When Anxiety Stops You from Trying New Things

February 11, 2011 Kate White

What can you do when anxiety keeps you from trying new things and being who you want to be? The answer is rather circular. Let me explain. Read this.

Anxiety can stop me from trying new things. Lately I've been okay except when I go to try something different. Then it's all systems panic, followed up with a few days of fatigue and uncertainty. Some of this anxiety is about keeping me in my safety zone. A part of my brain figures that if I stay right there, nothing too terrible can happen. Then that annoyingly rational part chimes in to tell me that A. it pretty much already has, and B. staying in my safety zone won't treat anxiety, or PTSD.

I feel like a squishy old football some days because before mental illness stepped in this wouldn't have been a thing. Before anxiety and depression made simple tasks really quite challenging, then 'just do it' was the obvious tact to take. I could put my older attitude down to being somewhat younger and thereby stupider--but I'm pretty sure that's not it.

doggyjail_gare_and_kitty_treatinganxietyThe better I know anxiety, the more familiar it is to me, then the easier treatment gets. Anxiety hangs around whether I try new things or not. It's just a more tolerable form if I don't push myself too far out of that safe zone. But the safe zone isn't safe if I can't grow and try new things because of it.

Trying New Things to Treat Anxiety

That's my present challenge: To find ways to do things that are just outside my comfort zone. Things that will help me feel better about my ability to treat anxiety once I've tried them. It's about building the confidence to face my internal anxiety gremlins head-on.

Embrace These Ideas To Try New Things


"I really am willing to fight for anxiety relief." That's an idea I absolutely must hold onto.

Most people with anxiety disorders, we spend so much of our energy fighting just the regular old vaguely tolerable kinds of anxiety that crop up as soon as we open our eyes that it's easy to feel overwhelmed at the first thought of trying something new.

But if you are opening your eyes and doing what you can each day, you can get there.


I can control that, or learn to if things are getting a little hairy in there.

A Goal

This goal, it has to be worth it. It has to be something that outweighs the perceived benefits of that safety zone.

It's one thing to say I'm up for a challenge, and quite another to know that there's something sufficiently rewarding out there for me once I've tried. Even if I don't succeed.

This, this last one's key -


. . . to beat obsessive thoughts and perfectionist tendencies over the head until they submit to your supreme mastery of all things Jedi.

Okay, well maybe not exactly that. But know this: it really isn't about pressure. Sometimes simply trying something new can treat anxiety.

Follow Kate White on Twitter, or Facebook

APA Reference
White, K. (2011, February 11). When Anxiety Stops You from Trying New Things, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 17 from

Author: Kate White

Leave a reply