Anxious

In a recent post I wrote about embracing awkward. Shortly after I realised that what I was referring to was anxiety, specifically social anxiety.

I then got thinking about what being socially anxious looks like. I think when a person becomes aware of their own behaviour, they can end up amplifying it. You’re sitting there doing the thing and instead of catching yourself, stopping and doing something else you just do it more whilst your inner monologue runs wild.

It’s like you’re paralysed unable to do what you know would be helpful. And from the outside you appear awkward like it’s some sort of quirky personality trait which is often easier to accept than anxiety.

It isn’t worth pretending

When people have an expectation of who they think or want you to be, they have a difficult time I’m accepting when you become something else.

It could be a permanent thing or perhaps you are just going through a phase but either way who you become is your choice. I think we all need to have the space to explore and experiment in order to find ourselves and figure out the kind of person that we want to be.

Unfortunately, sometimes because of the people around you, you end up pushing self-exploration aside. Instead, you’re so focused on what other people think, people pleasing and wanting to feel accepted that you would rather pretend to be someone you’re not.

Being yourself doesn’t even feel like an option.

I think it’s important to remember that being accepted for the person you’re pretending to be isn’t true acceptance. Once you really take that in, you’ll end up realising that it isn’t worth pretending anymore. You may as well just be yourself.

The feeling of fitting in

When we’re focused on how we appear to others, we can end up doing things that we don’t actually enjoy.

We become so focused on perception that we don’t even consider the importance of prioritising ourselves. It’s worth acknowledging that sometimes we have a need to feel accepted. When your self esteem is low it’s easy to fall into thinking that just being you isn’t enough.

However, the problem is that the feeling of fitting in and being accepted will only ever be temporary when you aren’t truly being yourself.

Willing to walk away

When it comes to asking for what you want, if you don’t get it, what do you do next?

Are you willing to walk away?

I think that sometimes problems arise when we aren’t willing to be firm. We say we want something, don’t get it and then just continue on as normal.

But I think that it’s okay to have boundaries. I think that it’s okay to ask for what you and not be willing to settle for less.

It’s a difficult adjustment to make when you’re used to accepting the bare minimum but it’s worth trying.

Change the way you respond

If something happens and your feelings get hurt or you don’t like the way that someone has treated you, it’s important to do something about it.

It’s easy to get into the habit of sheepishly speaking up then cowering and retreating when the other person shuts you down.

When this happens, the other person learns that they can easily over step your boundary and essentially disrespect you.

And so it continues on and on until you change the way you respond.

You have to back yourself, speak up for the things you’re not okay with and make it clear that you aren’t willing to accept certain things.

It may sound simple for some but for others the idea that they don’t have to just accept being treated poorly is kinda revolutionary.

Unhelpful habits

Most of us have at least one habit that we know is unhelpful, in fact perhaps you can clearly see how at times it hinders your life. However, you choose to do nothing about it.

You’ve accepted the habit as part of who you are instead of it being something that you’re open to changing or even just working on. But mostly it hasn’t caused a big enough problem in your life for you to consider it to be something that needs to change.

Perhaps you’re habit is lateness. You’re always always late everywhere you go to the point where it’s now expected.

Then, one day you being late causes a significant negative implication to your life. You lose out on something important, miss out on money or ruin a relationship.

It’s only then that you truly consider that you might need to work on your punctuality. Up until that point there were no consequences for your lateness, it was simply just an unhelpful habit. But when you lose a job because of it you realise that actually it’s a bad habit because your life has been negatively affected as a result of it.

Accepting where you’re at

Where you are right now might not be where you wish you were.

But it’s important to accept it.

You may have a detailed dream life that feels a million miles from you’re current life. And so you focus on the future to distract yourself from your current circumstances.

Perhaps there are feelings of embarrassment, shame, low self-esteem, not feeling good enough or fear associated with where your life is at. By choosing not to accept the present you amplify all those feelings which of course makes you feel worse.

Instead of trying to distance yourself from your current life, try to accept it. It’s okay to not be where you want to be in life.

That doesn’t mean you don’t make an effort to change things and work towards where you want to be. It just means that you don’t bypass the present.

Putting yourself out there

You refuse to put yourself out there because you’re afraid of being rejected. Meanwhile, you’re also not allowing people to accept the real you.

Rejection is a part of life, you’re not for everyone it’s okay, it’s nothing to be afraid of.

Don’t get so caught up in the people that don’t want you, they’re not your people. Give the others a chance. How do you expect to find your people if you aren’t even willing to show them who you really are?

Accepting change

It’s one thing to know it happens but to accept it is a whole other story.

You might find that you’ve become so comfortable with the way things are that the thought of them being any different is just too much to bear.

But change is part of life and no matter how much you try to hold on, things will always keep changing.

Choosing to be resistant instead of accepting change just delays the inevitable causing unnecessary levels of anxiety, stress, sadness and frustration. because

Think of change like the tide, it’s so much easier to go with it than against it.

Accepting less

Why do people accept less than they truly desire?

I think it comes from a lack of belief that you can attain the things that you want. Instead of being clear and saying no, you say yes because you don’t believe there is any other choice.

I think the fact that deep inside you know exactly what you want is enough of a reason to follow through with that in life. You think the opportunity to have what you really want isn’t there and so you settle for less. But I think that maybe the truth is that you don’t hold the desire of what you want strongly and clearly for long enough for the right opportunity to come along.

Instead you give up and tell yourself something like, ‘Well, I can’t have what I really want so I’ll find something else that is another version of what I really want’.

In order to go from accepting less to accepting more, you have to change your beliefs.

And that could be through daily affirmations, meditations or even just forcing yourself to hold out for that little bit longer instead of settling like you usually do.