A New Take on Anxiety
It occurred to me that the line between egotistical cockiness and fearful insecurity is actually very slim. When I think back to the anxiety I struggled with a year ago, a lot of my problems were somewhere on this fine line. See, I used to have anxiety because I felt like everyone was watching me. Or, you know, judging. It was way worse in times that I would be out in the open with nowhere to hide or run to. I was also big into running away from my problems. The thoughts would go something like this:
Wow my hair looks terrible today.
Sigh, of course it does right before I go to work.
Oh well, I hope no one notices.
But what if they do notice?
What if they decide I’m sloppy and not put together?
What if they decide I’m far too careless and disorganized to be where I am?
I’m a disappointment.
I don’t deserve to be where I am.
There are so many people out there who would be better at this than I am.
And none of them struggle with anxiety.
So just like that a very simple problem that literally everyone has every now and then becomes a huge issue. So am I anxious because I feel like everyone should be paying special attention to me because I deserve respect and praise for my accomplishments and the position I’m in? Or am I anxious because I worry so much about what other people think of me that I sometimes really don’t believe that I deserve the things I’ve gotten?
I don’t actually know the answer. I mean, I do tend to think I’m pretty great. But who doesn’t think that about themselves? I also have a really great ability to tear myself apart.
If this sounds familiar, don’t worry. To be honest, no one cares about the things you worry about them noticing about you. No one cares if your socks match or if you cross your arms when they’re talking to you. No one thinks about that thing you just said and is now dissecting it to try to make you look stupid. And no one equates one loose hair with being completely incompetent and undeserving.
Believe in yourself. Trust that you’ve earned what you have. Realize that really everyone else is just as self-centred as you are sometimes, and this works out in your favour because you can stand to say something awkward every once in a while and no one will care. Be who you are, and stop worrying so much about how you come across. You’ll get where you’re going one day, just give it some time. And as always, remember to breathe.