Anxiety is a difficult condition to live with, it can take over your life and trick you into believing that things will never get better. You might even feel like anxiety will prevent you from becoming successful. But it doesn’t have to! There are many people in the public eye that have found success while dealing with their own personal anxieties. I thought it would be interesting to take a look at a few of them here.
Fearne has opened up over the past couple of years on her brilliant ‘Happy Place’ podcast about her battles with anxiety, panic attacks and an eating disorder. She found that things improved for her when she took a step back from her busy lifestyle and focused more on self-care and a better work-life balance.
She’s a successful singer-songwriter and has won five Grammy awards, but she also suffers with panic attacks and stage fright. Yet she has still managed to perform confidently to huge live audiences! She told Rolling Stone that she deals with it by telling jokes and talking a lot to keep the mood light.
Well-known for his competitive swimming. He’s the most successful Olympian of all time; winning 28 medals! But he’s also lived with anxiety, depression and substance issues. Like many of us he’s been finding the new COVID world difficult, and in a recent interview with ESPN said: “The pandemic has been one of the scariest times I’ve been through. I’m thankful that my family and I are safe and healthy. I’m grateful we don’t have to worry about paying bills or putting food on the table, like so many other folks right now. But still, I’m struggling.” He encourages people to reach out to others and talk about how they are feeling.
Would it surprise you to discover that the superstar Hollywood actor suffers from glossophobia – the fear of public speaking. When he won the American Film Institute’s Life Achievement Award, he told the Los Angeles Times that he felt grateful, but “the greatest fear in my life is public speaking.” His acceptance speech can be viewed on Youtube; you’ll notice he is fighting to stay calm and control his breathing. He’s notorious for being a bit grumpy, but I think this shows him in a different light.
Most famous for playing Bella Swan in Twilight, Kristen has experienced OCD, panic attacks and found it difficult adjusting to fame. I remember watching her interviews and thinking how uncomfortable she looked. In an interview with Elle she said: “’I went through so much stress.’ The pressure of being a young star contributed to serious physical anxiety: ‘I had panic attacks. I used to puke every day.’ She has learned to cope better as she got older and went on to say, “I had gone through so much that did not kill me… sorry, I know that sounds dramatic … I realise the anxiety just ran out. I didn’t have the energy to do that anymore.”
I found it fascinating that these are successful people, vastly different from each other and in how they’ve dealt with their anxieties, but they’ve all gone through similar experiences. Just like you and me. It just shows that if you’ve got a dream or a goal in life, anxiety doesn’t need to stand in your way.