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Overcoming Anxiety + Video Update

[Update 12/20/10] The contest has ended. Please see the results here.. And read on for the second part of this post on overcoming anxiety.

Very exciting news! I’ve made it as one of the top 20 finalists through to phase 2 of the Good Mood Blogger competition, and you can now see my 90 second video entry below (or click here).

Voting starts today. Please help me with a quick 2 sec vote everyday until December 10th, 2010 (Click here to read why you should vote for me). If you need a quick reminder, sign up here and I’ll shoot you an email each morning. And if you believe in me, please also share the vote page or video link on facebook, twitter, or emailing them to your network. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Film Credits

Editing by the genius editor Brian Gavin. Director and Director of Photography by my talented and fast-learning husband Jeremy Sawatzky. Music by the inspiring Jim Brickman, “If You Believe” from his album “Greatest Hits”, used with permission from the artist.

It was a fun two days of filming. Everyone in our family helped out. My mother-in-law was the second camera operator, my father-in-law was the sound guy holding the boom mic, and Tommy & Blackie were my supporting actors. We improvised and learned the technical details as we went along. The day was filled with a lot of laughter and a ton of learning.

About The Video

Since we had a 2 week family vacation that was pre-planned right in the middle of the competition, my only option was to create the video two weeks before phase 1 ended, prior to receiving the actual video guidelines.

Unfortunately, the guidelines do not allow showing of other people in the video, so we had to cut out adorable clips of baby Ryan and I (image at the top of this post, captured from the video), and Jeremy and I. And in order to fit the 90 second time frame, some of my dialog was cut, which would have made the video more engaging. But we did the best we could given the circumstances.

I am hoping to “bribe” our friend Brian in the coming week to maybe create a full version of the video without restrictions using the full dialog. If it becomes available, I’ll announce it on the Happiness Team mailing list (You can join it here – where I’ll be sending a quick daily reminder to vote during phase 2, along with an inspirational message of the day).

I took a bit of risk with the video in that instead of showing myself explicitly saying, “Vote for me. I am ALWAYS in a good mood.” – which I anticipated everyone else to do – I took an indirect approach.

Instead of explicitly saying how many blog subscribers I have, or how many facebook fans this blog attracts, or how much social media experience I have (which can all be easily found with a quick visit to this blog), we used cinematic story telling to present a simple message: I have been successfully blogging professionally about personal happiness for several years, and I am a genuinely happy person with a simple purpose – to spread happiness.

I hope my indirect approach of using visually engaging story telling will make my video stand out from the crowd and demonstrate, to the judges, originality and my commitment to delivering quality content.

What do you think? Share your feedback with me about the video in the comment section. And if you can, I’d love it if you can leave a quick comment on YouTube, and click the “Like” button. Thank you for your support!!

Related Article: Help Me Spread Happiness?

Overcoming Anxiety

A post on Think Simple Now isn’t a post unless it contained some practical words of personal growth in it. So I wanted to share with you insights I’ve learned about anxiety and nervousness thought entering and campaigning for this blogging competition.

The tricky thing about entering into a competition like this, while traveling on vacation, is that there is a lot more time to think about it, without the ability to do much about it. Our minds have a funny way of looping our thoughts and creating unnecessary doubt.

I spent a small portion ([added by Jeremy] read: large portion) of our trip annoying my husband by second-guessing myself, and asking loaded questions with the intention of having him soothe my doubts.

And then it occurred to me that all of the built-up anxiety and second-guessing were just wasted energy. Wasted, because they don’t contribute anything to the outcome. So I took a deep breathe, relaxed, and focused my energy on the activities I was engaged in at the moment – like listening to the sounds of the waves crashing against the shore, watching my son play in the water, feeling the heat of the sun on my face, taking in the texture of the book I’m reading, or feeling gratitude for the thirst-quenching gift of a cold glass of water.

I think it’s normal to feel some butterflies when anticipating something uncertain in our future – like this competition for me or perhaps a job interview or a date for you. But prolonged worrying and second-guessing ourselves can consume us, drain our energy, and cause us to pull our focus away from what matters – the realities of whatever it is that is happening right now, the gift of this moment. Plus, anxiety and nervousness don’t feel very good in our bellies.

I don’t know if it’s true, but I’d like to believe that things happen for a reason. Whether this is true or not, doesn’t really matter. What I do know is this: it is us who gives meaning to our experiences. Therefore, I choose to give meanings to events in a way that benefit my emotional wellbeing, and help me to feel peaceful and happy.

Life has a mysterious way of revealing its great plans for us. And I choose to see that no matter what I am presented with, it is the best thing for me, even if I don’t understand it. And as such, I am okay with whatever the outcome will be.

It’s like that relationship that ended years ago, which at the time caused us a lot of pain. And then years later, looking back, realizing that it was the best thing that could have happened to us.

At the time, we didn’t understand what good could come from such a painful event, but later realized that someone who is a better fit for us awaits us in the future. Or, the suffering in itself pushed us to an emotional edge, triggering us to re-examine our life, thus recognizing the simplistic beauty and wisdom that constantly surrounds us.

Parting Words

Life is simple, and it is beautiful, and it is a constant unfolding of opportunities for us to learn from. Embrace these opportunities – sometimes disguised as (potentially painful) challenges – and your life will surly become more rich and meaningful. You will likely smile more, and be able to spread more Joy to other people.

I wish you a beautiful weekend, my friends. Thank you for supporting me, for reading, for helping make my dream -of writing about the beautiful subtleties of Life- a reality.

Want to see me write on positive topics 5 days a week for 6 months? Then help me win the Good Mood Blogger job with a daily vote here (until Dec 10). If you need a daily reminder, sign up here (no spam. Only for voting reminders until Dec 10th). And if you liked my video, support me also by hitting the “Like” button, and leave a quick comment on YouTube. Thanks a million! I couldn’t do this without you.

Talk soon.

P.S. Just for kicks, here are some behind the scene candid photos from our video shoot at home

Tina Su Good Mood Gig Blogger Video Candid

Tina Su for Good Mood Blogger Gig Behind Video Shoot

Special Announcement: Want more than just the articles posted weekly on Think Simple Now? Join our Happiness Team mailing list to receive extra notes on happiness and daily inspiration only available via email. In this email list, I will be sending casually written nuggets of wisdom from my daily life, thoughts and other resources that are inspiring. The emails here won’t be as polished or even edited as TSN articles, but will contain more personal anecdotes, and you’ll get them more frequently.

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About the author

Tina Su is a mom, a wife, a lover of Apple products and a CHO (Chief Happiness Officer) for our motivational community: Think Simple Now. She is obsessed with encouraging and empowering people to lead conscious and happy lives. Subscribe to new inspiring stories each week. You can also subscribe to Tina on Facebook.

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50 thoughts on Overcoming Anxiety + Video Update

  1. Thank you Leigh Harris for voting everyday. It means the world to me. :)


  2. Lily,

    haha.. talk show host, really? When I was acting in Toronto (remember those days? RCI.) I did host an episode of street cents. That was a long time ago.

    It was fun getting the family involved in creating the video. We’re thinking of other ideas of incorporating more videos into this site.

    Thanks for your help!


  3. Hi Tina!

    I visited your blog for the first time today. I absolutley love the “vibe” here at TSN. Your About Page is fantstic and inspiring!

    I loved your video, and you come across very well! Perhaps you should do more video! =)

    I also voted for you, hope you get it!

    Thank you, and I will definitely be back!

  4. Hey Keith,

    Welcome to TSN and than you for leaving such a cool comment. Thank you so much for your positive vibe!

    I’d love to do more videos – we had so much fun doing this. The issue is, that it takes a long time to produce something that looks beautifully shot and edited.

    Thanks again for helping me with votes.


  5. Isabel

    Hello Tina, and congratulations on getting through to Phase 2!

    I really loved your video – it has a very professional feel to it – and I actually took the time to check out the videos from the other finalists. I can honestly say that yours was the one I enjoyed the most.

    Hope you end up as #1, it would be great to read more from you, and more often – and the daily vote reminder e-mail sure is of great help ;)

    P.S.: I just *love* the first picture of you and Ryan, brings a smile to my face every time I see it.

    Good luck!

  6. Hi Isabel!

    Thank you so much for helping me with votes daily. I saw your comment on YouTube, and it almost made me cry. :) Thanks for your encouragement.

    Jeremy is a perfectionist, and he wanted to make sure it felt professional. They were made with a couple of semi-pro photography cameras we use for our work, which also happen to do video.

    hehe.. and I too love that photo with Ryan. It was a screen cap from the video clips with Ryan that we had to cut out due to the official rules. Hopefully, we’ll get a version out with those clips – our editor friend is very busy lately, but maybe soon.


  7. I watched all 20 videos. Four stood out from the rest in terms of the message relayed. Yours tops that short list.

    I’m delighted to see by the votes you’re receiving that others agree.

    I write my own “good mood blog” (Spirit Lights The Way) and contemplated entering the Sam-E challenge. I decided against doing so . . . because I enjoy my freedom and relative anonymity too much to relinquish “editorial control” over content to others, even for 6 months. :)

    Plus, I don’t have a young child relying on me for support, and you do!

    Best of luck. I’ll keep voting until the CHO sings!!!

  8. @nrhatch

    I’ll keep voting until the CHO sings!!!

    Hahaha. Thank you so much for your support. I really appreciate your encouraging feedback. :)

  9. > cinematic story telling to present a simple message
    Beautiful job.

    It comes across as authentic and the take away is simple, clear, and compelling.

  10. Hey JD! Nice seeing you here.

    Thanks for the encouraging feedback. I hope the judges get the simple message as well, and think that it’s compelling.

    Thanks for helping me! :)

  11. Joanna

    Tina, you have my vote(s) and a twit and I hope you will win!
    The video is very professional and it is joy to watch it. Great job!

  12. It does very inspirational video.. hope you can win the contest.

  13. I thought the video was great and I couldn’t tell you were working under inconvenient circumstances. I voted for you today and I’ll continue to do so.

  14. Joanna, thank you for the tweet! I hope to win too!

    We worked very hard on the video, and under very tight deadlines (2 days). I’m proud of it. It fulfilled most of what I had envisioned for the video. Wish I had longer than 90 seconds tho. We had to cut so many lines.

  15. Thank you jawatan kosong. I wanted the video to be inspirational, since I’m not sure I can pull off comedy, and inspiration is what I know how to do. :)

  16. Hi Nea,

    Thank you for voting. We have 10 days left. Every vote counts, and very much appreciated by me.

    On top of the tight deadline, the second day of the video shoot, I had a breast infection that had be lying down in bed with a high fever – thought I had the flu. Challenging day indeed.

    The whole experience taught me that we are stronger than we think, and that we can perform “miracles” if we wanted to.


  17. Helaina

    Tina you’re so radient and beautiful. You are always searching for the positive it’s a wonderful inspiration. Hoping you win

  18. Jackie Paulson

    I pray you win and I want others to be blessed. Thanks for the note on facebook and good “luck.”

  19. Hi Jackie! Thank you for your prayer and good intentions. I hope to win too, and can’t wait to be writing daily. I’ve got some great content up my sleeve.

  20. sharon

    tina, ur so cute :)

  21. This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free. I enjoy seeing websites that understand the value of providing a prime resource for free. I truly loved reading your site. Thanks!

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