I mean, why not…right? 🙂
We all have things that hold us back, slow us down, or hide what is good from our sight. For me, that thing is anxiety.
I cannot say if mine is any worse than yours, his, or hers. All I can say is my response to it has been poor, and likely worse than that of most people, to say the least. I allowed the anxiety to have full control: if it said I was too scared to say hello, I kept quiet.
Anxiety makes up the largest part of my ego. Since some point in my childhood, I have at least been “very shy.” I came to identifying myself as shy, quiet, socially anxious, and such. It was my excuse for not attending parties, networking events, standing up for myself, and many other actions that zapped away all my ambition and drive.
When I look back, I can see so many ways in which anxiety significantly impacted the course of my life.
- I was a Cub Scout for one meeting only. I was extremely excited to join and read the manual cover to cover in the days ahead of the meeting. However, once I got in that room with all those people, I was lost. I left and never returned.
- My favorite sport growing up was baseball. I had dreams of playing in the major leagues as a great shortstop like Ozzie Smith, and would spend hours outside practicing. However, I quit playing after elementary school, and I distinctly remember making that decision because of the anxiety I felt knowing people were watching me when batting and base running, and because I feared messing up and letting people down knowing that it would get more serious and we would have to learn steal signs at the next level.
- I was unimpressive in college, despite exceptional aptitude. I did not speak up when I had the answer, or do anything else that would make an impression on my instructors. I did not get to know them in any way. I did not speak to my classmates or make any friends. I did not spend any time on campus beyond what was absolutely required. I did not truly experience my college years, because many experiences made me too anxious.
- I endured what became a toxic marriage for many years because of anxiety. I was too afraid to speak up about what bothered me, too worried about hurting others, and too anxious about what would be said if I ended it…both by those it hurt, and those that would say, “I told you so.” In fact, my anxiety was one of the primary reasons it became so toxic in the first place.
- Anxiety held me back in countless ways in my career. Upon graduating college, both my wife at the time and I were too afraid to move away from our familiar home to somewhere new, exciting, and more full of opportunity. Then, as a public accountant, I missed promotions because I lacked the networking skills to “woo” potential clients. And, at points when I supervised others, teams performed below their potential because I was too anxious to stand up to staff when they were not performing well or were hurting team morale.
These are just a few of the most prominent examples of how I have allowed anxiety to shape my life. As you can see, it has permeated every aspect of my life and has acted as my most identifying trait.
I finally reached a point where I said, “enough.” The impact this had on every part of my life…career, relationships, hobbies, etc., was simply too much. I have a huge hill to climb, but no matter how long it takes, I will reach the top.
I found network marketing and decided that would be the start of my self-directed “therapy.” If I could succeed in network marketing, then I clearly was succeeding in overcoming the anxiety. While I have already made great strides, I have by no means conquered that mountain.
So, back to the question of why: if I am trying to overcome the anxiety, why would I label myself the Anxious Marketer and cling to it like that?
Because I believe by sharing my journey and what I learn along the way, I can help others do the same through advice or inspiration.
While overcoming the anxiety became one of my “whys” of my network marketing business, many other people new to the business still see their anxiety as an insurmountable obstacle, or don’t even realize that is what is holding them back.
My hope is that, by retaining this title, I can help direct others down the life-changing path I have begun.