Does your daughter’s anxiety come from thinking about her future, or trying to control it?
It’s no mystery that uncertainty has the power to ignite the strongest human emotions – anxiety and fear.
This episode is designed to help you empower your teenage daughter so she’s:
- ready to handle anything that comes her way
- and cultivate friendships that make her laugh until she cries (in a good way, of course!)
Welcome back to the cultivating resilient teens podcast where you can always find the show notes and resources on my website, cultivatingresilientteens.com.
Okay, I don’t know about you, but I my relationship with anxiety and fear are definitely a work-in-progress.
And as a parent and teen coach, my private coaching clients consistently share stories with me where fear is almost always the cause, or undercurrent, that’s fueling their anxiety.
If you think about how uneasy you feel when everything around you is unpredictable, it’s human nature to seek control where you can – or – where you think you can.
The Ultimate Illusion
Interestingly, I posted a quote on my Cultivating Resilient Teens Instagram page that reads … “Our anxiety does not come from thinking about the future, but from wanting to control it.”
And apparently, this quote resonated with several of you, as a few of the comments I received were… “That was meant for me,” “Truth,” and ah, “Control, such an illusion.”
So, what is it about anxiety and fear that have the power to weaken your daughters’ ability to pursue her dreams or cause her to feel totally stuck?
Could it be …
- her fear of failure?
- or her fear of achieving huge success?
I’ve been told that feeling like you ‘won’t make the cut’ or that ‘you’ll be totally exposed’ are pretty debilitating for teenage girls.
And, if your daughter is like so many others, she may be relying heavily on external rewards to feel adequate OR she may feel all tangled up trying to live up to someone else’s definition of success.
Author Rachel Simmons shares in her book Enough As She Is, that when she was interviewing girls for this book, “I was struck by how the very terms of their lives ran opposite to everything we know about happiness. Developing a sense of meaning is replaced by the relentless pursuit of outside rewards. Students are pushed to disregard the journey of learning in order to fixate on the end result.”
So, if happiness feels like an elusive dream – something that’ll only come from slogging along until she reaches some unknown destination – who can blame your daughter for trying to control her future?
And unfortunately, if she’s disregarding the journey, I’m afraid to say that she’s going to miss all those important little moments that offer such valuable life lessons.
So, here’s a strategy that’s designed to help your daughter calm her anxious mind and embrace all the options and opportunities her beautiful life has to offer.
And that strategy is a simple, daily check-in.
And when I say daily check-in, I mean taking a moment during the day to pause and reflect on three simple questions:
- Where am I putting the majority of my energy right now?
- Does this [person, task, situation] deserve my energy?
- Where do I want to channel my energy from this moment forward?
Once your daughter recognizes where her focus goes her energy flows – and she has the power to choose – I think she’ll immediately feel empowered.
Okay, let’s dive in a little deeper for a minute because checking-in is requires one key element.
Can you guess what it is?
Here’s what I know about teenage girls … they are passionate problem solvers.
And if you pay attention to how dedicated teens are to helping each other navigate and overcome each other’s life challenges – you’ll see that your daughter has what it takes to create the life she desires and deserves.
And the best way to create the life she desires and deserves is to take inventory.
Give This a Try
So, here’s a quick inventory exercise that’ll help your daughter clarify wanted and unwanted items in her life.
Grab a piece of paper for this exercise.
Now, divide it into three columns:
- Column One: title “Keepers” because these are the people, activities, and things your daughter wants to keep in her life because they help her grow and thrive.
- Column Two: title “Maybe” because these are the people, activities, and things she’s processing or trying to figure out if they’re keepers or energy vampires.
- Column Three: Title “Remove” because these are the people, activities, and things that drain her or just feel bad because they’re total energy vampires.
Power in the Present Moment
Okay, hopefully that’ll help your daughter recognize that her greatest power is in the present moment.
It simply requires:
- a daily check-in
- and little bit of sorting and sifting
And lastly, if you’re looking for more tips, tools and strategies – head over to my Instagram
or Facebook pages – I post almost daily.
I look forward to connecting with you soon.
Anxiety Quote: “Our anxiety does not come from thinking about the future, but from wanting to control it” by Author Kahlil Gibran
Book: Enough As She Is by Rachel Simmons