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
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.
You’ll achieve your aims when you leave the darkness behind, and agree to become the light.
If my mind has decided to become the light but my heart still is locked in fear and hiding behind the darkness. When there are no big changes coming my way I somehow keep a bit above the darkness in the light. But it is no life without changes and struggles and so easy I slip back into the darkness even though I know I should not. I am constantly looking for the light and still when I could just enjoy it and let it go I choose to not do it.
I am trying to understand where and why it all begun. Why I decided so easy to silence my heart, my desires and dreams. However, I have come so far from where I was, it is still not enough and I am looking for something I even do not know if it makes sense. And so my life goes day by day further. But once something happens or shakes up my day I am back in the darkness having fight inside myself – to win or loose for the day. This fight inside myself feels like a constant battle and I am asking why it is so and why I cannot so easy to stop it. Even though I decided in my mind I will stay in the light I slip away anyway. And in those moments everything I have achieved and experienced makes no matter and so this fight goes on until I have fought myself back in the light. Sometimes it can last for a day but sometimes even weeks.. Those days I feel that I am not able to make the right decision or if I can trust my judgment and it is so much better to hide from everyone. Also I am trying to look for validation from others and thinking that then I will be on a safe side because I am thinking the right way. But what is the right way and for whom is this the right way – I am not thinking in that moment and so only after I see consequences of my decisions made from fear of judgment and no trust in myself I know I made a wrong call again.
To break this cycle has been really hard and I am still on the way. I feel the darkness being close again because of some decisions and changes I need to make. And I am starting to doubt myself and look for validations from others but this time I have caught myself quite early and trying to dig deeper to not loose the trust in myself. Also if before I would without question help someone then now I am much more cautious to whom my help goes because sometimes they ask only because of their own good. And recent events have more opened my eyes in this case or maybe because I started to question more their intentions.
And so I am walking on the edge again but I really hope I will succeed to finally listen to myself without having my 100 excuses and to stop where I need to stop not pushing myself so far I am not able to come back to my true self. Who I do not want to loose in my fights. For now I will just surrender in the peaceful night with some fluffy four leg company and enjoy some good music to stay on the good side for a bit more and maybe I will succeed to not leave it at all.
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!
Fear has always been valuable in my life. Without fear, without doubt, without discomfort in what we are doing, what is there for any of us to overcome? Serena Williams
Even though I would like to not feel any fear at all but looking back to things I have accomplished and where I am now it makes sense to have it a bit. I would never have done most of the things without feeling a little bit afraid. As well as teaching me valuable lessons and to be able to share my experiences with someone else makes everything so much worth. Somehow in between life I have so desperately wanted to escape from this part of me but I have never thought that I just need to accept it and let it go. I just need a little bit more to completely accept this part of me and to be not afraid to have fears.