Today is one of those days when I am quite angry of myself because I am still allowing my fears to control my life and behavior. I still have a problem defending my opinion and expressing things important to me. From one point I am trying to be peacemaker even if I see sometimes I will not benefit from that but still because of fear I do it. From another point there are people who just express whatever dissatisfaction they have without caring about the outcome or considering how other person would feel. And the thought that I am compromising my life because of these kind of people makes me angry. Angry that I am not able to fully step up for myself and I treat myself as a less equal.
But maybe it is good to have a bit of an anger inside because it gives me a kick to push myself further. To just have more and more confidence to not allow fear to control me and to be one more step closer to reach my full potential. I am for sure on the way to have a better self understanding but moments like that when I just compromise too much where I should not have raises a bit of a frustration. So today I will use it to my advantage to not forget and keep moving forward because no one deserves to compromise too much of their own life and happiness. For some it comes naturally but for some like me I need to practice it until I make it.
Remember how much of yourself you are compromising to meet the approval of others. Twisting your personality until it breaks completely. Rachel Wolchin
I have recently started to notice that my practice of speaking up and just doing things which have made me really uncomfortable for many years has been finally working. To finally starting to believe in results and seeing that I can overcome myself has taken me over 1 year and it is definitely an ongoing process. But to see that I can look over my fears and step by step express my true self strengthens my hope that it is possible to be free. Free as I have always wanted to be but did not dare to be.
Therefore, today I am grateful that I was able to start my journey of practice and no matter how hard or scary it has been I still have managed to push through and move forward. With the practice also came better understanding on how my mind and emotions function. What are the triggers for anxiety and my fears and how to better reduce them. And after each time I pushed myself I realized that actually it is not that terrible and I can do it next time again.
So today I can say that it is true that only by practicing things which make us afraid and uncomfortable will help us overcome them. With time it will get easier and fears will slowly decrease and one day they will be so quiet that you will be living in peace with yourself. Note that practice period for each person is different so do not be discouraged by how long it takes and just push through – because you deserve to be free.
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear. Mark Twain
The most wonderful time of the year is here – magical Christmas time. This December I have decided to write short thank you letters and share some nice experiences in order to be more grateful and inspired to work more on myself and just to appreciate where I am now and how times have changed comparing to some years ago and even last year. I can say that this December I am at much more better place personally and professionally I have not been for a long time. So today I am thankful for believing in myself and not losing my hope that one day it will get better and I have all what it takes to follow my dreams. I am grateful that I am able to finally learn to be good and compassionate first to myself. I am grateful and thankful for all the lessons and people I have met and I am taking them with myself so together with practice I can keep moving forward.
Even though it is important to have a hope for brighter future, it is also important to live in the present. To enjoy the moment with loved ones or sometimes just being alone. I was thinking about it few weeks ago and I came to conclusion that I have most of the time just lived for the future. I did not enjoy my present when I should have and I would say I even was angry at it. So for the next year I am promising to myself not only be more grateful but also live more in the present. Because tomorrow will be another day and it will not be possible to relive that missed present again.
If you live in fear of the future because of what happened in your past, you will end up losing what you have in the present. Nishan Panwar
Last few weeks I am more intensively feeling resistance from my scared part which is always hiding and choosing excuses over action. Especially when it comes to go out or do something new and unknown. It is just quietly whispering: “Why should I do that? It is better to stay as it is. It can be only more stressful and riskier.” And so these past few weeks it is more like a fight with my own self. The more I question this part the more resistance I get. It expands to uncomfortable feeling and pressure within. It feels so comfortable to give in and stay safe but from the other side I know it is wrong. And I will say that I have been mostly doing that and staying safe. But then it still does not feel right, it does not bring peace and safety as I thought. It is just for a moment but the day after I know I am feeling again disappointed because I did not do something that could be beneficial to me. And knowing that I chose fear over myself makes me a bit angry.
It always comes to feeling like I am standing in front of a big wall and the other side is just too unknown to be explored. And then I just feel like I am living in a prison made by myself. Knowing that I am the only thing standing from being free seems really easy and I have set myself free 100 of times. But somehow I am still not free or at least free as I would want. I can say I have improved a lot but knowing that my resistant part is still there sometimes makes things harder.
One thing I can say is that one of the biggest steps towards being free from my prison was acknowledging that something is not working right. That the way I was living before was not anymore suitable for me. I was far away from events which caused certain behavior and I should have put them behind me. However, after I started to question myself I realized I am still stuck in those events. So through past year I am learning how to trust people and that I do not need to fear them. I learned that in general people do not wish me bad as I have always imagined and that it is ok to meet with them. One benefit of going out and not letting fear take over was joining a German class where I learned that people are mostly good and they are not against me. And for me this was a big realization. Because I had always thought first that they will hate me and be against me. It also makes easier to speak up and accept that others will disagree and it is ok so.
You can just start with asking one question to yourself if you feel something is not working right and then there will come more and more until you will start to get some answers. These questions will guide you to things and places where you have always wanted to be but did not dare to try. So step by step.
Find comfort in questioning yourself. Bryant Mcgill
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.
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.
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
These past few days are improving my state of mind and more peacefulness is entering in myself. I think constant discipline on which thoughts to take into account and which everyday situations to try to let go is slowly starting to work. Also when starting to judge myself I am trying to stop and analyze if there was something I could do or it was out of my power to change it. And when I see I am only responsible for my bad mood I just accept that and instead of judging myself I am doing everything I can do to improve the respective situation.
So I am also trying to find ways to more help myself to overcome my issues instead of thinking how bad everything is because I am only able to change it. And last week I started a meditation challenge by Sarah Blondin in Insider Timer. The second mediation was about clearing dust form the body – I needed to imagine a tornado in front of me which was a symbol of all negativity. And so I needed to stand and while breathing strongly I was assuring how strong my legs are and no tornado could move me. So while I was continuing to breath the tornado disappeared bringing the sunlight back. Somehow this exercise affected me a lot in a good way and I tried to practice it also during the week whenever I felt I am loosing balance inside myself. And it helped to switch the focus from a negative situation towards more calmer thinking and react rationally not going into fear mode.
Secondly to have more positive, encouraging talk about myself and trying to silence my inner bully which sometimes is just waiting to come out and explode but as I was writing in one of my blogs before the bully inside is always there as long as you decide to break up this relationship. And also doing more sports and quitting coffee helps me to better structure my thoughts and feelings and I do not have the reason to judge myself of not being healthy because I am working on that. As hard as it is practice makes better and also practicing my mind is a challenge which is slowly moving forward. I know that the biggest issue to keep my balance is when something negative happens where I just automatically want to give up on everything and I know in regards of that I have still a lot to improve.
Also starting to write my blog has also been some type of therapy for me. Even though it took some time to finally start it, whenever I have finished writing all my negative thoughts have almost disappeared and it just feels good.
Lets see how the next week goes but I am keeping my promise to practice.
You will never speak to anyone more than you speak to yourself in your head, be kind to yourself. tinybuddha.com
Since I remember myself I have always lived with a thought that one day I will be living my best life, I will have the job I love and everything will be perfect. I just need to little bit wait and this day will come. No matter if I was in Latvia or now in Germany somehow I am searching for this one day. Even though now when I have succeeded to improve my overall quality of life while living in Germany I am still being under my restrictions and waiting for this day. And while going through some tough times I started to concentrate on this thought that I constantly repeated in my mind. But what if this one day will never come and the life will just pass in one second while waiting for something what is already here? What if this one day is today and I am overlooking the whole idea of enjoying the life?
Since one year I am trying to understand why sometimes I am more concentrating on the bad things and so fast getting into depressive mood. However, now I can feel much safer in financial matters and in general which before was a struggle but still I get a feeling that I can loose everything any moment. And while the whole idea of going from Latvia to Germany was finally to getting out and finding this happy day it did not arrive because I did not really understood that no matter what is happening around that day is now. So I think it was kind of lesson for me to go through life and friendships as I did to understand that this one day is today. No matter what or who is influencing my day it is my choice to make it better and leave all the bad things behind.
I cannot say I have fully accepted today but I am on the way. I know I can deal with situations much better now but it gets tougher when someone is directly influencing my day in any way especially negative so it gets harder to concentrate on the moment and it gets easier to get into negative thinking. And that is one of the main struggles. So I know all people in my life which I have met brought me some kind of lessons which I am starting to learn and accept just recently. I know I will be always quite sensitive to other people behavior but that is for another time.
But today I am saying that this one day is today and no matter what is happening around me I am living for today. I am who I am and for that I am thankful. And I know that soon I will accept today completely..
How to win myself back in moments when everything seems so hopeless and empty within? Even though nothing so bad has happened to welcome this feeling but fighting this force feels so impossible. And somehow positive self-talk also is not working… It does not reach my heart completely and I am here sitting wrapped in my emotions and thoughts which do not help at all. Just bringing back to the dark side and it feels like all heard talks and read books about positive thinking have been erased from my mind. I know I should not allow myself to feel like that and not succeeding to overcome it feels like I am failing. And in those moments I allowed myself to call weak. Weak to not be able to get together and enjoy the moment, weak for letting myself down and allowing other people emotions influence me. As much as I know I should not do that I just cannot stop it. It gets hard to be left with these thoughts and feelings that I have no will to step into the good side. It feels much easier to give up and not ask for anything and be just invisible. Just so everyone could leave me alone.
It seems so tempting to give up and to think that then I will have my peace and I will feel safe. Maybe for a moment there will be some kind of peace in a sense I do not need to fight for myself or ask for something. But as long as I am deciding to hide from outside I will go all the time in circles which will always lead to more pain and unhappiness within myself.
So after going in many circles and returning always in the same emotional state I started to search for some answers to understand how I can break the circle and feel better. And one thing I realized is that after saying and thinking to myself all these negative things and making me feel much worse there will be no one who will help me to get out of it except myself. Only I am responsible for my own happiness and the way I am thinking about myself. And because I am allowing myself to have a low self-belief I will not be able to overcome my fears. My whole life has been evolved around what other people will think and I cannot let others down. But I did not realize that the most harmful thing I am doing is letting myself down and completely forgetting what I am thinking and what is important to me.
And then in those moments when I feel like nothing is almost helping and thoughts about others are not stopping, I try to remember:
A small kid who is sitting alone and wondering why something is happening the way it is. And I am letting the kid know that I am there and I will not let you down because you are the most important thing and I will fight for you always. I will put you first and make sure that you are happy.
Even though it is not always 100% successful but somehow finally I am starting to see a sunlight in myself and the grey times are getting easier to overcome. Because instead of talking to myself I am more listening what is important to this kid within myself. I never thought in this way before and that is why I thought the right thing is to hide. So after I decided I will finally try to first listen to myself and be there for me it started to get slowly better. And also it is fine to not feel ok all the time and it does not mean I am weak, it is just a matter of practice and by choosing not giving up makes me strong.
Keep on listening in this small kid within you!