Updated: Aug 4, 2018
Last weekend I had a breakthrough and pushed back some long-standing fears for myself. From the outside, it all seems like a pretty small feat but for me it was a major leap. I want to share it with you because not only do I use this blog for therapy and creativity for myself, I’m hoping that I could maybe help someone else who is reading this. In fact, in my original post that grazed the surface of this victory (linked below), I've received several messages from women who gained the courage to step outside of their comfort zones...learning to love themselves a little harder and break past the chains of fear. I feel that it is always comforting to know that we aren’t alone in any of the things we may deal with.
For as long as I can remember, I have struggled with social anxiety. Not to the point of being crippled by it, but more of the feeling that all eyes in the room are watching me as my heart pounds in my chest and throat, palms sweating and fear of embarrassment floods my mind at every turn. Talking in class, grabbing food in the cafeteria (I still hate buffet situations), walking into a party by myself, etc. Can you relate? The fear of embarrassment and judgment are prominent, raging thoughts. I've tried talking to myself rationally (if talking to yourself is indeed rational lol) with reminders that no one is looking, no one actually cares that much, you're not the center of the universe so chill the eff out. That may work for some people but it rarely works for me. I honestly feel like since it's coming from a place of self-judgment and deprecation rather than loving kindness, it doesn't work. Why is it that we always focus on extending kindness to others but we wait so long to give grace to ourselves? Some of us even wait until someone else tells us that it's okay. We gotta work on this gals (and guys).
Okay, so to the incident at hand. The reason for this blog in the first place...
I was invited to a birthday party but I would have to go alone since my husband was out of town. This actually came at a perfect time because earlier that day I had been in near tears because of feeling like I didn't fit in anywhere in my community. There's no "group" that I'm part of per say. All of my friends are spread around the world and the ones that do live in town or nearby, are just as busy as me so it's hard to get together as often as we'd like. That leaves my husband and mom to fill all my friend needs. No bueno for them (unfair pressure and expectation). But that's a story for another day. Point is, this invite was such a welcomed blessing but also something I knew would make me uncomfortable. In the past, I have always politely declined or was "saved" because of being out of town. It isn't that I don't want to be social, because I desperately do...it just takes a lot out of me (I am categorized as an out-going introvert and empath...more on this another time) and sometimes the discomfort is more than I feel I have the strength and energy for. Same goes for coffee dates. I have the best of intentions but I get so nervous wondering if I'll run out of things to say and be stuck in awkward silence or worse, that I won't live up to the expectations this potential new friend may have for me. It's weird, I know. The other issue on top of is that I knew a guest would be there that I have negative history with. While old wounds have healed and life goes on, it's still a situation that will probably never be...here's that word again: comfortable. This person would also be attending with her partner where I, on the other hand, would be a lone wolf. Yikes Bikes Ya'll. Now normally my head would swirl with thoughts of them off in a corner talking badly about me with other people until suddenly I'm having a "carrie" moment and pigs blood is being dumped on me as I run away crying to the laughter and entertainment of everyone in attendance. lol Ridiculous, right? I can laugh at this in hindsight but this is seriously how my brain works. I call it my rabbit hole and it's not a pleasant place to be most of the time. Occasionally, it allows me to have more foresight than the average person because I weigh out all the possible options and outcomes, but most of the time it's just a gigantic pain in my ass. Luckily for me, I had taken yin yoga that morning and had a great meditation practice the night before. The intention I set for myself was "I am courageous. I am confident." I clung to that mantra and said "YES!" to the party I had been dying to go to. I quickly got myself ready, tossed my amethyst crystal in my purse and away I went. Nothing that I was afraid of, happened. Not one thing. Instead, I met some amazingly wonderful people and connected with others in a way I had not before. The energy around me was vibrating high and I felt so invigorated. I have been on that high ever since and just two days ago I purchased a ticket to go to a women's retreat by myself...which involves camping (another fairly new experience). Go Shoogy, it's yo birthday! *insert dancing gif here* hahahaha Anyway, just think of all of the things I can enjoy now, knowing that I CAN overcome my fears. YOU CAN TOO!!! We are capable of so much more than we give ourselves credit for my friends.
So with this, I want to share with you my original post on fb/insta in case you missed it. I'd also love for you to leave your feedback in the comments if you do decide to punch fear in its ugly face. If you feel more comfortable talking in private, just send me a message.
Tonight I conquered a couple of fears + it felt invigorating. I think I’d like to share them with ya’ll at some point, but for now I just want to encourage you to do something this weekend or maybe this coming week that takes you outside of your comfort zone, towards growth. Yesterday during my practice at home, I chose my mantra and set an intention for courage + confidence. Since then, any time I faced a situation that made me fearful, anxious or uncomfortable, I would repeat “I am courageous, I am confident” in my head along with taking some deep breaths. Implementing this simple exercise into my life has made such a huge impact on my spirit, mental well-being + ultimately, health. It really is true what they say: what we think, we become. So think good things my friends.
LINK TO ORIGINAL POST