2019 was full of firsts for me, and a ton of opportunities in my personal and professional life. But as I look back, I find myself wondering how many opportunities I cheated myself out of because of fear. Because of the possibility of failure, rejection, or just being vulnerable. We all have moments when we overthink and get in our own way. Every January I make a promise to myself to be more accepting of my imperfections and just enjoy the ride. By mid-month I find myself freaking out about something unreasonable and letting anxiety get the best of me. I take an “L” and accept that it’s just me. Oh well, maybe next month. Maybe next year.
Here’s the thing. When my allergies flare up and I wake up everyday with puffy eyes and a runny nose, I don’t beat myself up. I do what I can to feel better and try to avoid anything that may trigger them. Why do I treat anxiety differently? Why is there a sense of guilt and shame for panicking?
I can resolve to take better care of myself and I can spend some time learning more about what’s going on, but I’m never going to be perfect. I’m unique, just like everyone else. Why be so critical? My pastor recently shared a lot of wisdom on the human nature of being our own worst critics. Here are some highlights:
You can change the way you feel by changing the way you think. Negative thoughts can’t lead to a positive life. What happens in your mind really does matter.
He encouraged us to write down the things that we plan to work on in 2020. I crossed out “panicking about everything” and put “being so hard on myself.” Personally, putting all of this down on paper or in this blog is extremely therapeutic. So no resolution to “be okay” or “not get anxious.” I resolve to be kind to myself and keep up with this site, in hopes that, in helping myself, maybe I can help someone else.