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Got high-functioning anxiety? Avoid 5 costly mistakes that could cripple you emotionally

When life feels like a constant battle to survive

High-functioning anxiety looks like…

Constantly trying to hold everything together but feeling like you're making everything worse.

From the outside looking in...  

You look completely normal like everyone else, just living your life.

But the truth...

On the inside, you are at war. 

Suffering from constant cycles of nail-biting anxiety.

Yes, you're managing to function but it's taking more and more energy and willpower to survive each day.

You may be functioning enough to be a doctor, professor, teacher or manager but inside, you constantly feel like a fraud...

Busy running around at work and putting in late hours with a smile. Trying your best to stick to the high standards you believe everyone has for you. 

Whilst inside...

Your heart is palpitating dramatically often leaving you on the verge of tears.

High functioning anxiety feels like a roller coaster you can never get off.

Because you tell yourself this is the only way to be strong.

You tell yourself that you're just overreacting, there's nothing wrong with you, get your sh***t together

But, can I be honest with you for a second...

Your struggle isn't just in your head!

High functioning anxiety is a real condition.

It's defining factor is that...  

  • You experience low level to disturbing levels of anxiety on a daily basis.

  • You become an expert at pretending that you are coping with life

  • You often push through your responsibilities even if you feel doing this will kill you.  

  • You're terrified that people will see through the cracks and find out who you really are.

And from my professional experience, high functioning anxiety often tags along with a number of other conditions like...

Low self-esteem, perfectionism, social anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, over responsibility, generalized anxiety disorder, Asperger's syndrome, attention deficit disorder, ADHD, agoraphobia, obsessive-compulsive personality disorder, fibromyalgia, MS and ME.

High functioning anxiety can be a cruel catalyst to some of these conditions as well.

Now this is important...

As someone who struggled with high functioning anxiety, I can tell you that it's a serious problem. I've had to spend the last 20  years figuring it out how to do deal with it myself.  

So, please don't listen to that inner voice telling you that you're pathetic. That there are so many more people struggling with way worse problems than you.  

Being high functioning does not mean you're not worthy of help. Just because you’re “functioning” doesn’t always mean you’re happy. And living like this is like building your house on a foundation of quicksand.

Because if you give high functioning anxiety a free reign in your life...  

It will ruin everything you've worked so hard to achieve. It will ruin your relationships, it will ruin your career. It will wear you out and leave you with so many physical and emotional health problems. Eventually making it impossible to function at all.

Fortunately though, there’s a solution…

You see to start coping better emotionally with your anxiety...

You must tap into something scientists have dubbed as neuroplasticity.

Essentially your efforts must address the correct neural pathways in your brain repeatedly. 

This is simply the fastest and only way to break out of the negative roller coaster of anxiety.

But what does that all really mean?

How to 10X your ability to cope better emotionally (Backed by the science of neuroplasticity)

What's neuroplasticity?

Neuroplasticity simply means plastic neurons or mouldable brain cells. The term was first coined by a neuroscientist called Jerzy Kornorski in 1948.

You see, prior to this discovery, the popular theory was that once our brain fully develops, it became an unchangeable structure.  They believed development stopped somewhere around age 38.

Now, science has revealed many evidence that the brain is always developing. And the changes to its structure continues right up until old age.  

These changes occur as you interact with the world around you.   Your brain cells connect together to form neural pathways as you think, act and get exposed to situations.

Thicker neural pathways result in automated thinking and behavioural patterns. And the automated behavioural patterns contribute to our habits and personality traits.

For example...

The man who plans and structures everything in his life in order to avoid mistakes. Now feels jittery and vulnerable inside all the time. And he wonders why he can't stop doubting himself. But never links this sense of weakness to his reliance on structure.

Essentially, the stubborn weaknesses you see in yourself have only become hard to break because of repeated use.

That’s why they have become automated. 

It's got nothing to do with you being too weak to change.

And here's the great news!

The GOOD NEWS of neuroplasticity is that your neural pathways are not set in stone. 

You can reverse any neural pathway.  And gain freedom from those stubborn weaknesses. 

The trick is to work on reversing the correct neural pathways. and do this repeatedly.

This is the most important point of this article so it bears repeating.

To change and start coping better emotionally, your efforts must be repeated. And your efforts must address the correct neural pathways.

In other words...

You can build yourself a better stronger brain so you don't keep feeling like a nervous wreck.

You can build a brain that helps you feel more in control of yourself.

You can build a brain that helps you become emotionally resilient.

And you won't have to keep up the facade that you are coping anymore because you'll actually be coping.

But to show that I am not just talking rubbish...

Watch this true-life testimonial of a lady who achieved remarkable changes in her life by working with her neural pathways.

As you watch, look out for how she discovered the correct neuropathways for her problems.  I believe you will be pleasantly surprised and encouraged.

Then I will walk you through how to use neuroplasticity to conquer anxiety problems.

Video: How this woman literally changed her brain using neuroplasticity

Amazing, isn’t it?  Seems almost like a miracle.

But...

How can you  harness the power of neuroplasticity to win your personal battles against anxiety?

And how do you know what the correct neuro pathways are?

I will be revealing that in a moment...

First I'd like to highlight 5 huge mistakes that will turn neuroplasticity into a powerful force against you. 

These mistakes will drown you in a sea of self-destructive thoughts and habits. And turn you into a revolving therapy slave for years.

Here are 5 costly mistakes that could cripple you emotionally when struggling with high functioning anxiety

Mistake 1: The false safety trap

Do you get those "almost healthy me days?"

For days, weeks,  or even few months, you feel like your anxiety's better. 

You still sense that low buzz of anxiety, but you feel stronger in yourself.  You are able to function better because your internal uneasiness is not as debilitating.

Then you make the mistake that so many people make.

You think, clearly I am not so bad that I need help. If I keep asking for help, people will think I am faking it. There are so many people way worse than me that need help.

So you get on with your life whilst doing your best to ignore anxiety.

You sack your therapist, you ditch those annoying anxiety techniques you picked up on the web. You even ditch your anxiety meds.

But the question is...

Are you really better?

You see, this is an insidious trap. 

Because like most people discover, one-day anxiety will attack you again out of the blue.

The anxiety attack may be for no rhyme or reason. You just wake up and that horrible twisting feeling in your gut is there again.

Or the anxiety attack may be because you got a  promotion, so you're traumatized by multiple unknowns that threaten to trip you up.

But there's an even bigger trap here.

You see...

You'll never overcome anxiety problems.

Not because you are weak.

And not because strategies don't work.

But because your "almost healthy me days" stop you from practising any strategy consistently enough to master them.

And the result...

Your anxiety becomes a persistent bully overshadowing your existence for many years.

Mistake 2: The commitment trap

“I need to try harder to overcome my weaknesses... Because weaknesses will hold you back if you don't overcome them.”

Clara, a 2nd-year university student told me,

She reeled out her weaknesses.

"Repeatedly getting into problems with friends because I always avoid confrontations. When someone says something bad about me, I never stick up for myself. 

So, lots of people take advantage of me and treat me like rubbish.  But still, I never do anything about it.

And I am forever thinking about how I am not doing well enough with my studies.

I understand that thinking situations are going to take a turn for the worse is not going to make anything better. But my understanding this doesn't seem to help me change my bad thinking habits.”

Like many people, Clara's commitment to change became frustrating and energy draining. 

Nothing changed no matter how she tried.

But then we noticed something rather bizarre...

When we dug deeper into Clara’s attempts at coping, we discovered she was committed to using the same strategies in the same ways.  Even though they were not working.

She consistently used breathing techniques to stop her anxiety attacks. She always had mints in her bag because she felt they helped to make her feel less anxious somehow. She ran a lot, wrote endless lists, planned everything she did.

Despite all this, she could not stop over worrying. She could not stop feeling vulnerable. She could not stop thinking she wasn't good enough.

Why was Clara so committed to using strategies that were not really working?

We discovered that these strategies gave made her feel she was doing something about her problems. The strategies gave her some relief or a boost of dopamine. They made her life bearable so she religiously relied on them.

Sadly, this was like putting a small plaster over a massive leg fracture. The roots of her anxiety were still intact. As such her feelings anxiety and dread always returned.

Now here's the deal...

Are you making a similar mistake?

Because, If in spite of screaming at yourself to toughen up. And in spite of all the breathing techniques, mindfulness, yoga or anxiety medications you rely on...

You still get bombarded by uncontrollable internal panic.

Could this be because you have fallen for the commitment trap too?

Because, If your strategies don't tackle the roots of your anxiety issues, anxiety will eat it's way into the core of your personality. It will ruin everything you've worked so hard to achieve.

Mistake 3: The serial dater's trap

Say what?

I know...

It sounds strange. Here's the connection.

Do you often feel like you've tried everything, to cope better emotionally,  but nothing works?

If you do, there’s a high chance you have fallen for the serial dater's trap. This trap makes people fall into a pattern I refer to as STRATEGY HOPPING.

like a cheating boyfriend hopping from girl to girl, never finding satisfaction. You keep hopping from technique to technique never finding emotional freedom.

And just like the serial dater who's unable to commit and stick through the rocky road of building a strong relationship, You pick a strategy from a self-help book or from therapy, and you try the suggested technique...

Maybe ONCE or TWICE...

Then you give up on the strategy because it's not giving you the outcome you want...

And then you hop onto another strategy, give that a try....

And on and on it goes...

You fail to commit to any strategy for long enough to see if it works. And you keep following this pattern day after day, week after week, year after year.  

No Joke!

I have seen people who have unknowingly followed this pattern for over 50 years.

Imagine living with anxiety for 50 years.

But it get's worse...

The biggest curse of strategy hopping is that you convince yourself that nothing will ever work for you. And you'll become totally despondent and potentially suicidal.

Mistake 4: The domino effect trap

I have a question for you.

When a technique fails to work, does this mean that the whole strategy is faulty? Maybe it just works for other people but not you because your situation is different.

Or is it possible that you are just not be applying the strategy correctly?

You see, any given strategy worth its salt tends to be multifaceted. As such, you've got to be doing the correct things in each step of the strategy.

For example...

One strategy for dealing with negative thoughts requires that you go through the following steps:

Step 1: Observe the negative thoughts and predictions you experience.

Step 2: Catalogue the thoughts and predictions.

Step 3: Identify the feelings these thoughts generate

Step 4: Identify the negative reactions and outcomes you have because of these thoughts.

Step 5: Challenge the thoughts and predictions. find the evidence for and against them.

Step 6: And then finally produce a more rational and functional thought and predictions.

Every step of this strategy is vital. If you do any one of the steps incorrectly, the whole strategy collapses like a pack of dominoes.

So, no matter how long you try this strategy for, you'll always experience defeat because of that one incorrect step.

Now, assuming that you are following each step of the strategy correctly. The rule of thumb is to try repeatedly at any given strategy for at least 30 days before giving up on it.

Boy!

Doesn't that sound like a lot of work?

If you've got to master each step of a strategy first and then practice for at least 30 days to get results. Think how many years that would take.

What if you have to learn and master more than one strategy.

For example, If you've got to deal with low self-esteem and confidence issues. And you have got to deal with social anxiety and worrying all the time. And you then you've also got to deal with past hurtful memories that keep haunting you.

Gosh! you could be at it for years with no let-up.

It sounds daunting, doesn't it?

That's why later, I will be revealing a far simpler approach. This strategy requires you to master only one technique. 

But before I tell you what this strategy is, here's the 5th and final trap.

Mistake 5: The emotional weakness trap

If you've got high functioning anxiety...

Chances are that this is because society has brainwashed you to focus all your efforts on your weaknesses.

So, for example, society tells you to... 

“Stop being lazy.” 

"Stop being so sad and boring." 

" Stop worrying so much." 

“Stop thinking only about yourself.” 

“Try to be more proactive.” 

“Stop putting things off until it’s too late.” 

“Stop being so antisocial.”

And you listen to society because you believe that if you can stop doing all those things, you can propel yourself forward. And become stronger.

But in reality, focusing on your weaknesses like this will skyrocket your stress. Do this and you naturally work on the wrong neuro pathways.

In fact, you strengthen the pathways that work against you. 

Now you are thinking,

“But Adewale, it’s helpful that you are telling me what not to do, but I need to know what I should actually be doing. You are still not telling me how to focus my efforts to cope in the right direction.”

Okay... okay. You've twisted my arm.

I am going to reveal the solution now.

But Warning...

You'll tell me I've gone crazy.

You simply won't believe me.

I certainly didn't believe it when I figured it out myself.

So here is the solution...

How to harness the power of neuroplasticity to win your battles against anxiety

The solution to coping emotionally, and gaining control over your anxiety is to...

  1. Figure out what your strengths are and then...

  2. Consistently reduce reliance on specific strengths so they stop weakening you emotionally.

Huh!

I know it sounds wrong but over the last 20 years...

This is the only strategy that has consistently freed my clients from their life of anxiety.

However, note that I said specific strengths.

Because some of your strengths are two-edged swords. They act like holes in a bucket of water. They sap your energy and overload you with anxiety whilst pretending to help.

But before you tune me out saying..

"But I don't have any strengths, this is total nonsense."

Here is an example...

One of your strengths may be that you are good at pinpointing problems that will cause you, anxiety and pain.

How is this a strength?

Pinpointing problems fast helps you to deal with problems before they impact you. This could save you from many distressing experiences.

But, the more you rely on this strength, the more this strength gets burnt into your neuro pathways.

Until it becomes your default reaction.

It becomes habitual.

And before long, you find yourself worrying about everything, even things you know don't warrant worrying.  And this places you on edge all the time. So any tiny pressure easily sends you into full-blown panic. 

Leaving you vulnerable for all the world to see.

However, if you reduce reliance on this strength. By not trying so hard every second of each day to catch problems before they happen. And maybe use just an hour of each day to focus on dealing with problems practically. 

You'll find that your anxiety will reduce naturally. And the tension in your body will also dissipate.

Reducing reliance on strengths like these is the secret to working on the correct neuropathways. This is the secret to breaking free from anxiety problems.

But a word of caution.

It's easy to pick the wrong strengths to work on.

And if you make this mistake, you could actually make your anxiety problems 10 times worse.

That's why I have prepared a special video series on how to do this correctly. 

This video series is entirely free and I will be releasing it soon.

In the video series...

  • I reveal how to make sure you are focusing on the correct strengths (neuro pathways) so you can avoid the disasters that can occur when you focus on the wrong strengths.

  • I'll show you an amazing (easy to learn) three-part technique that helps you reduce reliance on those strengths in a way that boosts your mental capacity to cope with the pressures life has forced on you. 

  • And you'll discover the no.1 mindset shift that can do more for you than 3 years of therapy.

Here's a feedback I got from a former client who used this concept to overcome her emotional difficulties.

"I needed to learn how to deal with things.

I just felt like I had no Idea what to try, and I was just clutching at straws...nothing was really a solution. It was just sort of temporary or just pretending that things have gotten better when they actually hadn't.

This series has helped me to think of coping like it is a skill, just like you perform a task or drive a car...

Now I am looking at situations and things I am doing differently. I now see how some of the positive things I was doing were actually creating the problems I was trying to overcome.

So generally my mood itself feels better, and I am not so down on myself. Now I am starting to feel more in control of things"

And that was her feedback.

These are the kinds of results you can get from the strategies I share in this video series,

So if you would like to avoid wasting a lifetime on "learning to cope and still getting nowhere," click the button below to request the video series. And you'll be the first to know once it's released.

Written by Adewale Ademuyiwa
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