Have you ever felt intimidated by someone? How did it affect your interaction with that person? Or have you ever tried to interact in the first place? Sometimes this intimidation causes anxiety too, especially if we kept on comparing ourselves to other people. I used to be easily intimidated by people who are so successful in their field. Some of them don’t even like what they’re doing but still managed to excel. It makes me wonder “How come they can do it while here I am, a total failure in every aspect of my life.” That was me several months ago. I was anxious, hopeless, depressed, frustrated — name any negative feelings and most probably I felt that at some point.
It seemed like nothing was going right in my life. Everything that I tried just didn’t work. If I planned on doing one thing, something will come up and I’ll be confused again on what to choose. It came to a point that I was already doubting every decision that I made. I lost confidence in myself and my ability to weigh the consequences of my actions. Until one day, I got tired of feeling down and demotivated. I got tired of thinking about all the negative things that may happen. I overthink and reflect a lot and I thought to myself, why not use it for the better. Instead of overthinking about my future failures, why not overthink about the possibilities and opportunities ahead of me. That my friend is the reason why I’m writing this post. Let me share with you what helped me to get through anxiety.
I realized that this is the culprit of my anxiety. When you’re browsing on Facebook, it’s inevitable that you’ll compare yourself to everyone. That new house or car that your friend just acquired, the engagements, wedding, newborn babies, and travel photos. Those status updates can trigger something in you. That doesn’t mean you hate your friends, in fact, you’re happy for them. But somehow deep in your heart, you’re wishing that it can also happen to you. So to lessen the negative feelings, try to limit your exposure to what triggers you. If you really need to be online because of business or work, then at least carefully curate your newsfeed. Choose what posts to see first and unfollow those who post nothing but negative news and updates. I set mine to see first the posts of Jay Shetty, Bo Sanchez, friends or pages who provide motivation and guidance.
It’s not enough that you remove your triggers. When you eliminate something “bad”, you need to replace it with something “good”. Try to fill your day with activities that make you feel alive. It can be just giving more time and attention to your parents and family. It can also be doing volunteer works and just serving in your chosen community. Or starting that passion project that you’ve been wanting to do but you set it aside because you’re busy being anxious. You will still feel down sometimes and that’s normal, it’s important that you’re self-aware. When you know that you’re starting to feel negative again, acknowledge it and have the determination to shift your mindset to positive feelings and activities. Think about the possibilities and all the beautiful things that can happen to you if you’ll just be mindful of your actions today.
Don’t be too hard on yourself. You may not be where you want to be right now and that’s okay. Just continue moving forward even if that means taking baby steps towards your dream. Do the things that you’re passionate about, learn more about it and improve the skills needed to be successful in that field one day. Don’t give up on a dream just because other people don’t see value in it. You have that dream in your heart probably because it is connected to your life mission. Something that is bigger than yourself. And that alone should keep you motivated to try and make it happen despite everything. When you feel that you’re not moving forward even if you kept trying, take a step back and rest. Maybe you still need to learn more and be more, see it as a learning opportunity rather than an obstacle.
Be kind to yourself. Allow yourself to make mistakes or fail, that’s part of the process. The people whom you’re looking up to so much because they’re successful? Maybe they’re in your shoes some time ago. They just chose to be committed and determined to achieve what they have now. As they say, you may just be seeing the tip of the iceberg. Instead of comparing, make them as your inspiration. Learn from their life and if possible, talk to them and ask for advice. Lastly, continue to do you! As long as you’re not hurting anyone, do what you love to do. You are unique and there is always something that only you can offer the world. Shine your light.
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