Our days are made up of hundreds of choices (or potential choices). Sometimes we have to make the choice between what we’ve always done and what we’re too scared to do. Sometimes anxiety can take over, leading us back to a place where we find comfort in familiarity despite the harm that it may cause.
The thing that scares us is often the more difficult choice, it’s unfamiliar and we may even have to create a new neural pathway, it can be hard-work. But despite how it may seem, the thing that you’re too scared to do will always be worth it. When what you’ve always done isn’t working, when you become aware of this it’s your duty to be valiant (or even just rational) and decide that you’re willing to change.
A writer once encouraged me to share what I wrote because it would make me a better writer. In theory I knew that he was right but in practise my anxieties took over. I would suddenly become capable of coming up with 101 reasons why I’m not confident enough to share things I’ve written. Things like ‘I’m not good at it’ and ‘I’m worried about what people will think’ are always some of the main factors.
Have you ever judged a person before getting to know them, then later come to the conclusion that your assumptions were completely wrong? That was my Wednesday afternoon realisation as I sat having lunch with someone I never thought I’d end up sort of being friends with.
I love sitting one on one and having long conversations with interesting people and this time was no different. We sat together talking about family, childhood, summer plans, careers, relationships and birthdays. On this particular occasion I found myself willing and tempted to share more and more. However what stopped me sharing too much was my fear that this person would be way too taken aback by the aspects of myself I tend to conceal.
At one point the conversation swayed to first impressions of one another and I confessed that I initially thought this person was weird. In total honestly weird really wasn’t the right choice of word but I chose it because this person was unlike anyone I’d ever met before. Unfortunately this person was somewhat offended (or just looking for a compliment) so it was then my job to assure them that I no longer think of them that way. Over the past 6 months I’ve come to find this person to be smart, funny, kind, understanding and generous. When it came to this person sharing their opinion of me they said they just thought I was ‘quiet’ which really surprised me actually as I’d prepared myself for awkward and mean etc. I did my best to prompt for more but apparently that was it. Now, on reflection I realise that I often get so caught up in how I think people perceive me but the truth is nobody is really thinking about me at all.
That afternoon I sat with someone that I can not help but feel is somewhat significant. At times I am hesitant to talk openly with people for various reasons. Sometimes because I don’t feel comfortable around them and other times because I fear that they aren’t really listening which can be pretty awful when I’m trying to share deep and personal things about my life. But this time I was lucky because I was sat with someone who was really listening to me talk, someone with a smile that makes me smile and the brightest eyes I’ve seen in a really long time.
Worry is something that effects us all and I guess in small doses it is a good thing, it means you care about things. However in excess it is very unhealthy, can develop into anxiety which may cause physical and psychological symptoms. Things like sleeping problems, irrational fears, restlessness, difficulty concentrating, muscle tension, self-consciousness, palpitations and self-doubt are all symptoms that can span from being anxious.
So for today I just wanted to share a few quotes that are good to keep in mind when you’re worried. I can’t promise that they will work for you but what I can say is that it is good to have some sort of quote or mantra. Something that springs to mind when your thoughts are getting out of control, offers clarity or a fresh perspective.
If I spent as much time doing the things I worry about getting done as I do worrying about them, I wouldn’t have anything to worry about.
Life is too short for mean anxieties.
Worry is a misuse of the imagination.
Something you might not know about me is that I love to write. I honestly and truly love it. I do it almost daily but if ever I don’t I’ll still be planning things out in my mind as I’m gazing out the window on the bus or taking a walk.
I mostly write about myself, my life and thoughts. It settles my mind and helps me figure things out sometimes. Anyway the point of this post wasn’t to declare my love of writing so I’ll just get to the main point.
When I meet new people I tend to tell them about my love of reading which is followed by my love of writing. Then the person asks to read something I’ve written and suddenly
‘I take it back, I’m not a writer’
I pretty much back track and then suddenly I’m the definition of nervous. Some of what I write is very deep and personal, even dark at times. Sharing that for me is a big deal. It’s the equivalent of stripping bare. It’s terrifying.
But a couple of weeks ago when someone asked to see my writing the words of someone significant I met last year came to mind. I don’t remember the exact statement but it was something about not being afraid of criticism as it would make me a better writer.
At the time I was still too scared to share the words I had written but later that day whilst gazing out the window on the bus I thought ‘Maybe I ought to just feel the fear and do it anyway, what’s the worst that could happen?’
Actually the worst case scenario would be 7 guys laughing and taking the piss out of me whilst the 8th tried to convince me my writing ‘isn’t that bad’.
But despite my anxieties I know that it is good to face your fears and do something that you are not totally comfortable with from time to time.
So next time, hopefully I’ll be brave enough.
It’s very tempting to go out and play
Yet I still stay away
My anxieties big and small are the blanket that keeps me warm
For my poor heart is torn.
So here’s the thing: I’m chatty, I pull faces, I’m easily annoyed, I laugh a lot and I like being able to help people. I’m weird at times, like talking about fashion as well as the mind and I’m quite picky when it comes to food.
People aren’t always going to like me and that is perfectly okay. Week 5 was good because I felt as though I’d found my place. I was focused on me for a change instead of wasting time and energy wondering what everyone else was thinking. I’ve always felt like I had to worry as though it would be wrong for me to do otherwise but I was wrong. However it’s not as though I’ll never worry again but they say that the first step is admitting you have a problem so at least I know I’m making progress.