This Instagram post by @windycitytherapy spoke to me recently. It spoke to me on two different levels actually. The first one was that this is something I struggled for years to learn, and to accept. That, no matter what happened, I would be OK. I’ve survived horrible things, I’ve gotten fired, I’ve been admitted to the hospital, I’ve embarrassed myself in front of large groups, had presentations go wrong, and I’m still here. I can feel confident because of that, not because everything is going to go perfectly.
The more I really thought about it though, it hit me on that second level, the “oh yeah, I really need to keep this in mind right now”, level. Truth be told, I’ve been struggling with anxiety lately. I can’t point to a single thing that makes any logical sense that I would be anxious about, and yet, there it is. My stomach gets tied up in knots at the thought of leaving the house. I’m haunted constantly by thoughts of not being good enough, that people don’t respect me, or that I’ll be wrong. I’m terrified of not knowing how to handle something new perfectly without any hiccups.
These are ridiculous thoughts. I KNOW that. I’ve known that for years, and yet I find myself struggling to recognize them for what they are, and the more I try to convince myself that I am good enough, and that I am good at what I do, the less I believe that.
That’s why this post stopped me in my tracks. Confidence is not convincing myself that the things my anxiety are using to scare me couldn’t possibly happen. It’s the knowledge that even if they are true, and things go horribly wrong. I’ll still be here. I’ve gone through it before, and I’ll do some stupid stuff again, I’m sure, that makes me embarrassed and humiliated.
And I’ll still be here. Trying to do it better the next time.
Now, I just have to figure out where this anxiety is coming from, and keep moving forward. That might take some more work, but so be it. I’ve been through it before.
Photo by amenclinics_photos