With 40 million Americans over the age of 18 affected by anxiety — roughly 18 percent of the nation’s population, this definitely impacts many of us in our day to day lives. Anxiety can take hours of your life away from you, but it can actually have some positive impacts as well. Anxiety can be a great motivational tool, make you a empathetic and thoughtful leader and make you just generally in-tune with the world. That is why so many very successful people often also have anxiety. Take a look at the very successful people below who have had bouts with anxiety and how they deal with it.
The iconic songstress and rapper who always seems so calm and cool recently told Billboard that before her cameo appearance at the Super Bowl XLIX halftime she had a big panic attack (wouldn’t you?!) “Like, IVs in my arm, everything,” she said. “Nobody knew.” She says her belief in God helped her get through it and let’s face it, she owned that night. “I said, ‘If I can get over this [first] step, then I know all my dance steps will be on point,'” she says. “I know it was nothing but the grace of God that lifted me up and took me through that performance.”
Even the great Queen Bey went through a difficult time with all the pressure of her career. “It was beginning to get fuzz – I couldn’t even tell which day or which city I was at. I would sit there at ceremonies and they would give me an award and I was just thinking about the next performance. My mother was very persistent and she kept saying I had to take care of my mental health.”
In 2013 Oprah admitted she had a panic attack on the set of “Lee Daniels’ The Butler. “In the beginning, it was just sort of speeding and a kind of numbness and going from one thing to the next thing to the next thing. I will tell you when I realized that I thought, ‘All right, if I don’t calm down I’m gonna be in serious trouble.’ I was in the middle of doing voiceovers, you know? And I remember closing my eyes in between each page because looking at the page and the words at the same time was too much stimulation for my brain.”
Charlie Beljan, Pro Golfer
Charlie Beljan actually suffered from one of his crippling panic attacks while playing on the PGA tour. He managed to finish with one of the lowest scores of his career despite thinking he was having a heart attack. “The mail that I’ve gotten, people saying, ‘You were such an inspiration, I fight these every day,’ that’s what’s been really cool,” he explains. “To have all these people say they fight these on a daily basis and it was cool to see mine in the public eye, that’s an inspiration to me. It’s an inspiration to bring that to the surface and make other people aware of it.”
The actress and singer has been very outspoken about her struggles with anxiety and depression due to fame. “It just causes a lot of anxiety. There were a few months where I was a little depressed, where I wouldn’t leave [the house] as much. I think I drove myself crazy for a little bit… As much as I don’t like to wake up and think about that it’s there, it’s naturally just there. My response was to stay in, which sucked. That’s what I was trying to fix this past year, I’m finally getting a little bit more comfortable. It’s a process.”