get rid of it, it then dawned on me that this was my mistake and I should do the opposite.