Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Second-Guessing and Anxiety

One of the consequences of anxiety is that it often asks you to second-guess your decisions. Anxiety can get you wondering, "Am I doing the right thing? Is there something else I should be doing?" To look at it another way, though, anxiety can also get us to slow down, be more reflective, weigh all the options. When anxiety's second-guessing paralyzes us from learning to make and live with our decisions, we find that anxiety is taking up too much "thinking space" in our lives.

Like with any life change, it's good to start with small, attainable goals. Ask yourself: When have I made a decision without second-guessing? What factors helped me be successful? What's a small decision I could see myself sticking to? No decision is too small to practice keeping second-guessing at arm's length. What to wear, making weekend plans, choosing what to make for dinner are all fine places to start.

Once you have some smaller decisions unfettered by second-guessing under your belt, you can apply lessons learned to the bigger ones. And with any life change, it always helps to have some strong supporters who can help you stay on track when anxiety's second-guessing seeks to derail your progress.

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