Deadpool is a former military officer, turned anti-hero after a cancer-treatment gone wrong – leaving him with healing powers.
But there’s more than meets the eye with golden-globe nominated Deadpool actor, Ryan Reynolds. You’d never guess it but he struggles with anxiety. In fact, before every talk-show interview he fills with dread and gets sick to his stomach – sometimes convinced he might croak.
Even though Deadpool is not everyone’s cup of cranberry juice. There’s a barrel-full of lessons we can all take a swig from – especially when facing off against anxiety or crushing uncertainty.
Here we go
Deadpool's Five Lessons From Wrestling Anxiety
1. Channel Fear Into Something Constructive
When Reynolds did TV sitcoms, he would warm up the audience, which was mostly to set himself at ease and channel his panic into something constructive. Likewise, he uses the character of Deadpool in the same way (one reason he prefers doing TV interviews as the super-hero – not himself).
2. Takes Time to Heal Himself
Just like in the movie, when Deadpool is clobbered or knocked off a bridge he needs time to heal and regain his strength. In the same way, Reynolds takes time to recharge and rejuvenate by daily meditation.
3. Skills Emerge From Setbacks
Reynolds grew up under a strict and unpredictable father. He was tough on others. Tough on himself. And rarely open up:
“I always wanted that father that was like Wilford Brimley,
who would put me on his lap and just dispense incredible life
advice and guidance.”
But that wasn’t his Dad. Reynolds always tried to yank conversation out of him. But only got brief, knee-jerk responses. Never exposing much. Or sharing much. So he felt distanced from him.
The hardest part for me is that he was always kind of a mystery.
I just don't feel like I ever had a real conversation with him.
But out of that pain, emerged a humor, compassion and skill for listening closely to others. And eventually he learned: “At some point, you just kinda gotta live and let go.”
4. Knowing The Anxiety Will Float Away
Even when he’s sweating bullets, jittery, or about to prance into interview there’s one belief he’s built over the years and that is “these feelings will pass”
5. Embracing Yourself Even Without A Mask
He used to get anxious at the thought of saying something that:
So he’d crack jokes and handle conversations at a surface level – never diving any deeper. Over the years though, he’s embraced that he’s smart but he’s also embraced that he can be an “idiot” too – and being okay with being both.
“Being okay with being both”
Because sometimes we forget that we’re allowed to be both.