Small business and community leaders experience anxiety from a variety of sources. How you feel and react varies greatly from person to person, but the circle of anxiety follows a constant for all of us. Understanding that pattern helps you to break out of it.

Here’s a question to ask yourself: is the anxiety you’re feeling now from a current situation or are you feeling that uneasiness because of a past situation (or series of situations)?

Let that question sink in for a moment. Take some deep, slow breaths and think it over.

Our reactions are tied to current or past events. By taking this brief time to reflect, and getting in touch with how your body feels and what you’re thinking, you’re already breaking the circle of anxiety.

Now, take a moment to pay attention to your shoulders. Are they hunched up near your ears? Your turtle impression is a deep-rooted protective stance you adopt when you’re stressed or feel threatened. Release the tension in your shoulders. Did you drop them down an inch or two? Knowing how your body physically responds to stress allows you to create a customized plan to break the circle.

Lastly, think back to when you founded your organization or started your company. You were a very different person back then, right? You’ve gained a lot of hard-earned experience and knowledge, and you’re better equipped to deal with more situations than you were when you just started out. 

Be aware of how you’ve grown and advanced over the years. Take stock of who you were and who you’ve become. There will always be anxiety to deal with, but you can choose to think your way through it and not let your reactions rule the day.

What tips can you share with other leaders and small business owners to help them break the circle of anxiety? How has working through anxiety made you more resilient? Leave a comment below! 

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