tI used to play college basketball, and before every game, the entire team would meet in a classroom. We would watch film of our upcoming opponent, our coach would have a packet full of material on each player and the team's plays, and we'd discuss ways to combat their offensive plays and defensive attacks. Obviously, our goal wasn't to completely destroy them (though, that would make basketball a much more interesting sport, right?). Acknowledging their strengths didn't mean we thought they'd win, it meant we knew they were real, we knew they could beat us, and our goal was to keep them at bay until the clock ran out. If we hadn't respected their areas of strength and determined ways to stay ahead of their attacks, we would have been embarrassed on the court. When we weren't preparing for a game, we had practices where we fine-tuned the skills we would need to employ the next time we made a specialized plan to defeat a specific team. No matter the day, we were always preparing for something. Idle days meant the competitors were getting ahead of us.
Day 2: Know and Respect Your Opponent
To the average person, all that preparation for a basketball game seems completely rational. For some reason, when we think of the same daily preparation for our mind, we think it's absurd or a waste of time. I'm going to suggest that you create "practice plans" for each day. Of course, you can't prepare for all of the randomness each day could bring, but every morning, I bet you at least have an idea of the day ahead. For example, I have individual student meetings during the average day on my job. Though I may appear to be a people person, these meetings actually heighten my anxiety. In this context, social anxiety is my opponent, and on days when I know I have a lot of meetings, I have to create a practice plan to combat this opponent. I know this opponent is skilled in draining me if I don't take alone time to recharge. So when I schedule these meetings, I make sure none of them are back to back, and I am able to have some time to refill after each meeting. I also know this opponent is skilled in causing me to focus more on the comfort of others than my own comfort, so I also make sure I have a complete hour to take an off campus lunch. I assess the social anxiety, I respect the social anxiety, and I craft ways to help combat the social anxiety. I acknowledge that my opponent will never be completely destroyed, but I also know that I'm bringing my most prepared self into the competition. Acknowledging my social anxiety isn't letting it win. As a matter of fact, it's giving me a better chance to beat it because I'm respecting the power it can have over me if I show up unprepared.
You'll always have easier days (normally weekends) where you won't see opponents. On those days, work on refining those skills you use every day. Meditate. Exercise. Tidy up areas of clutter that will heighten your stress during the week. All the preparation in the world would mean nothing for a basketball team that wasn't in shape or was inept in the basic fundamentals. Make sure your brain is conditioned for success.
No coach would bring their team into a game without having studied and respected her opponent. Don't bring yourself into a battle you can't win. Know your triggers. Respect your triggers. And take the time to craft a game plan for their defeat.