Anxiety: Overcoming and Moving Forward

Change can be scary. But Life is always about change. Even though it may be hard to do, try to look at every obstacle as a positive challenge. Life is an adventure. Think of all the movies you have watched where the hero faces one challenge after another but in the end is triumphant. Picture yourself as that HERO. Change can bring on a happy anticipation, but when we think too hard, our mind brings up all the “what ifs” and immobilizes (stops us from moving forward)  with a flurry of fears, nervousness, and anxiety. Joseph Burgo, Ph.D. gave a few suggestions on this subject.

Overcoming the Barriers to Change

The unknown can bring about Anxiety:

Sometimes, we are sick and tired of our current situation. But change is scary. We may not like our life right now but at least it is familiar. We have learned how to deal with the old obstacles with relative ease. A new situation feels uncomfortable, unknown and unpredictable. Therefore our worst-case scenarios and anxieties keep us stuck and unable to move forward.

Fear of Failure:

Major life changes can bring to mind our doubts and fear of failure. Failure in our mind often is connected with shame. Do you realize that Thomas Edison experimented almost 1,000 times before he invented the lightbulb? A reporter asked how it felt to fail so often; Edison is reported to have said something like, “I just learned that inventing the light bulb is a 1000 step process”. Failure teaches us what NOT to do in the future and helps us to be successful going forward in life. So you are not flawed if you fail. You are learning! Hopefully, this knowledge will help you set aside your fears and anxiety so you can go for your new goal.

Fear of Success:

Yes, some people are afraid of being successful. They may have learned in childhood that it is not good to stand out. It puts a spotlight on your life and can add additional future pressure to keep achieving. If you succeed and become a new person, you may wonder if important people in your life will abandon, judge or envy you. Ask yourself if you tend to envy other successful people because then you may be transferring your feelings onto this process. Take the step to believe in yourself, and if others truly support you, they will be happy if you succeed.

Fear of Death:

Believe it or not, but some people subconsciously avoid big changes because it brings up the passage of time. Time moving forward can stir up ideas about death and finality. Routine often makes us forget about time. But Big Life Markers remind us that time marches on, and this can feel uncomfortable. Realize that you can change your life in the Here and Now! Enjoy the life you have.


Most people feel hesitation when they are about to make a big change. This can lead to a feeling of weakness, self-doubt, or lack of courage which undermines our desire to move forward.

These are some of the obstacles that prevent change.  But to overcome your anxieties and make positive changes, you must take proactive steps. Look at the barriers to change like a failure, fear of success, and self-judgement. What fits your inner doubts? What is holding you back from making a constructive change? It is time to face it and find ways to take some small steps towards making those proactive moves. A person of wisdom, once said something like a journey of 1000 miles begins with the first step. Initiate your first steps and change your life.

If you need some help, I have all kinds of articles on self-knowledge, empowerment, anxiety, anger and stress at or book an If you would like some suggestions for books, try “Natural Relief for Anxiety” by Edmund J. Bourne, Arlen Brownstein, and Lorna Garano or “The Relaxation & Stress Reduction Workbook” by Martha Davis, Matthew McKay, and Elizabeth Robbins Eshelman.  Books that bring peace of mind to this author are “Zen and the Art of Happiness” by Chris Prentiss, “”Listening to Your Inner Voice” by Douglas Bloch and “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young.

Some helpful articles from this author are “Empower Yourself to Move Forward in Life… Starting Today” and “Personality Strengths: Gain self-knowledge by learning your Unique Gifts by Vicki Langemo, LPC, MA

Otherwise, you can book a conversation with Vicki at