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.
For me to come to first realizations about myself and how I am working as a person I needed over 20 years and still ongoing. But I never understood quite well that realizing and thinking I know what to do and really working on myself is two different things. That only with realizing I will not become the person I deeply wanted to be. I will say that, from my experiences, work with myself and changing my thinking pattern have been the hardest and I have had days when I would just wish to forget to fight and just to give up to stay as I was before.. But then what is the point of doing anything if I would just give up on myself because no one else except me can help and make a change. And to return back to the state of complete doubt and loss of trust in myself is a dark place to be. I can say that there are no situation or people I could not deal with but the most hardest thing, I learned, is to overcome myself. Because I cannot escape from my own self and the way I am thinking.
Since I remember myself I have been always a shy person and with my own understanding how world works. But somehow since the beginning of my childhood and through my school time, I did not have a proper support from people around me to trust in myself, that I am fine and I do not need to change. And to know that it is ok to be who I am and do things that I like not because it is right or others are expecting that from me. Most important that it is ok that some people think differently and do not like you and I should never try to hide or become a stranger to myself. And so I started to develop a thinking pattern, which I thought is fine, that what I want and what I think is most of the time wrong and especially when someone else did not agree I completely dismissed my opinion. Therefore, I was building my life around false validations from others and while being in Latvia it somehow worked but it did not bring peace within myself. I more or less had the same opinion as others and I was doing what was expected from me; from supporting my family and taking care of them. But somehow deep inside of me I felt so empty. So I tried to find a new job and move out of my parents house but it just did not work. And then one day I decided maybe it is time to move and start something new. And I thought – great – it is a perfect plan.
But at that point I did not realize that it does not matter where I live or work because it will always be my old thinking way which was the cause of my unhappiness with myself and the way how I positioned my life. I falsely thought that everything will magically change but first I needed to change myself and I did not do that. And I did not realize that once I was completely alone in a new country I will loose myself completely. Only after it happened I started slowly to realize that I am the one who did not work on myself and that unconsciously I have been building my new life in the same way with the old thinking pattern. But this time it was more intense because I did not have my safe place where to hide and people who validated me were hundred miles away. And so my new environment was developing and more thoughts about validation and judgment stuck in my head and I was not able to properly evaluate if a situation or a person would be good for me. I was so hard trying to please others that, for example, I ended up in friendships that did not fit me as a person at all. But I was so scared to be left alone and judged by others that I did not understand that. Even though deep inside me I felt that something is not right, my fears were bigger than me.
So 1 year ago slowly something shifted and I started to finally prepare myself for the real move – move in my thinking way. Although it has been scary road and still it is, I can say that everything was and is worth in order to free yourself and to become the version of myself I was born to be.
And to that little girl before starting her life I would like to say:
No matter what you are the strongest person and everything will be fine. You can do anything you want and only you are in charge of your own happiness and success.