I have been thinking this for a while. Maybe you know a little something about this as well? It seems to be a universal problem & I’m not quite sure how to resolve it, but I have a few ideas. I recently posted this picture on my Facebook wall.
Do you ever ask yourself like I do, “Why can’t I just be myself!?!” So, why can we NOT just be ourselves, do what we want to do & not worry about what “they” say? Who are “they” anyway? I mean seriously, think about it. From what I have seen/heard/experienced personally, it seems to go a little something like this – we have a bad experience or two with someone & all the sudden we think the entire world sees us the same way. Then, this happens over & over again! Sound familiar? I bet it has happened to you or someone you know. Why does this happen? Why do we replay it so much that it begins to control who we are, what we do/what we don’t do, what we say & do not say?
I have a few ideas & I want to share them with you:
1. We get stuck – plain & simple. Most of the time we have NO CLUE this is going on. The reason we get stuck is because our brain learns that this is our “normal” way of thinking, therefore we behave in accordance with that thought. Example: We think of somewhere we want to go or something we want to do. We get anxious about the thought of doing so. We decide it would be too scary or overwhelming, so we don’t do it. We become really good catastrophic thinkers, meaning we think of the worst case scenario or all of the “what ifs” that could potentially happen, which then can paralyze us.
2. We feel regret – because we “should” be able to do these things, yet it’s just too dang scary! This can lead to shame, anger, resentment etc.
3. We either avoid or repeat the cycle – what I mean is we either avoid whatever it is that makes us anxious or we say we won’t avoid it again, but yet we do, which then starts the cycle all over again. Does that make sense? In the words of the Apostle Paul “for what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.”
So, how do we overcome this hurdle? It’s rather annoying, is it not?
1. First we must – become aware that there is a problem. Sounds very simple, I know, but awareness is KEY when it comes to dealing with a problem. Unfortunately, lack of awareness is what perpetuates the cycle, as I mentioned above.
2. Second we must – accept that we need to change. This acceptance thing is HUGE! It is okay to admit that you have a problem. Guess what? You are not alone!
3. Third we must – take appropriate action in order to take these anxious thoughts captive. This is called “thought stopping.” The basis of this technique is that you consciously issue the command, “Stop!” when you experience repeated negative, unnecessary or distorted thoughts. You then replace the negative thought with something more positive and realistic. You can read more about this process here
4. Fourth we must – get help if we feel overwhelmed or just can not seem to jump over this hurdle of anxiousness & negativity, which is keeping us from doing what we want to do in order to “just be who we are!”
5. Last & most importantly you must – know you are not alone in this struggle & that it is okay to ask for help. This, I believe, is what keeps so many from reaching their full potential & overcoming fears/worries/regret etc.
Do you desire to just “be yourself”? Do you want to throw off all that is holding you back from reaching your full potential? These lists certainly do not cover all there is to say about anxiety & fear of doing what we love & being who we are meant to be, however, they are a good place to start. Sometimes just deciding to start is half the battle. I know you can do it! What is so super cool & what I absolutely LOVE about my job among many other things, is when someone decides they are just fed up with their old way of thinking. They decide to change & then do the work necessary to make the change. THAT is what it is all about people! To see someone overcome & conquer a fear that has lived within for way too long is an occasion that calls for celebration!! I challenge you today, my friend, to take a look within & examine what may be holding you back. If you have already done so PLEASE share how you did it! I would love to hear from you, as I am sure others would as well!
Blessings to you friend,
[reminder]Have you been successful at overcoming an obstacle like a repetitive negative thought? If so, how did you do so?[/reminder].