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
Do we have enough compassion and understanding towards ourselves? Or it is just better to let some things go and let it be even though we would compromise something just to avoid some conflicts. Especially when around the corner is Christmas and lots of celebrations it so easy to just forget who deserves first the most of your compassion.
I know how great it feels to help someone and bring joy to them. However, sometimes maybe it brings more pressure than joy. Pressure to give the “right” gift to a family member, to plan enough time for everyone or just to not disappoint a friend. And the list goes on especially when there is also a personal relationship involved. So in this case I need to have enough compassion towards my partner so I would not look like I care less about this person. And all of this can be really stressful especially for those who are struggling with social anxiety and fear of judgment. It is so easy to get lost in this circle where you are not included.
So this time of the year I ask you to give yourself a special gift – compassion. Compassion towards yourself, love yourself and to be understanding of all the good and bad moments. No matter how stressful you are feeling try to come back to yourself and start building again your circle but now first including yourself. And to have a happy you is the greatest gift you can give to yourself and then to others.
Self – compassion is simply giving the same kindness to ourselves that we would give to others. Christopher Germer
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
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.
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.
While going through life I have met different people and I have had a chance to observe them around myself – from family members to friends. And of course life happens and we have not so pleasant experiences and interactions with others. But I always ask myself why people would repeatedly or intentionally hurt their own children and someone else they love – with words, actions and their behavior. Even more to release their anger or stress in this way and not taking into account how it could affect the other person. Especially how it can affect a kid who is just starting to understand the world and getting excited about it. I think home should be a place to feel safe and loved because there are already so many things happening outside. Also relating to a person someone loves – to be hurtful and cause repeated pain. Why? What has happened to them to continue to hurt loved ones like the way someone caused the pain to them.
I just look at all that and I still cannot understand. Even more when pain is caused for years and while knowing that it is wrong it is still happening. I know for myself that all the painful experiences serves for me as an example and reminder to not be that kind of person. I know how it is to come home and not to feel protected from outside and I do not want to ever make someone I love to make experience that.
Don’t hurt anyone. It only takes few seconds to hurt people you love, and it can take years to heal. Nanu Thakuri
It is quite fascinating how a persons mind can play with feelings, understanding oneself and the perception of the outside world. How mind can make build walls inside a person to protect from certain situations, people and oneself. And while living like that it is almost impossible to convince the mind to give a break and let go. That it is not anymore necessary and there are no threats around. But still it is like an ongoing engine sometimes slowing down but never stopping.
Even though I have decided to change the way I think in some ways, I still have many rules I am unconsciously following. While looking at my own mind, the behavior of myself and thoughts I noticed a pattern, that for me the most biggest rule comes from the fear of judgment. It just spreads through the whole body and takes over my mind whenever I face potential triggers. The biggest challenge is to keep the rational mind on in close relationships. Once it comes to different opinions or trying to follow my instincts I just step back and feel stuck between my rules – to please others to be liked or to do what is best for me so I would like myself. And it is still hard to do the right thing for me because I have always followed my rule.
Of course for every rule I created in my mind I had a reason in my past. Long time ago I did not have someone giving me advise that everything will be fine and that all bad things will pass. I am learning this just now and this has allowed me to better understand my mind and how I can try to force it to let go of these rules. Furthermore, while talking with other people about similar struggles I was amazed how mind can project things and it is so sad how a mind can lock in someone to fear so much of outside and even oneself. For now I am still my own mind prisoner but just for a bit more..
Rule your mind or it will rule you. Buddha
While studying and working abroad I am constantly meeting different people from all over the world. And after getting to know better some of them it is interesting to observe and see how some people define expectations for others but when it comes to them these expectations do not apply. They expect certain behavior form others and if it is not happening as they have thought then either they are upset or starting conflicts.
I am kind of person who is trying to have a balance and peace in my relationships with family or friends. So in order to have that sometimes I tend to have more understanding for others than toward myself. And I compromise on too much things I shouldn’t because to not have a conflicts. I just feel powerless and frozen in conflicts especially when I am not able to rationally state my opinion and defend myself. And so after meeting people who are having almost zero understanding towards me but who are expecting that whatever they do they will be understood it makes me feel angry. But angry inside about myself because I am not being able to step up and ignore it and do anyway what I consider best for me. And so I am putting myself on hold in order to not have a conflict. I know I should be much smarter and to just let go of these kind of situations but I am not there yet.
I have always thought that all good and bad situations in life and people I meet provide me with useful lessons. After realizing my struggles with myself I know I have met these kind of people to push my limits and finally set myself free from my fears and putting myself second. I understand that everyone has their own inner fights but I do not think it gives anyone rights to seek conflicts in order to feel better or setting one way expectations and at the same time deciding that they do not apply to them. At the end the most important thing is to be kind and loving to ourselves and others especially when it comes to family and friends.
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.