ANXIETY & INSECURITY
i’ve been thinking about this post for a long time actually. how to write it. how to document this time in my life. how much to share on this blog. but i have always been really open to sharing personal thoughts in this space. it has always created interesting conversation and perspective. and i can only hope you are just like me, and want to relate to something that isn’t often discussed.
today we are going to be talking about insecurities, shame, anxiety and being a perfectionist. heavy stuff, i know. if you’re interested, click through to read about it below…
someone on instagram suggested i read this book called “gifts of imperfection” by brene brown after i posted this instagram with my 2014 resolutions. i guess it was pretty obvious from what i was saying that this book was a necessary read for me. although it was a wake up call that i wasn’t exactly ready for, i did learn a few things about myself. (and it was a good read!) honestly, it worries me to put this out into the world. but i know so many of you have gotta feel the same way and i think honesty is key for me.
– anxiety has been running my life. and i’ve been really really hard on myself. i haven’t gotten help for my anxiety and probably should. for those of you that deal with anxiety, you know what i’m talking about. short of breath, dizzy, feels like your skin is crawling and mind is spinning. anxiety attacks are no joke. for me, i have very specific triggers, but it can also happen on a random tuesday when everything feels just fine. i haven’t gone to the doctor about it because frankly doctors make me more anxious than just having the anxiety attack.
– incessant planning, working, social media, and keeping a full calendar was just me trying to numb my insecurities and fears. i think to myself often “i should be working harder. i should be doing something more creative. i should have more plans and goals.” I have such high expectations for myself and the people around me. i still haven’t figured out exactly which feeling i’m numbing, all i know is that it’s happening. and i should try to dig deep and think about how to fix it.
– we all have insecurities. ALL OF US. i wish i didn’t have cellulite. i wish i didn’t have such big teeth. i wish i wasn’t so messy & lazy with organization. i wish i had more self control when it comes to eating healthy. i wish my clothes fit better. i wish i wasn’t afraid of so many things. everyone has a long list of things they wish were different. this book talks a lot about embracing your insecurities and learning to love yourself.
– the scariest time for me is when everything is still. quiet and calm. alone. just reflection. but the book is showing me that it’s the only way then can we really start to understand ourselves. i rarely ever just sit by myself with my thoughts and need to. what am i so afraid of?
– i found it very difficult to compliment others often, because i rarely compliment myself. constantly analyzing, picking things apart, looking at how something could have been better. it’s not a trait that i feel proud of. my perfectionist nature has reached a point that makes me feel unhappy. sure, striving for greatness is cool and all. and i think that pushing yourself to do the best you can do is important. but i don’t want to analyze every little thing. it’s not healthy. i need to let some of it go.
“perfectionism is not the same thing has striving to be your best. perfectionism is the belief that if we live perfect, look perfect, and act perfect, we can minimize or avoid the pain of blame, judgement, and shame. it’s a shield. it’s a twenty-ton shield that we lug around thinking it will protect us when, in fact, it’s the thing that’s really preventing us from flight.”
– i need a nap. this book talks a lot about how our society has told us “sleep when you’re dead!” or “work one more hour, come on!” but in the process we are losing precious sleep and “play” time (doing something for yourself just because you want to, not work related at all) these two things give us ideas, a fresh perspective, a joy for our jobs, a much needed break. when i was done with this book…i took a nap. for four hours. hid my to-do list away and tried my best to feel juuuuuust fine with it.
– i want to make a list of joys in my life. wandering around the farmers market, having a friend over for dinner, checking into a hotel, the feeling when my house is clean, cuddling with my cats, brunching with arian, editing photos on my phone, thrifting, long conversations with old friends over wine, cooking simple meals for arian and seeing how happy they make him, watching back to back episodes on netflix, going to an afternoon movie, picking out flowers for my nightstand…. almost none of those had the pressure of money or goals or work. i’d love to focus more on these simple, happy times. and put less pressure on career.
– our need for approval. even with this post, i am having this voice inside that wants me to have someone read it first so i can ask “should i post it? is it too much? do you think it’s okay?” social media and blogs have created a monster for a lot of people i think. i can’t lie and say that i don’t question myself when a post doesn’t do very well or when a photo gets a low number of likes on instagram. that’s silly, but i can’t say it doesn’t cross my mind. and then in comes the voices, “you can do better. you should be doing better.” again, just hard on myself.
– anxiety is contagious. i am very receptive to people when they are anxious. it immediately makes me feel nervous, guilty and anxious myself. and i’m also very receptive to people that are calm. the book talks about how both are contagious and we have to decide what we want to put out into the world. it asks “do we want to infect people with more anxiety or heal ourselves and the people around us with calm?” man, that hit home.
does any of this sound familiar to you? have you found ways to cope with your anxiety or perfectionist nature? i’ve got a long road ahead of me, but really want to bring awareness to the topic of anxiety. your thoughtful comments always mean so much to me, so thank you. lots of love, bri