It is exhausting.
Anxiety is the brain and body's way of telling us that we are about to enter into a potentially high-stress environment.
For those who struggle with more than ordinary anxiety, the signal can be turned up to 11 and sometimes not easily turned off.
I have for some time placed myself in situations that are high-stress and predictably raise up my anxieties.
I am an attorney, so my clients are often bringing stress with them.
I am a business owner, so there are a good amount of stress triggers in running a business and team.
I have a business partner and part of being in a partnership is not always agreeing.
I expose my thoughts and creations to the world and there are unknown types and degrees of feedback (or apathy).
I speak publically in various environments to groups with strong opinions.
Family, friends, being a husband and father, there are a number of stressful triggers.
While I don't struggle as much as some, I am constantly making volitional choices to move forward into environments where my anxiety can be validated by high-stress triggers.
When coupled with the energy I expend as an introvert just being in those environments, it is exhausting.
Far from being a negative experience, the reality of anxiety, stress, and introversion creates a significant mental, emotional, and physical drain.
A drain that must intentionally be replenished.
I tend to have good experiences and meet cool people in high-stress environments.
And my life is often richer for those experiences.
But that does not mean it is not a choice to overcome anxiety to be a part of those experiences.
I share this not as a personal vomit of my struggle, but as hopeful encouragement for you to be brave choose to acknowledge your anxiety and embrace the experience that will enrich your life.
Trust me, your anxieties will be validated from time to time, but the richness of the risk will outweigh those times.
Be honest with how you feel.
Acknowledge what you need.
Be brave when confronted with anxiety.
Take the risk to see what is over the next ridge.
And whenever possible, don't go it alone.
Find your tribe.
Found your tribe.
See you over the next ridge!