When it comes to anxiety, coping skills are really helpful! Today I’m talking about a specific kind of anxiety I like to call: tightrope anxiety. This happens any time we hold ourselves to such an unreasonable standard that we leave ourselves only two outcomes: either we’re 100% successful, or we fail. In this scenario the avenue to achieve success is so precise and specific it’s like walking a literal tightrope. Any misstep will likely send you spiraling into the abyss of “failure.” Often people work themselves up into a frenzy where the consequences are so high and scary, there really seems to be only one way forward.  Watch out for this sort of thinking! It can drain the happiness and fulfillment out of the things you do since you are too on edge to really enjoy them.

Here are 2 anxiety coping skills to help you handle tightrope anxiety:

1. Success is more than just an end result.

Success isn’t simply about the full completion of a task. If that was so, then you wouldn’t celebrate getting good grades in one class, cuz the final goal of graduation is a long way off! See how toxic that can be? Instead, focus your effort on doing each part well and celebrating all the small steps. This will hopefully give you more safe zones to stop, collect yourself, and enjoy the process along the way.

2. Look at what the anxiety is trying to tell you.

We rarely get anxious for no reason. There is usually some sort of stimulus that starts the worry train moving. So what is our anxiety trying to tell us? Should we be more prepared or more careful? Should we gather friends and do a practice round of our presentation? You see, once you figure out why you are anxious, then you can address it, hopefully becoming more confident and making your tightrope a little wider.

Ultimately, you’ve gotta remember that staying at a heightened level of stress is usually a bad thing. When you feel anxiety, coping skills will help! So take some time, breathe, & step away from the thing that’s making you anxious. Even just a little time to rest and recover can make a world of difference, allowing you to look at any problem with new eyes.

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