Facing Anxiety Stories

A mountaineer who know he has to look up and keep climbing

    I knew a man who loved to climb mountains he loved the challenge of finding his way up the rocky sides and the beauty of the views from the top. Sometimes of course he slipped as he climbed but he never let it worry him and he climbed eagerly on.

    One day however something new happening to him. He was high up on a steep rugged cliff face when he lost his grip and fell some way before he came to rest on the tiny ledge. The fall had knocked the wind out of him and he clung they are getting his breath back as he did so he glanced downwards. The rock face stretched away before him; birds wheeled in the air far below his feet and at the bottom tiny trees dotted a jumble of sharp boulders.

    For the first time ever he began to imagine what it would be liked to tumble through the air and crash down onto those sharp rocks. As he gazed in horror the rock face seems to extend further and further away from him and the ground seemed ever more distant. The man kept touching the rock face panting with terror. He felt sure that if he relaxes grip for one second he would fall head over heels to the boulders below the only thing was to hold on tight. However time as it does when by. He began to breathe deeply and so to think more clearly about his predicament. It was very uncomfortable on his tiny ledge. A cold wind was blowing and his hands and feet were getting numb. It was also, he realised, very boring; all he could see was the rock in front of his nose. Well he thought, now what? This is no fun. But if I start to move, I may fall. The thought terrified him, so he climbed a little while longer. But his hands were getting even more numb. Actually he thought if I just stay here I am going to fall anyway - that is if I don't die of boredom first. He clung on a bit longer anyway but at last the thought came to him.

    There is only one thing to do: keep climbing. And so he did. At first his legs and arms were so stiff that every move was difficult and took all his concentration and courage. But after a while, he began to get back into his rhythm and his confidence began to creep back. He noticed a small flowers blooming in cracks in the rock and listen to the wind sighing around him any began to remember why he loved to climb mountains. In time, he reached the top, and stood watching the sun touching the tops of the peaks all around him and felt a deep peace.

Angela Shaw

The Empty Princess shows the possibilities for shifting to something better and empowering and that this can happen when we least expect it.

    Once upon a time a long time a ago, there lived a princess in a beautiful palace. Her name was Kris. Now Kris had lived in the palace for as long as she could remember. And in many ways it was a great place to live. For one thing she had many courtiers and servants who looked after her. Sometimes admittedly she had to stamp her feet and shout a bit because these servants were a bit lazy, but eventually they always helped her. They put her to bed and fed her and played her music and bought her toys that she could play with. At those times, Kris really did feel like a princess and also at those times, Kris could be quite cruel and uncaring to those servants who were looking after her.

    Kris was not imprisoned in the palace. The doors were not locked and she often spent hours every day just looking out of the window of her favourite room at the world going by beyond the gates of the palace’s extensive grounds. And it has to be said that Kris often wished that she could leave the palace. But she knew that if she ever did, that she may not be allowed back in. No one ever said that to her but it was a fear that she had. And so she stayed in the palace, week after week, month after month and year after year. Although she was looked after (eventually) she was lonely, She had no real friends that she had made herself and often if truth be told she was bored – and longed to get her teeth into something that would really engage her and to explore the excitement, novelty and challenges of the world outside.

    So the palace seemed like a prison in many ways.

    And then one day something happened that was to change Kris’s life forever - and as she looks back on that day now, she knows that it was the best thing that could have happened to her. Though at that time, it was pretty scary for Kris. And if truth be told she was very angry (very angry indeed) with her courtiers and servants. For, what happened that day was that the courtiers and servants all left early one morning while she slept. They just disappeared. They left food and her toys and everything like that – so she could continue to live there. But not with any help from them.

    There was though one kind lady who loved her greatly and who did stay but Kris hardly noticed her in the rage of the departure of every body else. And actually she often hardly noticed this older lady and often treated her quite badly.

    So on that first day, she went back into the palace and wondered around all day. She ate a bit of food from the fridge, had a bath and played some of her music. But as she wondered around the palace that day, she knew that soon she would have to venture out and walk further along that road.

    She felt also a comfort in the realisation that whenever she chose to, she could return to her very own palace and feel much safer – at least for a time. And she certainly began to appreciate that the lovely lady - her one true friend - was sticking by her. She began also to realise that she could quite easily be much nicer and friendlier and more considerate to her.

    And so Kris began to settle down into this new world and began to enjoy it. And quite soon she met an older man waiting by the gates – who actually she remembered from before as someone who had befriended her and seemed quite nice and genuine and definitely on her side. He had said to her that he could help in whatever way she needed help – as she began to travel into that outside world. He was actually quite wise in the ways of the world and also he could ease some of the fears and anxieties that kept bubbling up inside her.

    So she decided that from time to time she would make use of this man. And now a few months further on, Kris cannot believe how far she has come. And for the first time, she can feel an inner confidence and hope welling up from deep inside her.

Hilary Farmer


Enjoy Creatures and be reminded of how we tie ourselves up in knots when we could be free.

Once there lived a village of creatures along the bottom of a great crystal river. The current of the river swept silently over them all--young and old, rich and poor, good and evil, the current going its own way, knowing only its own crystal self.

Each creature in its own manner clung tightly to the twigs and rocks of the river bottom, for clinging was their way of life, and resisting the current what each had learned from birth. But one creature said at last, "I am tired of clinging. Though I cannot see it with my eyes, I trust that the current knows where it is going. I shall let go, and let it take me where it will. Clinging, I shall die of boredom."

The other creatures laughed and said, "Fool! Let go, and that current you worship will throw you tumbled and smashed across the rocks and you will die quicker than boredom!" But the one heeded them not, and taking a breath did let go, and at once was tumbled and smashed by the current across the rocks.

Yet in time, as the creature refused to cling again, the current lifted him free from the bottom, and he was bruised and hurt no more. And the creatures downstream, to whom he was a stranger, cried, "See a miracle! A creature like ourselves, yet he flies! See the Messiah, come to save us all!"


Fear of what others may think could have appeared elsewhere in this compendium of stories. It is here because it is about facing and facing down.

    ... from this day on, you’re going to find your confidence within yourself, your confidence in your abilities and your self belief, becoming steadily stronger... stronger than yesterday... but not as strong as tomorrow... stronger than it was yesterday... but not yet as strong as it will be tomorrow... you’re going to find yourself far less concerned about other peoples’ opinions of you, too... you’ll find you gain a clearer perspective and a better sense of proportion... beginning to recognize and understand.... that whatever other people think or feel is their concern... part of their lives... part of their attitudes... in the past, you might have been sometimes unfairly judged, as we all have been at some time or another... and in the future, too, you might sometimes be misjudged, as we all are... but that misjudgement doesn’t actually change anything... it doesn’t alter the facts... it doesn’t change the real you... if someone misjudges you at some time, that’s simply their own error... their own error of judgment... they’ve simply made a mistake... and you don’t mind allowing people to make mistakes... you don’t mind people being wrong sometimes.... because you know what’s inside yourself... you understand your true integrity your true self... what others imagine they see is simply the product of their own experiences of life... their own attitudes... their own fears and expectations... just their own thoughts... just their thoughts and nothing more than their thoughts... and you’re not responsible for any of those things at all... and it’s worth remembering that nothing that we see or hear, or imagine that we see or hear, can change us... nothing that we perceive in the outside world can hurt us... nor alter us... only acting upon those things can do that... nothing that we see or hear can hurt us or change us... even what I’m saying to you here cannot change you... only reacting to these things can do that... only acting upon the things we see and hear can change us... and we have free choice to decide whether or not to act upon these things... and thinking about things is acting upon them... but we have free choice to decide which things to act upon, which things to react to... and which things to ignore... and the things that you choose to ignore will be a matter of complete indifference to you... the things that you choose to ignore will always remain a matter of complete indifference....


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Pat Williams, one of the original Human Givens teachers who taught us all of the power of stories – to be spoken and not read.

Indries Shah,

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"No, no!" said the Queen. "Sentence first - verdict afterwards.”
Lewis Carroll