It’s a big one for me.
At the moment I am feeling quite mentally aware of my thoughts and able to challenge them, sometimes.
I feel like a spectator watching myself do things and act in certain ways to fit in, be liked or because I should.
Slowly, slowly, I am more able to challenge myself, but with kindness. Pause before I speak or say yes to something. Turn towards something that feels right but scares me a bit.
Slowly, slowly, kindly kindly. Kindness is key I am realising.
When the anxiety comes, breathing into my belly and smiling towards myself.
I was recently asked if I wanted to move into managing sales as well as marketing and branding (which I do already) at work. On paper, it is more prestigious, a promotion of sorts and more impressive. Immediately, I said yes, but on reflection, I realised it wasn’t what I wanted. I prefer working creatively on projects and want to delve deeper into the areas I work in now. I don’t enjoy sales and it doesn’t interest me. So I spoke to my boss honestly and now feel excited and happy.
Last weekend I was asked to attend a few different social things, mostly involving drinking. Instead of saying yes I paused for a bit and didn’t commit. I ended up having a lovely spontaneous post work out dinner and 1 glass of red wine with my flat mate and spontaneous day wandering around the botanical gardens with a friend the next day and afternoon of cleaning and reading at home. I’m realising I actually prefer spending time with less people and I like being on my own. For a while I have felt afraid to be alone for too long and felt that I should be saying yes to everything and constantly making friends. But, deep down I prefer having less, closer friends, smaller groups and I enjoy my own company.
I had a bit of a break through last week. I think. I hope.
I realised that my social anxiety comes from a place of thinking I am going to be hurt or judged by those around me.
Firstly, it is a horrible way to view the world. Secondly, it is horrible for your own sense of self worth.
I am challenging this negative mindset. Seeing someone glance at me as a natural human response.
Instead of thinking I look bad or I am weird or different and looking away, I am trying to make myself smile with an open heart.
Giving a little bit of space to allow for connection.
Assuming I am safe and people are good.
Even when someone is off or rude, assuming it isn’t about me, they are struggling as we all are.
It’s a nice way to live.
It has helped me to grasp where this unhelpful mindset has come from. A loud family, arguments and an anxious mother = a daughter who is fearful, quiet, people pleasing and wanting to not stand out.
Because I’ve moved away from those things my parents held in high esteem.
Long term boyfriend. Impressive job. House in London.
Now an expat. Single. Flat sharing. Figuring out what I like to do. What brings me energy.
They don’t get it. And for so long I held my worth up by what they valued or wanted for me.
Half the time I am confident in myself. Half the time riddled with doubt.
70 percent of the time happier. 30 percent of the time very anxious.
All progressing though and as I turn towards my self and my instincts more. I am growing.
This is my diary.
I feel a deep sadness in my heart. I feel alone, vulnerable, different. I don’t trust myself, my sense of who I am. What do I believe in? Why am I writing this? Why don’t I just zone out and scroll through Instagram instead.
But it is there. A niggling sense that I should address this deeper sense of uncertainty, which causes me so much anxiety.
So I will sit here with it. Watch it flutter around my chest space. My heart. Up and down. I shall breathe deep, into my belly. Three times. Holding at the end of each inhale and exhale slowly thereafter.
Slowly, the uncertainty starts to fade. I return to the now and there is more space to breathe, to pause. I’m less reactionary. The sadness is there, but it isn’t me.