In everyday life, people might have different concern such as paying bills, finding a new job, going to the first day of school, breaking up with girlfriend, or other important life events? We are facing various hurdles in our life, which might make us feel anxious. Anxiety shows up over and over the course of our lifetime, so it is inevitable that no one can escape from it. I encourage people to confront the it rather than avoid it. I developed a precise rule for myself “do what makes you anxious” which is a cure to obstacle other way around. This conclusion derived from my childhood experience how I response to stress or obstacle in my life.
I recognized myself as an introvert when I was in middle school. I could not start a conversation with a stranger and felt uncomfortable to stay in a new environment with a group people that I didn’t know before. This character brought me some side effects in which I was unable to assimilate into a new environment as quick as normal people. Since speaking to other people, particularly the stranger, always made me feel nervous and awkward. I believed I was not an easy person to get on with because I had poor social skills, and I was shy to talk for no reasons. These characteristics are genetic and not subject to change. That is why I only made very few friends or close friends back to my time in middle school. Talking too much in public made me nervous sweating and shaking in my heart. I endured some sort of feeling of shaking in my muscle only while the first talk with stranger, or they tried to reach me. I also attempted to avoid the complications that were involved in public activities.
When I was growing up, I could not bear this situation anymore, and it got me to nowhere. My passivity unlike the normal child might lead to others’ misunderstanding. Sometimes I could feel pressure to fit in, which was exhausting. I tried to face with it and looked for a solution to be brave to talk with others. Taking the first step to conquer my fear, I pushed myself in an environment something I was interested in and made me interact with the strangers. Reaching out with those who share the same interest and habit could make me feel better. My heart was no longer shaking while talking with them. This could rebuild my confidence accumulatively to reach out with other people. After that, I did not avoid the complications that were involved in public activities. I no longer felt shy to stand up, walk out and speak out. I am not saying I am good at talking like the host in talk show, but things are getting better that I am not afraid of talking with others. Through this childhood experience, I set up a rule for my life “do what makes you anxious, do overcome what make you stumble” that play an active role in my life while dealing with anxiety.
I recalled one of my high school experiences. In fact, I am a little shy person. People learnt that from my previous experience that I used to be an introvert in middle school. Despite getting improved, it did not mean I entirely become an extravert, very outgoing, and eloquent person. Once, I was nominated to be a team leader of the school athlete running team because my PE teacher and the coach wanted me to do something special. Running for this position did not mean you had to run the fastest time or the record holder in school, but only needed to know some basic sport strategies and administrative things. I was very nervous and anxious at first because I have never had such experience as a team leader of a group of people. I tended to give up at the beginning as I found it difficult. At that moment I was finding some excuse to decline the request from my teacher. Something suddenly popped up in my mind. Why don’t I give it a shot? Insistence of facing anxiety leads us to change ourselves to adopt the situation and be more motivated to learn something new.
We are confronting the anxiety, we can cultivate a positive attitude towards life. As anxiety sparks up the thought of capitulation, we will never succeed and attain a goal of our life if we give up. On the other hand, if we persist to break through the unbound limit of our life, we may even have a little possibility to get through the stumbling block that caused anxiety. After we tackled the challenge, the anxiety will be gone and leave our life. Anxiety will no longer bother us the next time we do the same thing in a same situation.
Another experience was happening in DVC while I was taking two classes in last summer six-week semester. One was English-117, and one was Math-193-Calculus 2. Before that point, I did not realize how crazy was the amount of work I had to do. I was not afraid the math class, but the English class was my biggest concern. After the first week of class, mostly going through the syllabus, I still felt like it’s okay, and I could get through it. A Few days later was the last day to drop without W and refund, I called it “D-Day”, I set a time limit for myself to decide if I keep going. After the D-day, there was no turning back, and I had to keep going forward. I hoped it lived up to my expectation. My prediction was wrong: things were getting busier exponentially day by day.
A few weeks later I felt overwhelmed with the amount of work I had to do, and if 3 or more reading, writing, and assignment with quiz landed on the same days, I would lose a good amount of sleep. I absolutely ran out of time since there was too much for me to do. Even I have done everything with my maximum efficiency output, I still had no way to finish it early and went to my bed on time. I was always working around the clock at that time and it looked like never-ending and a long way to go. These days were the busiest time so far in my life. I felt very stressful along with a little regret about why I did not give up at the beginning, so that I am not suffering from it right now. Wondering what is like to be when we are going through a hard time in their life, it’s like a long way to go and time is slowed down. At that moment, I just prayed to get through this summer quickly. I started counting down day by day, but I still had to face it. I was almost mental breakdown as I realized how hard to persist.
Eventually, I ended up with A in both classes for that semester, but I felt I lost a lot of sleeping time in summer. I thought taking two courses totaling 10 units was impossible for me because of the heavy workload. I firmly advised other DVC people not to taking more than 5 units of class for summer semester. One day I told my professor I was about to give up in her English class. Professor was always encouraging me not giving up like holding me in the back, trying to push me to move forward. At the end, I realized I have achieved something unbelievable, and felt nothing is impossible in my life. I took a good rest and travel around with my friends. Wondering what’s coming up to be my next life challenge. If I gave up at that point, I would never have such ability to do something else. “Capitulation” is just an excuse to stop us from achieving success and eliminating anxiety in our life. Obstacle stirs up the positive motivation for us to not give up ours, and it also enhances the adaption to the situation that caused us anxious.
Obstacle is not something dreadful but meaningful in our life, which can enhance our work performance, acquire unique experience, and cultivate a positive attitude toward life. Now I see each obstacle as an opportunity to figure out the goal of my life and the potential gain of the situation, which gives me hope. Although life is challenging, we should not be stopped by it. We should rather accept anxiety, get along with it, and break through our life obstacle.