Tag Archives: fear

Don’t let nerves hold you back

When it comes to performing publicly–at work, school, or even in groups of more than one person– nerves can sometimes discourage us and hold us back. Social anxiety isn’t always something that accompanies negative experiences, but more often than not comes up when we are about to embark on something new and exciting. The thing is, it can be uncomfortable. So much so that it’s tempting to let excuses get in the way of giving whatever it is you’re interested in a shot. This even happens with dating! However, nerves are natural. It’s all part of the song and dance. The good news is with practice, you will become more comfortable taking a new step.

My schoolmates who are involved with theater at my school remind me that at the end of the day, grueling practices, and those uncomfortable butterflies, that going after what you want despite the awkward feelings is worth it. I put together a little video with them talking about this after their last performance. Hopefully, you’ll be as encouraged as I was.

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Having trouble defining who you are?

Imagine you’ve died. People have come to your memorial service, and are seated in wait of the eulogy. Take note of how many people are there, and who is there. Are people crying? Who is giving your eulogy? What will this person have to say about your character, what mattered most to you, your attitude and life? Imagine, realistically, your eulogy. How do you feel about what has been said? What would you like this person to say?

This is an exercise I came across several years ago when I asked Google, “Who am I?” I had decided to change my lifestyle at the time because it wasn’t benefiting me, the problem was I had no idea what to do instead. I had trouble defining who I was and what I would now like to do because I use to tie all that this to the lifestyle I was no longer living. One of the websites I came across (which unfortunately I can no longer find) suggested thinking about the above questions could help me figure out what was important to me and what I could strive for. I then had an idea of what new habits to take on.

Which would you rather be known for?

Think about the legacy you would like to leave behind. That is your true you. If you want to be known as someone who was always laughing and smiling, begin doing the things that allow you to do that. Eventually, u will kick it, literally, so live your life doing those things you’ve loved according to your imaginary eulogy. Build habits to encourage your true you to emerge.

Best advice about kickin’ it

Over the years, talking with friends and family, I’ve picked up on some good advice. Life altering advice. Advice that changed my perspective on achieving my dreams and goals. Sometimes, the same advice can be given to you over and over again, and whether it has to do with wording or timing, eventually something clicks. These 5 tips did just that for me.

1. “Edit and let go of scenes that don’t go with the overall movie of your life.”

Easily disappointed, I would often find myself thinking about what didn’t work out. Past relationships, jobs, opportunities. What is so interesting about this is that those people, places, and things that I was afraid to let go of didn’t even come close to what I truly desired for myself. My uncle, a film maker, told me once that life is like a movie. Though we may spend hours trying to film one scene, when it comes to the editing process, we may find that that scene really has nothing to do with the overall big picture. Though you invested your time on this scene, maybe more so than any other, you have to be willing to let it go. In real life, we have realize that though we may have invested our time in people, places, or things, it may not go with the big picture of our life movie, and that is OK.

2. “Don’t focus on what you don’t want to do, do everything that you love instead.” 

After attending my best friend’s memorial, I met his son’s mother. Through our grieving we became good friends. Once when she asked how I was doing, I told her I was frustrated. I knew all the things I wasn’t supposed to do, but little about what I should do instead. I knew so little about what I would like to do that i would revert to thinking about what I didn’t. It was a miserable and painful process! She gave me a two week challenge: Do everything you love to do. Think about thoughts that make you feel warm, eat your favorite food, listen to your favorite music, watch your favorite T.V. show. Do all and everything that favors you.

3. “If you were taking a trip, and several miles into it you took a wrong turn, you wouldn’t go all the way back to your house and start over, would you? So why do you have to start over every time you take a wrong turn in life? Just get back on the right track.”

How often is it that we won’t try that last time because of all our failures to arrive to that destination goal? For me, giving my dreams one last shot was close to not happening. I remember telling my uncle ,”I wanted to give up, what was the point of trying? My life has been a repetitive cycle of ‘starting over.'”  When he responded with the metaphor about driving, it made sense. Who really would go all the way back to their house and begin driving again after making a wrong turn 10 miles into a trip? That’s when he explained to me the importance of not throwing out the baby with the bath water. It’s not about starting over but getting back on track, building on what you’ve learned in between.

4. “If it was meant to be, nothing that you do will stop it from happening. If it wasn’t meant to be, nothing that you do will change that.”

A bad habit that I’ve struggled with is trying to control the outcome, especially in relationships. When insecure, which if applying the 10/90 rule my insecurities may have absolutely nothing to do with the relationship itself, I begin to act out, creating pressure and spinning my wheels trying to get the outcome I want because I’m afraid it won’t happen. A friend once told me after beating myself up about my behaviors that if it was meant to be, there was nothing I could do to stop it from happening. Likewise, if it wasn’t meant to be, there was nothing I can do to manipulate it into existence. Knowing this relieved me of the pressure to take forceful actions when it would be best to go with the flow instead. Everything works out as it should.

5. “Keep on dreaming, even if it breaks your heart.”

Part of the country rock song “Even if it breaks your heart” by the Eli Young Band, this lyric hits the nail on the head. Because success includes times of failure, the risk in not achieving success has to do with the temptation to give up when it looks like your goal is out of reach. The ability to continue and persevere in spite of those times has a lot to do with whether or not you dare to dream. After years of heartache, it can be painful to dream about what you want out of fear it may not happen and you are letting yourself down by doing so. But the truth is, what you want is important and possible, always. You need to keep on dreaming, even if it breaks your heart, because the only way your desires can come into existence if if they remain alive. Sometimes, it’s not the right people, places, or things, or that you’re desire is wrong. Be patient for that perfect fit, and don’t give up in between.

There you go, taking things personal again…

Do you take things too personally? It can be normal to internalize situations, opinions, behavior from others, after all humans are not mind readers or God. It’s impossible to always assume it’s not our crap- everyone has an ego and at one time or another thinks it’s all about them. But what if it’s all the time?

I struggle with this a lot, and taking things too personally a majority of the time is a habit. It happens in class, at work, but most noticeably with my boyfriend or family. Matters close to the heart. The stress affects my relationships and discipline to get things done. Almost all of the time, the energy spent toward getting worked up was not even worth it, because whatever it was I took personal had nothing to do with me!

Don’t Take Anything Personally. Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.

Motivational Speaker and Pastor Joel Osteen talked about this in one of his messages, about being neutral to this kind of behavior. Not paying any mind to it. Really, if you have goals for yourself, you need to save your energy to meet them, carry them out. Carrying around the baggage of others is going to weigh you down, keep or prolong you from your destiny. You got to let it go. It is especially hard when we want the people close to our hearts to approve of us, praise us, but not every battle is a battle we need to fight or even drain ourselves with worry over. Especially when it’s really not about us in the first place!

When I find myself taking things too personal I have to remind myself it may not be real what I’m trippin’ off of. When I can’t I lean on people I can trust to help me do that. When I do, i’m reminded also to practice compassion for myself and others, and leadership. It’s an opportunity to be an example to the people around that you don’t have to be a victim to a bad habit, that u can kick it and they can too.

Warriors need their sleep

The best way to combat a habit is with sleep.

They have this acronym in support groups called HALT. Hungry Angry Lonely Tired. it’s been my experience that when I’m tried I feel hungry, angry, and lonely. When I’m fatigue, I’m moody. I feel like a crazy person who’s vulnerable to making mistake and the circular thinking becomes stronger, making me feel like I don’t have a fighting chance.

If you’ve been overwhelmed and lacking the energy to stick to your guns, chances are you are like me and need to get better sleep. Life won’t stop happening because we want to work on ourselves, but with better sleep your resistance to stress will give you more discipline over your feelings. You won’t feel as though the world is throwing lemon juice on your nerve endings.

By Mikael Häggström (All used images are in public domain.) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Your’re not crazy, you’re tried

I found some tips online that I’ve practiced myself to develop a bedtime routine. Remember, we are creatures of habit and develop sleep patterns too. The trick to better sleep is what you do before to wind down. Taking a bubble bath, reading, sipping hot tea, and listening to calming music are some. Another that I do is a guided meditation when  anxious to stop the excessive thinking about how tired I am and how bad I need sleep.

Some of you might be fighting for you life right now like I had been and it can be overwhelming, but it’s not impossible. Actually, it’s so much easier than you think with good rest. Warriors need their sleep.

The first and worst: circular thinking

Ever wonder how you acquired that “bad habit?” I’d be willing to bet it started with this: Circular thinking.  This video couldn’t be more true about the nature of unhealthy thinking. You weren’t put on the planet to feel so miserable! Whatever your bad habit is, you need to know this one thing about it: it begins and ends with your thinking. Naturally, we are all creatures of routine, made to be habitual down to the way we produce cells. Our thinking and feelings are no different. They hold the potential of becoming just as much a bad habit as our bad habit. We develop different ways to cope as an escape to these thoughts that make us feel powerless,  some of these coping mechanisms made our circumstances worse. Soon they become second nature, actions that are done without thinking, we think, until they become so mindless that we are back to perpetuating the busy thinking in our head. Exhausting. Our thoughts and actions are tied together, but just like any other habit, you can overcome it. The good news is all it takes is a progression not perfection for there to be results.

“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.”
Corrie ten Boom, Clippings from My Notebook

So, what can you do when you begin to get sucked in to those thoughts?

divergent

If you’ve seen Divergent- which I highly recommend if you haven’t- you got to do what Tris does- remind yourself “It’s not real.” She had the ability when faced with her fears to call it what it was: false evidence appearing real. Almost always are the thoughts of worry less factual but fear based. Name your thoughts when they start to mimic the above video, acknowledging that they are circular thoughts, then moving on to what is real, applying grounding and mindfulness techniques.  Most importantly, be realistic.  You may go back to worrying minutes later, but be vigilant in your efforts because u can kick it.