As you may have read before in my previous posts, I’m an anxiety sufferer. And sometimes it can be almost crippling. Anxiety is quite a contradictory feeling – the mind is alive with thoughts, feelings and ideas and yet the thought of putting anything in to action gives you such nauseating heart palpitations that all you end up doing is staying in bed and binge watching Netflix (and ultimately feeling worse).
So I just want to apologise for going all MIA on you guys. I was having this sort of almost-quater-life-crisis and the biggest mental block. But taking that time for myself was a good thing and I want to share with you the epiphanies I had!
Your early 20s are hard and confusing (and we make it harder for ourselves, but we already established how not to do that in this post!). We are stuck in a rut. Feeling too old for the constant partying and care free youthful days but feeling too young to be settling down. Struggling to battle the constant gnawing feeling that we should be somewhere else, doing something different. Being told that ‘If you do a job you love – you’ll never work a day in your life,’: but not being quite sure what it is that we actually love.
‘Work towards your goals!’ we are told over and over again. And then we panic because we don’t know what our goals really are. Like, shit. I don’t even know what I want to eat for dinner let alone what I want to do with the rest of my life???
So I was sitting there, having one of these moments, feeling sorry for myself, scrolling
through my Facebook news feed – looking at everyone’s social media glorified lives- when I read something that hit me like a lightening bolt. And it wasn’t the Brangelina divorce (but that came as quite a shock too – I had to lie down and eat half a tub of peanut butter to recover). It was one of those life quotes someone had shared. And yes I know they are pretty wanky but this one was different, cause it rang true.
‘Your Life Begins To Change The Day You Take Responsibility For It’
It made me think. Am I taking responsibility for it? And I answered honestly, with some good home truths (and nobody likes home truths). No. No I’m not. I’ve been pretty good at avoiding any responsibility at all really. If something doesn’t work out, the fault is never directly mine. But in truth, I know if I wanted something, like really, really wanted it, then I would have achieved it. And it was that moment right there, that I decided it was time to stop fucking about because it was just making me miserable and it was time to make a change.
I needed to learn the difference between being pro-active and being productive.
Being pro-active is different from what I currently deem as productive. For me, I see productivity as performing menial everyday tasks – like food shopping (things that are also known as adulting). At the moment, a productive day is if I’ve been to the gym, cooked myself a healthy dinner, and completed one other thing on my to do list, like going to the bank. But that’s not really productive? That’s stuff that’s got to get done anyway! And it’s definitely not pro-active!
So, I’ve found, overcoming anxiety is down to finding your inner strength. Taking control of your actions while simultaneously understanding you can’t control everything, so whatever happens after – just let it be. It’s quitting the ‘ostrich with the head in the sand act’ and giving yourself a kick up the butt. Easier said than done (I know!) but you need an action plan before the anxiety becomes you. And the action plan doesn’t need to be a forever plan. It needs to be a just for now plan. A starter.
One thing I did was make a couple of lists and diagrams (yes, I’m a lists and diagrams kinda girl). Here they are:
And finally, you need to learn to let things go. I hate change, I really do. I find it hard to throw away a jumper I used to love even though I haven’t worn it in 3 years. But letting things go is key. Be it people, possessions or even dreams & ideas you used to have.
Remind yourself that there is nothing wrong with having a new dream and letting the old one go. People change. We grow, we evolve, we are influenced by our surroundings, we are still finding ourselves. We may not be the same person that originally had that dream. And that is totally okay. You aren’t letting anybody down. You aren’t giving up, or quitting. You’re becoming you.
And you is brilliant. No matter what you want from life.