My greatest practice for getting to know my anxious self has been something I've learned through Buddhism, poetry, cognitive behavioral therapy, and philosophy alike: the practice of staying. Pema Chodron calls it "staying with the raw feelings." CBT calls it "identifying the cognitive distortions." David Whyte calls it "the sweet confinement of your aloneness."
What these ideas have collectedly translated to for me is this: honor what you're feeling. Stop making excuses or trying to explain away your struggles in order to pretend they don't exist. Don't live your life on autopilot; don't accept the emotional status quo and don't believe that you must mold yourself around some predetermined idea/definition of normalcy.
Only in finding the courage to acknowledge and heed that advice have I found my truth. I say all the time that there is strength in vulnerability, and sometimes I wonder if that's the only path to true, luminous strength of heart, strength of spirit. Like Roosevelt's man in the arena, perhaps only through the toil of vulnerability can we know true strength; perhaps only through the silence and the staying can we truly become our authentic self.
In her book, Present Over Perfect, Shauna Niequist summarizes it well:
In my silence, where I face many different and difficult emotions and nurture all my hopefulness, I finally heard the voice of my confident self, my protector self, and through the listening and the paying attention I learned what she needed in order to stay active in my life. In that space there is truly no room for the influence of others, and in that way you learn the truth about your authentic self - who you are, not who you want to be. And you develop a reverence for that person in the privacy of your solitude; and eventually, you reach wholeness.