For many people, how they value themselves comes from other people.
This can be great when people are treating you well but when not so much when you’re treated poorly. You go from feeling good about yourself to not feeling good enough and because you’ve become reliant on other people to determine your value.
It may even get to the point where you almost feel lost and are unable to truly establish how you feel about yourself without it coming from other people. And so, you feel down and worthless whilst also blaming other people for how you feel.
I think that stage of blaming others continues until you’re able to realise that nobody else should be in control of how you feel about yourself. That’s not a solid foundation.
One of the triggers for anxiety is uncertainty.
It’s fair to say that uncertainty is a part of life. However, there are plenty of times in life where you can seek clarity to help fill in the gaps.
This can be done by asking more questions.
When would you like me to complete this?
What time do you want to meet?
How do you feel about this situation?
You don’t have to play the guessing game, you don’t have to wait for someone else to initiate the conversation and you don’t have to live life on someone else’s terms.
Asking questions might also make you feel anxious but maybe that bit of discomfort is worth it now if it means you won’t feel anxious later.
One of the best things that we can do for ourselves is, do things that need to be done, instead of putting them off.
Our lives would be so much easier and our stress levels would be significantly lower if only we didn’t wait to get things done.
Often these things to be done are small and don’t take much time at all but the longer we wait the more the urgency builds or the problem grows. Then, all of a sudden we begin to feel overwhelmed by something we could have resolved and moved on from, weeks or even months ago.
As we go through life we develop ideas of what freedom would look like or feel like for ourselves. It may come from how you were brought up, the career aspirations you have or maybe just how you feel in particular moments.
If the idea of feeling liberated matters to you then it’s worth while creating a life that aligns with that.
Maybe for you liberation comes from being able to have last minute getaways a few times a year. It could be a day in a new city or a week somewhere far away. What matters is that you have the choice to do it.
It could be that freedom for you comes from being able to speak your mind without worrying about what other people will think.
Or perhaps you feel free when you don’t have to explain yourself to other people, as in you’re free to make choices without having to justify them.
Choosing a life that conflicts with what makes you feel free only leads to frustration. Frustration towards those that have become a barrier to your freedom and frustration towards yourself for ending up in these circumstances.
In all this, one of the most important things to remember is that freedom is a feeling. You might not feel free right now but you can always feel differently tomorrow (or a few months from now once you’ve made some changes in your life).
I think most people have a list of at least a few things that they can do to improve their days.
Some examples could be exercise, being out in nature, mediation, yoga, drinking water, herbal tea, solo dance party, listening to music, journaling or going for a walk.
None of those things necessarily take a lot of time but they’re things that you have to make time for. They require more effort than sitting on the sofa binging episodes of a show but they come with way more benefits.
So, when you feel like you can’t be bothered, keep that in mind.
The way that you show up in the world is likely to be imapcted by your confidence and self esteem.
Perhaps you play small and avoid doing things that will draw any attention even though you have ideas and opinions to share.
But the reason you don’t share your ideas is because you don’t value your voice and you don’t believe that anyone else will either. You tell yourself speaking up is for other people.
It’s for people that are better than you. They’re better because they’re older, more experienced, more confident, have higher qualifications, are better dressed and have nicer hair. Sometimes our reasoning makes sense and other times we make excuses.
And so next time you want to say or do something, go ahead even if it feels a little uncomfortable. You don’t need to be ‘better’ than everyone else, you don’t need to be older or more experienced either. All you have to do is say something.
At you’re best you are joyful, kind, considerate, a good listener, focused, playful and caring.
But sometimes you’re also inconsiderate, moody, a bad listener, you have your head in the clouds (as in you’re distracted and not present), you’re rigid and harsh.
It’s so easy to attach the idea of who you are to you at your best and think of everything else as you at your worst. But I don’t think that’s the case. You’re a culmination of all those things.
We attach negative connotations to certain acts, habits or behaviours then allow that to dominate how we view ourselves. There is nothing wrong with exhibiting traits that contrast with you at your best, as long as you don’t allow the unhelpful traits to dominate.
Every once in a while you may be forced to come out of your comfort zone.
The idea that what you resist persists is true, some things just can’t be avoided.
You’ve probably been resistant and stuck in your comfort zone because you’re scared, the uncertainty is overwhelming and you’ve become comfortable with what you know.
Sometimes those are good enough reasons to stick with what you know. You don’t need to force yourself to do things that you don’t want to do.
But maybe you feel like you’re holding yourself back or feel are unhappy with the limitations you have placed on yourself.
If that’s the case, embrace the new and get out of your comfort zone.
Of course things that are new and unfamiliar might feel uncomfortable to begin with but over time that feeling will reduce. And maybe in a few weeks, months or even a year those things that once felt uncomfortable will become part of your comfort zone (or at least much less uncomfortable).
Sometimes you just need to let it out.
You don’t need to think, dwell or reflect.
You just need to let it out, to rant a little.
And the beauty of this is that once it’s done, it’s done and you can move on.
The other option is to say nothing, to hold it in and hope it goes away but it doesn’t.
And so you may as well let it out now so thar you can let it go.
Some days will be more challenging than others.
There will be difficult days and then there will be better days.
It’s easy to forget when things are challenging and difficult that they won’t be that way forever.
It’s easy to focus on the thing that is not going to plan and you can end up doing it so much that you lose the ability to see past it.
But just because today is difficult, doesn’t mean it’ll stay that way forever. Maybe tomorrow (or the next day) will be better.