Constructive Use of Anxiety

The capacity to bear anxiety is important for the individual’s self-realization and for his conquest of his environment. Every person experiences continual shocks and threats to his existence; indeed, self-actualization occurs only at the price of moving ahead despite such shocks. This indicates the constructive use of anxiety.”

— Rollo May, The Meaning of Anxiety (via The School of Anxiety is The School of Greatness)

Follow Your Anxiety

The School of Anxiety is The School of Greatness // Academy of Ideas

“How each person self-realizes will differ in its particulars, but there is a general formula that can lead us in this direction—some have said follow your bliss, others have said find a passion, Kierkegaard would say follow your anxiety.

Each step on the path to self-realization is patterned the same—envision a possibility that could further our self-creation, experience the anxiety that accompanies the prospect of moving forward into an unpredictable and open-ended future, but move forward regardless. If the possibilities we are unfolding in our life are free of the intermediate determinant of anxiety, this is not a sign of mental health, but instead suggests that we are living in a manner that betrays our potential.”


The title to this video “The School of Anxiety is the School of Greatness” is one of the most encouraging and motivating phrases I have ever read in regards to general anxiety and fear. A shift happened while watching from wanting be rid of my fears, toward a desire to embrace it. For some, for many in fact, this may be the only way to finally move forward.

109 // It Sounds Dumb

A lovely boring little day, much like the one I had yesterday. The Mueller report is out and there’s a lot to unpack but, for me, it can wait. Today I practiced a little self-care and listened to the new Lizzo album instead. 


I was supposed to go to a bookstore tonight—one of my favorite authors was in town to do a book signing—but when I got home, I just wasn’t up to it. I want to tell you that it was because I had a headache, or because I was tired, but the truth is I was anxious and I over thought the whole thing. By the end of the day I thought it was dumb to want to go which also sounds dumb.

I regret it now, but I also realize that in the grand scheme of things it’s fine. The night turned out to be a good one anyway.


These entries are inspired by Thord D. Hedengren

014//365

This morning was a rough one. I made a few little mistakes and my anxiety magnified them until I was crushed to tears under the weight of my guilt.

You know, it’s bad enough to obsess and overthink so much of your own life and actions but having anxiety plus a significant other, and friends, and coworkers, and family to obsess and overthink about too is almost too much to bear. It’s bad enough when I let myself down, but it’s god damn catastrophic when I let the people I love and care about down.

Of course, I didn’t really let anyone down. Not the way my mind is convinced I did. I ran a little late in one instance and didn’t pay close enough in another. Both actions are probably long forgiven and forgotten by the people they affected, but I’ll lay awake an extra hour or two tonight thinking of all the ways I can stop myself from ever making such stupid mistakes again.

As if there weren’t a million more ways for me to screw it up again. As if I even needed to try so hard to be perfect.


These entries are inspired by the journal posts of Thord D. Hedengren