The world would be a very different place.
Imagine if anxiety was extremely rare. Yet you possessed that very special gift of being an anxious person.
Just think how the world might be.
Your Job Interview Anxiety
Even during your job interview, your anxiety skills were impressive. You simply couldn’t hide them even though you desperately wanted to.
The lady seated opposite you at the interview table started to see the first signs of your anxiety. At first, she thought that she was imagining it. After all, she had never met anyone before who was anxious, so her gut instinct could so easily have been wrong.
She made a note in her notepad and continued with her questions.
Inside you, your heart was racing and you became aware that you were breathing high in your chest. You also noticed that your mouth was becoming dry.
Your interviewer, Claire, was now certain that she had an anxious person applying for a job at her company!
From that moment, this job was yours. No matter how poorly you answered the questions, your employment was assured. Claire couldn’t wait to rush out of the room to tell all her colleagues that she was about to hire an anxious person!
The interview concluded, and you made your way home wondering if you’d made a good impression or not.
The Week After Your Job Interview
For the days that followed your job interview, your life was its typical anxious self. You had already decided that you hadn’t been successful in your job application and anticipatory anxiety was taking over.
What if I can’t get any job? You wondered.
What if I have a panic attack at my next job interview?
Then, even if I get a job, how will I keep it with all my anxiety issues?
Meanwhile, back at the office, Claire had been excitedly running around telling everyone the fantastic news that she’d be hiring someone with anxiety.
Claire’s work colleagues chatted with each other about you at every available moment.
Coffee machine conversations were all about you.
Everyone wondered what it would be like to work alongside someone so special and naturally gifted.
The Letter Arrives
On Thursday morning, just after your coffee, the doorbell chimed.
The postman had a letter that required a signature. You signed for it, and took the envelope to your kitchen table.
The kitchen table, for you, is a place where you take all your important mail.
The kitchen table is the place where you have opened worrying letters from the bank, and letters regarding tax demands.
Letters taken to the kitchen table are letters filled with stress and doom.
This must surely be a worrying letter as it needed a signature.
You take six deep breaths and open the envelope quickly. But you leave the letter inside.
Maybe I should make another coffee first? You wonder.
You decide against another coffee as the caffeine from the first one is already setting you on edge.
You remove the letter.
You read it.
You now have a job.
You make a cup of tea.
The Morning of Your New Job Has Arrived
This morning you skip coffee and have a tea instead. Your stomach feels like there is a firework inside it and your head feels like it cannot hold another worry.
The fridge door has been checked at least twenty times and every time you look at the clock it appears to be the same time.
Forty-seven minutes until you have to leave your house and head for work.
You walk around the kitchen and then switch on the radio. It’s the news, so you switch it off. You don’t need to hear any bad news when you feel this nervous.
You check that the fridge door is closed properly.
Yep, the fridge door is closed.
The clock suddenly appears to realize that it’s torturing you, and decides to develop a time-warp and propel your existence forty-seven minutes into the future.
You check the fridge door and leave the house.
Today You Drowned, But It Was Almost Pleasant
A day of suffering ends with a smile.
To say that Claire and her colleagues were pleased to see you was an understatement!
You were greeted by every member of staff within the first half hour of the day, and they all experienced the charm of your reserved nature and anxiety. They had seen anxious people on TV, but not in real life.
Darren, Claire’s assistant, went out of his way to make you feel at home in your new workplace. Charlotte brought you some plants for your windowsill and your desk. Maria spared an hour from her day to walk you around the building and introduced you to the other departments.
Everywhere you went, you were treated like a celebrity.
You hated the attention. But everyone loved that you appeared awkward in every situation.
On your way home on the bus, something weird occurred to you.
You had kind of enjoyed all the attention.
You arrived home and walked past your fridge. You didn’t feel the need to check if the door was closed.
The Presentation Memo
Just over two months ago, you started your new job.
Everyone at work knew you very well by this stage, and their love for your anxiety never faded.
If you blushed or felt panicky at any point, then everyone would be just blown away with how you could possibly do those things so amazingly well!
On your ninth Monday morning of your new job, your worst fear was realised.
You had been invited (politely ordered) to give a presentation on how to be anxious.
All your colleagues had discussed your anxiety talents individually, but the MD had decided that you should be truly honored and you should be allowed to describe your gift to everyone in one special meeting.
The meeting room was booked for the following Friday at 2:30 pm.
For A Person With Anxiety, A Presentation Sounds As Appealing As Sausages & Cream Wrapped In a Cement Pie Crust
On the Thursday before the presentation, the fridge handle broke.
It appears that checking a fridge door one hundred and eight times, breaks the handle.
If you are a refrigerator manufacturer, then let that be noted.
Today Is Friday. The Time Is 2:30 pm
You find yourself standing at the front of the large meeting room.
Within your gaze you can see around fifty people looking in your direction.
The audience look excited and full of anticipation. They are about to hear first-hand what being anxious is really like.
For you, this moment feels like your own funeral.
You begin to speak.
Then, the most peculiar thing in the world unfolds. You begin to speak as though you are describing what someone else feels like to be anxious, and your own anxiety completely disappears.
As you notice this miracle taking place, you decide to imagine another person standing at the side of you. That person is the anxious person, and you simply describe what that other person is feeling.
You go on to describe in great detail how this persons’ life is plagued with anxious thoughts and how everyday events seem like desperate battles.
You paint the picture of what it feels like to panic while shopping and how relieved you feel when you arrive back home.
Your presentation becomes the most insightful and most talked about event that year in the company.
You have amazed everyone. But most importantly, you have amazed yourself.
You leave work that day a completely different person. It feels like you handed-over your anxiety to the invisible person whom you created. Today you feel confident and happy, while an unfortunate and invisible person has just been given your anxiety.
Five Years Later…
As the years have passed, so many things have changed in your life.
You have a handful of TV appearances behind you and dozens of radio interviews. Your third book has just been published.
Your first book: ‘My Invisible Friend’ was an international best seller.
As you sit in your spacious lounge in your lovely new home, you look back over the years and realise how blessed you were to have been an anxious person.
You made so many new friends, and despite your anxiety, everyone loved you and valued you no matter how anxious you appeared to be.
You look across to your bookshelf and admire the awards that you have amassed for your books and your speeches.
But one award stands out head and shoulders above the rest, for this one is your most valued award.
This trophy is the one that means the most to you. It’s the one that reminds you of how far you have really come.
Nothing else could mean as much to you as this one does.
This award is rather dull-looking and plain.
In fact, it actually looks like a block of wood with a refrigerator handle glued to it.
That’s exactly what it is.