#879 Dial UP your Anxiety

Anxiety is very good for you.

Anxiety is your friend.


Anxiety left unchecked can cripple you. 

Nervous breakdowns and agoraphobia live at the extreme end of unchecked anxiety, and on the way to that awful end, you can encounter headaches, ulcers, IBS, sleeplessness, and paralyzing malaise.


Anxiety is very good for you.

Anxiety is your friend.


The thing about anxiety is that it has a place; it has a use. Like “fight or flight,” it wouldn’t have come prepackaged in your brain unless it did. 

Red wine is good for you too, but if you drink a gallon or two a day, it will debilitate you.

Sweating the details, worrying about the outcome, getting hyper about getting it done are all based in anxiety and can all help us to get things done well. 

The issue is controlling it. Unbridled anxiety will stop you cold while a bit of intentional anxiety will fuel you.

I picture an analog thermostat in my brain, and when I start a project, I crank the temperature (anxiety) up to about 8o degrees. Not so much that I’m sweating and unable to sleep but enough that warmed up and focused.

My great friend Jimmy Coler taught me this trick with anxiety. Jimmy used to suffer too much anxiety, and when he learned to control it, everything changed. Now when he’s facing a deadline, he’s able to crank up the worry that used to crush him and level it off to a place that works for him. The difference between then and now is awareness. What used steal his sleep and make him wring his hands, is now a fuel he dials up like that thermostat I mentioned above.

For me, it was the opposite. I failed to anticipate issues that could creep up and derail a project. I was overly optimistic that things would go well. I’m now able to turn up a little angst and make myself intentionally apprehensive about an outcome. Not so much that I’m biting my nails but enough to keep my edge sharp until I have the result I need.

Own your sales gene…