I saw in a movie that you only need “20 seconds of true bravery” to overcome obstacles in your life. When you take twenty seconds to challenge your anxiety and risk embarrassment, or potential danger, you can change everything.
That should be easy, shouldn’t it?
Okay, maybe not easy. But it makes sense, because what you avoid tends to run your life.
When we avoid something, we give it power and control over us. We tend to spend a lot of time thinking about it, and planning to keep it from happening. We worry, fret, obsess. That’s where ADHD and anxiety intersect (though this is a pretty common challenge for everyone).
But most of the time, our fear far outstrips the reality of a situation. Things are (almost) never as bad as we imagine they will be. But we tend to act on what we fear, rather than on what is real.
For example, we know how important it is to set limits for our kids, and let them know how we feel about important issues and potential dangers for them. Still, we avoid talking to them about drugs & alcohol, or setting limits, or making requests, because we don’t want to be uncomfortable or disappointed.
Here’s the thing: the worst of the discomfort is usually only momentary – sorta like getting a shot. When we push through, when we bravely stand up to ourselves and whatever it is we are trying to avoid, the short-term discomfort tends to pale in comparison to the long term gains.
So here’s the tip: start getting into the habit of practicing mini-episodes of bravery. Start a difficult conversation, make an unpopular request, set a clear limit — stand firm in your resolve.
Think about one thing you’ve been avoiding (I’m assuming, here, it’s something you think is important and would be helpful). Take a deep breath. Face that anxiety head on. And then, tackle it head on. You can do it – because the bravery part only takes about 20 seconds!