For some people who struggle with chronic feelings of anxiety, being able to identify the source of their fears may seem like an impossible task.
There are three steps to take towards identifying your triggers for anxiety.
The first step is to identify what behaviors you are engaging in when you become anxious.
The second step is to identify the specific anxiety-related feelings which influenced the behavior.
The third step is to identify the anxiety related thoughts which influenced the feelings.
Ultimately, your behaviors revea
l what you truly believe. For example, take someone who dropped out of school because he was faced with multiple class presentations during that semester and up until the time he dropped out of school, he was making good grades.
His behavior of dropping out of school in lieu of the presentations indicated that he did not have the confidence to successfully deliver the presentations.
It is also important to note that his slide show presentations were well done and above standard. Further, the fact that he followed through with dropping out of school, indicated that not only did he not have the confidence to deliver the presentation, but he was also willing to go out of his way to avoid the situation which he considered to be too anxiety provoking.
Now, you are probably reading this and thinking to yourself, that the above example was obvious. You would be right, it is obvious, although the initial reason he gave for quitting school was that school had become too expensive (true) and that he was not learning anything, (debatable). It wasn’t until he experienced real fear over the presentations (public speaking) that he was able to finally identify one of his core triggers for anxiety.
What to do after identifying a trigger
Upon realizing he has an intense fear of public speaking, the best plan of action is to take steps to expose himself to situations where he perceives he is being evaluated by others.
Taking opportunities to present at work meetings (if possible) enrolling in Toastmasters, or returning to school are all very helpful to get over his anxiety.
Exposure to the feared situation is the best way to overcome fear. We become desensitized with repeated exposure. Over time a new perception will be internalized. Taking the challenge will only help him to become more competent.
If you would like to learn more
I can help you overcome and conqur your fear of public speaking as well as other anxiety-provoking situations. You are welcome to call and book an appointment or fill out the contact form. I look forward to working with you.