6 Things That Used To Cause Anxiety, But Now Empower Me


1. Public Speaking

I took Speech class in college and had to envision my fellow classmates in their underwear to calm my nerves. I sucked at it with no drive and no passion in any of the subjects I had to speak about. But now I can stand in front of a room full of clients and explain a design concept from beginning to end without a single “Um”. I can introduce a film at the film festival to a room of 100 people and interview bands without a bat of my eyelash. You know why? Because I’m talking about subjects I’m interested in and passionate about which makes it fun and takes all of the scary away.

2. Singing/Playing Instrument in Public

I know this could probably be lumped in the first category, but it’s very different singing and playing an instrument in public than speaking. I majored in flute performance in college and each time I got on stage the fear subsided a little more, palms sweated a little less, and the spike of fear turned to exciting adrenaline. Now that I play in rock bands and have found my own voice singing and playing guitar I love the rush of adrenaline. I don’t worry about playing a wrong note or getting lost in a song. In the grand scheme of things it doesn’t matter because I’m having fun. I love the lights in my face and the silhouettes of heads nodding to the beat of the song. I love being on stage.

3. Eating at a Restaurant Alone

There’s the rare occasion where schedules don’t align, spending dinner together with my significant other isn’t an option, and I don’t want to wash a single dish or eat take out in my dirty house. I used to dread the idea of eating alone. After waiting tables for 10 years I’d find myself watching the single diners that I waited on with a certain level of awe and sometimes pity. Women were especially rare to dine alone. But every once in a while I’d get the solo diner that would bring a book or ask to sit in the window and stare outside the entire time and look entirely content eating alone. Now, I have found that it’s not so scary after all. I usually bring my iPad to read a book which I never find time to read in my busy life or catch up on my social media by posting a photo on Instagram of my food after checking in on Yelp and writing a review.

4. Going to See a Band Alone

There are so many bands I want to see and I used to dread the “I don’t really want to go to that show…but you should” comment from my significant other knowing it was a weeknight and none of my friends would want to go out either. I didn’t want to go by myself and not have anyone to talk to. I thought people would think I was being anti social or a loser when I was sitting alone waiting for a band to start. The thought of it made me to uncomfortable and caused me a lot of social anxiety. I just don’t care about that anymore. If it’s a band I really want to go see I’ll time it so that I get there about the time they are supposed to start, grab a beer, watch an awesome show, and make small talk with the people I recognize. If I don’t know anyone there and have down time I just search online for articles to post on my blogs or catch up on personal emails or text a friend to bide the time. I don’t mind multitasking. But, as soon as the next band starts I’ll be back up front standing alone and nodding my head along with all of the other strangers.

5. Looking at Myself in a Full-Length Mirror

We’ve all had body issues whether our bodies are considered underweight, average, or overweight. Mine have never been anything major. I’ve always been very average but I still didn’t always love looking in a full-length mirror. I’m a tomboy and jeans, t-shirt, and sneakers really didn’t need a mirror to tell me how they looked. I had lived without a full-length mirror for 5 years and just recently got one. I needed to see that my making an effort to work out 3 times a week, eating better, and dressing nicer were actually doing what I wanted them to do. Now I like to take selfies of my outfits that I think work and find myself modeling in front of the mirror while smiling. Smiling in front of a mirror is amazing and I highly recommend it.

6. Blow Jobs

Lets get a little personal here for the last one. When I first started having sex with boys I was always anxious about performing well orally. What if I’m doing it wrong? What if he makes fun of me? What if I’m terrible at it? All of those toxic thoughts flowed through my brain. Well, I will have to say after having many years of experience that I don’t give even one shit. As long as I can read the signs and he’s into it there is nothing more powerful and exciting than causing someone extreme bliss by going down on them and getting them off. Empowering. End. Of. Story.