Anxiety is a bitch, let’s be frank. She has ability to make you second guess your entire life’s accomplishments for no damn reason. No reason other than it’s Tuesday and you’ve received a few less emails, texts or likes than you did last week or perhaps someone has made a negative comment. Suddenly, the sky is falling.
I’m no expert, I don’t have a psychology degree and you should absolutely not take my advice over that of your doctor. I have simply dealt with my share of sociopaths, lame bosses, shitty friends, online trolls etc etc. The people who despite your best efforts, still eat your self esteem alive.
This is simply a few tips to help you shake off the weight that criticism and self doubt can leave. To shake off the people who attach themselves for all of the wrong reasons. The self serving reasons.
Whilst I have never been formally diagnosed with, nor medicated for anxiety. I am diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result of domestic violence. PTSD & the anxious behaviours that result from it can cripple you.
PTSD still sees me planning well ahead when attending public events or taking my daughter to high profile Canberran celebrations such as floriade. In her five years of life we have never attended the multicultural festival or the Canberra show.
Why? Because places and events that my ex husband or his family are likely to attend make me anxious. For this reason, we simply don’t go or if we do, it is as part of a strategically numbered group.
PTSD saw me drive from work to E’s daycare a different way each day in case I was followed. It saw me leave her with my mother while doing my groceries or going to the Canberra Centre.
It has seen me move house to a completely different part of Canberra 11 times since her birth. Something my long term clients are well aware of, but I have never previously spoke of.
I recently just moved for the last time for what will hopefully be a long time. I’ve decided to kick moving’s ass. One step in the long road of beating anxious behaviours.
PTSD saw me contemplating closing my business over occasional negative feedback or mistakes made from unfortunate human error. It forced me to beat myself up over stupid comments or question the value of everything that I’d built.
But thankfully I haven’t closed it. I still talk myself down regularly and do my best to continue putting one foot in front of the other because my business is bad ass and one of a kind. Even if just like me, it is imperfect.
This statement some would argue is narcissistic. I’d say however, that it is me kicking anxiety’s ass.
Whether you’re a parent questioning their capabilities, a business owner just trying to keep your head above water, a student taking a crappy grade to heart or a good friend, partner or family member who just can’t seem to please anyone. There a few simple things I do to shake off that anxious weight before it settles in.
Anxiety or narcissism are not your only two options. You’re allowed to have your own back and shake off the bullshit. Start by shaking of anyone who tells you otherwise.
1. You’re amazing. Back yourself, your ideas, your efforts. No matter what you do, no body can do it like you do. Your kids can never possibly love someone else in the way that they love you. No matter how bad you think you’re failing.
People can replicate your business, but it will always be a replica of you’re business. Your box can make you feel like shut, but they can’t delete the experiences of your prior references. Remember that!
2. Don’t listen: If someone tells you your effort was poor when you sure as hell know it wasn’t. Don’t listen. Say “I’m sorry you feel that way”, make amends where you can and move on. Literally just take the situation or conversation and put it down.
I know it sounds easier said than done. Perhaps you need to drum up a little arrogance, just enough to say, I really thought my efforts were great, I did my best for you and I’m sorry it’s not your thing.
3. Shake it off: You are not responsible for the reactions of other people. You will never be able to predict or control their satisfaction or criticisms. Don’t try, it’s soul destroying. If I had a dollar for every time I’d been abused by a customer who later apologised stating they were stressed by their event.
Sometimes you just need to remind yourself you’re doing your best. Try to remind yourself that not every reaction is actually about you.
Disregard social media, it’s a load of rubbish.
Don’t compare yourself to anyone else. I suck at math but I’m an excellent writer and creative. Math doesn’t define me. My efforts, accomplishments and perseverance do.
I have never personally had depression, but I have felt complete and utter despair. Like I said, I’m no expert. But I do believe that you have to be responsible for your state of mind. If it takes a little ‘arrogance’ to keep yourself confident and on track then so be it.
You know your own efforts and intentions. If they’re good, defend and persevere with them. If they’re not. Sort it out.