Look Beyond Your Anxiety

The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman, February 2019 reflection.

Photo by drjoydeep on Zedge

A gallbladder stone – cholelithiasis – was found during my pre-employment medical examination (PEME). This finding postponed my scheduled employment abroad – a huge setback of my career.

Before my employer gives me another contract, I need to undergo a surgical operation – laparoscopic cholecystectomy – to remove the stone which will amount to around P80, 000.00 ($1, 600.00). But the last salary check I received was twelve months ago.

I was broke. I was anxious.

Anxiety does not care about anyone’s situation, so as mine. I have to make a decision whether to stay in the problem, or to look for a solution. I choose the latter.

I looked for all possible options to get the operation done – public hospitals, social welfare, friends and relatives.

I persist. Giving up is not my option.

Until, fortunately, I found one – Amosup Hospital. I could not be more than grateful for the operation will be fully covered. Meaning, I will have to spend no dime. Moreover, I am equally grateful to those people who sent words of encouragement for me to stay strong, and to those who stayed by my side during this difficult time.

Beyond my anxiety, I found new hope and understand more the importance of persistence and the necessity of being surrounded by people who genuinely cares for me.

We become anxious when we come across a point where we think a certain situation is challenging us beyond our ability – failing grades, depreciating performance at work, unhappy relationship, worsening depression, dying loved ones, insecurities, disapproval, validation… the list never ends. Then, we become susceptible to getting hopeless and upset.

“Who then is invincible?

The one who cannot be upset by anything outside their reasoned choice.”

– Epictetus, Discourses

Meanwhile, if we could step back and see our situation objectively, maybe we would be able to see what is beyond the known. That our current disposition is preparing us to become more than our present selves – to become stronger mentally and emotionally, to be more hinged to our principles and ideals, and to believe more in ourselves and in what we are capable of.

The next time we will find ourselves getting anxious ask, “Is my anxiety doing me any good? What lies beyond my anxiety?”

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