I have been reading a book about understanding social anxiety and one of its chapters described how people with social anxiety do not recognize their strengths and the first thought that comes in their mind is their flaws and weaknesses. And once asked to say what are their strengths it is somehow harder to do it. While reading this I was trying to do that for myself but there I was a bit stuck and unable to clearly say what my strengths are. But immediately I was able to say what I thought was wrong with me and which weaknesses I had. Then I realized that because of this first reaction and instant self-doubt I am thinking that I do not deserve anything better I just need to settle for something even if I do not feel that it is the best fit for me. Why I should speak up and ask for what I want if I do not think I am good enough? It is just an unnecessary action and anyway I will be not able to have what I want.
But before I had never thought that maybe I do deserve and I have a right to freely say what I want without feeling guilty or afraid. Even though I am practicing this approach more and more in my daily communication there are moments where it is harder then I thought. Mostly when I know what I want will be different from the other person and that it could lead to a disappointment or maybe an argument. And here I still sometimes sell myself short and put my opinion second and maybe even decide to not express it. This is what I need to learn a bit more and take step by step because before always the first thought was no I cannot and to change that takes time. Only while practicing again and again I will be able to feel more secure about my decisions because that is what matters to me.
So in order to think how weak I am because of these few times I did not speak up I will say that it takes a strong person to overcome self built prison and really move forward with a change for the better. And this is one of the biggest strengths I have. We all deserve the best for us no matter how hard it can sometimes get.
The strongest people are not those who show strength in front of us but those who win battles we know nothing about.
The chaos inside me for now has been decreased and silenced. However, still some rushing thoughts remind me of those days. And so my rational thinking is stepping in and I am being able to better evaluate my behavior and to decrease irrational fears. It also helps better keep calm before speaking up for myself and expressing my thoughts even if they would differ from someone else. Even though in silence I have always had an opinion but saying it loudly was not my strongest ability and somehow scary.
During my practice of speaking up and having different opinions I realized that for some people and even for some family members it was not considered as a positive trend. Even though they seemed to be fine with me before now when I had something to say it was different. I could feel some distance from them because I was always the one saying yes, agreeing on most of the things and always supporting them even if I thought it was not such a good idea. So they got used to my old behavior and now when I am trying to speak up it is something strange and unusual. I am not validating their behavior and putting them first as it was before.
I started to notice this pattern recently and it made me feel quite strange and also somehow lonely. Since I have used to seek validation from others and not being judged it was quite sad to receive such a different reactions and especially from family. I have always thought that family should stick up for each other and support each other no matter what. But from another point I should not be surprised because for the most of the time it has been about them and supporting them no matter what. And I would do that again but now with more respect towards myself.
It also explains my question why I had so many unsuccessful relationships with others. I have always thought that it is better to be silence and it is easier to say yes. Then I would have no disagreements and people would just like me. But it do not guarantee that it is the right relationship, that it will be good also for me. So now when I am receiving such a different reactions I am grateful for that even though I am feeling sad. Because now I can clearly see who is there for me no matter what and this gives me a motivation to try to speak up more and to not be afraid so much of others. Even more it gives me a hope that one day I will be able to be free as it was meant to be for me.
I know it can be really scary and sometimes too hard but no matter what reactions you receive do not be afraid to speak up because only by doing so you can understand for yourself who is there to stay and who is there to go for the best.
Speak up, because the day you don’t speak up for the things that matter to you is the day your freedom truly ends.
Fear – one part of my body which is always there. If not active it waits for that trigger moment to attack. Fear – it is starting with a racing heart, hard breathing, heavy feeling in my chest area, shaky hands and just feeling hopeless. Like it will never end and there is no way out to stop it. And in that moment I am alone and no one can help me to escape it. Even more when you are put in a corner and pressured form an outside world – how you stand up for yourself? How to listen to your gut if you are so confused and lost that only word I can hear is to run. Run and never look back but I cannot, I am frozen in the moment. So there I am just sitting looking so calm but deeply inside I am frozen. Frozen form fear and unable to function. Waiting for the storm to pass until the next time.
I ask myself why I am still feeling like that and allowing myself to put me down. Even though one year has passed since I started to work on myself, I am stuck still in my fears and I am feeling like a kid in a school bullied by my classmates and sitting there quietly waiting when it will end. So here I am again wondering what would be if someone then would have finally listened to that girl and helped to feel safe. But it will always stay as a thought because here I am many years later still stuck in my emotions unable to move on and live.
I am not sure if I can ever feel unstuck but I am not yet giving up.
Frozen by fear. Not able to move. Your mind screaming… James Dashner
How far is too far? When should I say stop it is enough – this is your borderline. I am wondering about this last few months when I started to feel overwhelmed because of how much I was trying to change myself to overcome my fears and set myself free. Somehow I felt more and more anxious and just continued moving forward. Pushing my limits to speak up, to say “No” and be more open towards people. But the effect was opposite – instead of feeling more relaxed from my actions I started to feel more nervous and thinking about every fail because I did not succeed to defend myself or speak up.
Then one day being completely taken over by anxiety and feeling confused I just started to think if I did the right thing. Did I really needed to push myself that far to become someone I am not meant to be. Maybe it was enough already and moving forward that fast was too much and I reached my borderline. And all the inner struggle started because I was again not listening to myself. However, I still catch myself thinking that I could be free from everything – from feeling anxious almost everyday and fearing to be myself in front of others. There is no day when I am not thinking about that and I am starting to accept that I am on the way to be a better version of myself but I will never be able to be the person I have imagined because then I would not be who I am.
It is quite strange to just stop a little bit and to see what will happen. Because if I would have not pushed myself through my life so much I would have been probably somewhere hiding from the world. But as the body was signalizing that something is not working right it does not mean that pushing is always the right answer. But instead to just stop and listen quietly what is the thing it wants to say means I am moving forward as well. And that is the true art of being aligned with your true self.
If you listen to your body when it whispers, you won’t have to hear it scream.
I am currently finishing an amazing book which has helped me to understand better why I am the way I are. Why I have some parts of me which I would like to forget and leave it in a past – fearful, silent and closed. At some point sometimes too fearful that I am not able to open up and be in a healthy relationship not only with people around but also with myself.
The book is by Bessel van der Kolk M.D “The Body Keeps the Score” – where the author detailed describes how the trauma stays locked in the body and where it all begins starting from our brain and how the aftermath of a trauma can be better understood and treated.
One year ago through a therapy I started my journey of understanding and overcoming myself. However, I was not completely able to understand why I have certain body reactions when I need to interact with people and why it is so hard to keep calm inside and not go into anxiety mode. Was there something more that I have not thought about. I got some explanations during my sessions as well but still I had some missing pieces. I asked my therapist And so I accidently found in the internet this book and I bought it. After I received it I started to read chapter by chapter and my missing pieces slowly were coming together and I could finally start to answer my question – why? It was so fascinating to read how the body locks the trauma and fear inside it and how any trigger can bring me to a mode of war inside myself and feeling again the same fear and just shutting down.
I am still on the way to learn how to deal with my emotions and saying my body – it is ok there is not anymore reason to feel afraid. That part of my life is past, however, I know it still remembers and that is why it is so hard to release and move on. But thanks to the book I have much greater understanding and compassion towards myself. The following quote just perfectly describes who I lost during my times in the darkness.
We can hardly bear to look. The shadow may carry the beast of the life we have not lived. Go into the basement, the attic, the refused bin. Find gold there. Find an animal who has not been fed or watered. It is you!! This neglected, exiled animal, hungry for attention, is a part of your self. – Marion Woodman –
It looks like this week is one of those times when most of the plans are just not happening as planned. Even weather is against me so I decided to let go and go with the flow. I know again I am saying to myself “go with the flow” but somehow even if I am fighting against that it just happens. Of course I feel a bit tension in the chest and my usual thoughts want to come out but today I feel stronger to just say “No, STOP“. I will not go to that dark place and make me feel bad about myself, about the day and at the end about everything. Resistance always makes it worse and I should be much more compassionate to myself when outside is not working in my favor.
I know so well that it is hard to follow that but when I look back to my life and different periods the more I was resistant and pushy nothing was working in my favor. And it got me more anxious and frustrated because things were not happening as I wanted. But then I did not think that maybe there is another path I need to go and the more resistant I was the slower things were going to improve. And one of the examples was my move to the Germany. I was so resistant for some time to consider moving away and starting studies in Germany that it was just not working. Since I was unsatisfied in my job I tried really hard to change it but somehow there were always rejections and so I clearly remember one day I just sat down in my room and said to myself: “Just let it go and see maybe it will work with Germany”. And once I shifted my mind and focus from being frustrated to being more open and relaxed everything fell into place. Of course later there were other challenges and sometimes I was able to keep with the flow but not always. I know for sure I have missed a lot of good moments just because I was too concentrated on the negative and I kept it always in my mind. So these lessons are a good reminder to me to just let it go and relax. It is OK to give myself a break because that it is the only thing I can influence.
Go with the flow. Force nothing. Let it happen… trusting whichever way it goes. It’s for the best. Many Hale
I lied and said I was busy, but not in a way most people understand. I was busy taking deeper breaths. I was busy silencing irrational thoughts. I was busy calming a racing heart. I was busy telling myself I am OK. B Oakman
It sound so familiar to my heart and I have been doing that myself and maybe sometimes too much. Especially when an outside world can be sometimes so overwhelming and in order to calm myself down I need to just shut it down and be in a quiet environment. Because sometimes nothing can be more difficult than to silence a mind going out of control.
It is ok to decide to be alone and to be busy with yourself. The only way to feel better and to get back outside is to be OK and at peace. And from my experience it takes a time to understand that as well. I have so often decided to put myself second and to go further not respecting my need for peace and recharge. Only because I would feel guilty and I would have imagined already 10 reasons how it would hurt someone. Therefore, I just continuously locked my emotions in a box thinking it will go away. But little I knew then that all these actions will lead to an even bigger confusion and chaos in my mind.
In order to avoid that or at least to start to decrease it – it is ok to take a break once in a while and be busy for yourself. It is like a circle – only a happy and peaceful inside will help you to be more a happier and calmer outside.