And I’ve always been looking for ways to ease that anxiety. First, there were self-help books and I’ve read a lot; a partial list includes:
When my daughter put a Beanie Baby on my shoulder and I felt its comforting weight, my first thought was an entire blanket filled with these little beans would feel amazing and maybe bring a little relief from my anxiety. It would be the blanket that hugs me back.
25 years later, I have pretty much slept under my weighted blanket every night because it brings me calm and comfort.
But I never completely stopped feeling anxious and I never stopped reading books that I thought would help me. Self help books and my Magic Weighted Blanket were my two tools for dealing with stress and anxiety. And they have both been invaluable, albeit they are two different approaches to a common problem.
That changed when I read my most recent book, The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A F*ck by Mark Manson.
While I found the entire book helpful, it was specifically Chapter Seven titled, Failure Is The Way Forward, that reached me at a very personal level.
I have always had an issue with failure. I still do. It might be at the heart of my anxiety.
It might be yours, too.
What that chapter reminded me was that despite my fear of failing, I knew that not pursuing my dream of starting my own business would be a much worse fate than failing. It would have been a lifetime of regret.
So the question I asked myself was “How am I going to do this all by myself?” And that ugly thought burned in my mind. Failure. I had lots of questions and no answers. I was setting myself up for failure.
And that is where the advice that Mark Manson gives in his book really hit home with me. And I thought it might for you, as well.
His advice: Do something! The answers will follow.
And that is exactly what happened for me. The first thing I had to DO was find a manufacturer who could make our blankets. My wife, who is a seamstress, was making our blankets and breaking a lot of needles.
Living in Los Angeles, I was fortunate to have access to sewing contractors, but none of them wanted to break needles either. Frustrated, I mentioned my plight to a friend, who knew a guy. That guy became my business partner for the next twenty years.
I took action and the answers followed.
That is where you can start too – with action. Like stated in the book, “If you lack the motivation to make an important change in your life, do something. Anything.”
Small steps lead to amazing journeys. It certainly has been an amazing journey for me. And now that I have been reminded of that, I will be taking more small steps towards even more amazing journeys.
You can too.