Imagine that you suffer from social anxiety that is so acute that you struggle to answer the phone, open the door to your home if someone knocks, or to go outside. Now imagine that in spite of this, you’ve become an adventurer, a speaker and writer. Now imagine that in two short months, you will start a journey to be the first person to swim around Great Britain.
Meet Paula McGuire – our guest on Episode 75. Paula hails from Glasgow and for many years has suffered from acute social anxiety. She was bullied at school growing up, was eventually placed on medications for the condition, and found it nearly impossible to figure out what she truly enjoyed and wanted to do in life. Fear was pervasive.
And yet somehow, Paula took control. She started to try things – beginning with having a go at every sport of the 2014 Commonwealth Games. She moved on to try other things – rally car driving, farming, and even being an astronaut for a day. She is a speaker and gave a wonderful TEDx talk. She is an author and has a book coming out called Must Try Harder – Adventures in Anxiety.
In April 2018, she set out on her biggest challenge yet – a 1800 mile (2897 km) swim around the coast of Great Britain – the Big, Mad, Swim Around Britain. That’s not bad for an aquaphobe!
As you’ll hear, Paula has not eliminated anxiety. A big part of this episode and of All Things Risk is that we all grapple with fear and anxiety to an extent. We all deal with the reptilian part of our brains which wants us to avoid losses at all costs. We all have part of our psyches that want to keep us in our comfort zones.
So, what Paula is doing is not only inspirational, it is also a great example of healthy risk-taking. We get into tons of wonderful stuff in this episode. I am sure you will enjoy it.
Paula’s forthcoming book Must Try Harder: Adventures in Anxiety on:
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