Anxiety creates a whole other world to the people who suffer and that world is very real. It’s two lives. It’s living in the actual here and now but it’s also living in the 'what if' world. Two worlds intertwined. And it’s bloomin hard work to navigate two lives! Imagine having the basic need to seek validation, as we all do at some point, but also having to seek validation from the world of what if? Validation from yourself? From your own mind? Anxiety does that. It’s a push me pull you kind of world that is confusing, upsetting and exhausting. The need to seek approval from loved ones is natural - it’s known as advice. But the approval anxiety sufferers seek has no direct answers. That’s where the 'what if' mindset comes in to play. It’s like there’s a strong desire to please everyone and be so sure we’re doing the right thing that there couldn’t possibly be any ill consequence. We need to constantly hash things out with ourselves to make doubly sure we will receive the validation that our ideas are good enough. So much so, we talk ourselves into the belief that our ideas are too ridiculous to be exposed to the outside world! And all before we’ve even tried.
Why are we so hard on ourselves? This shit is real! Advice is great and can be reassuring but in the anxious mind there’s always a need for more. To be accepted in society. To be validated for doing and feeling. It’s the reason some of my past plans didn’t come to fruition. I did not believe in myself. I felt like I didn’t have the support or belief in what I was trying to create and achieve. If someone wasn’t as excited about my idea as me, then I’d assume it was a rubbish one and throw in the towel. Leaving myself feeling stupid for even thinking I could make something of my life. The problem with this is that if we don’t change our mindset to believing so much in ourselves, to support ourselves, to try, even if no-one else sees our potential, then our ideas will never be known. Our progress will never be noticed no matter how much we try to speak and question and doubt it into reality. Anxiety is a thief. It steals our joy, hinders our potential and snaps us right back to where it wants us - riddled with self doubt! Validation is something we have to almost become blazè about. It’s a hard slog but it comes in the end and the feeling of euphoria is worth it. However, we have to let it come naturally and not strive for it. Only striving to better ourselves and be content with that. Here’s some what if’s for you ANXIETY:
What if I validated myself regardless of your attempts to dampen my spirits?
What if I believe so much in myself that it overtook all of the feelings that you invoke?
What if I wonder if what I am doing is a good idea but I shush your lips and do it anyway?
What if I built a business despite having you poking me with a shitty stick in the background? What if I look in the mirror and decide to love what I see, a perfectly proportioned outer casing and a massive heart with so much love to give?
What if I stick my middle finger up at you, anxiety, and start to realise that I have the power to do and think and say and believe I am capable of everything you say I can’t do?
What if I decide that what anyone else thinks of me is none of my business and no matter what you goad me with, I refuse to let it bring me down? You see? Validation from external sources is not necessary. Not right now. YOU are valid. YOU are enough. And what you seek will eventually find you no matter how hard you try to overthink it into reality. I recently had a conversation with a gentleman who took the decision to believe in my work. I felt like I had been head-hunted. Elated doesn’t come close. I didn’t look for it. I didn’t expect it. I just carried on doing what I believe in and it came. The validation. No amount of wondering and procrastinating will enable you to achieve. The work starts with you - us. It starts with doing. It doesn’t matter what you are trying to achieve - a healthier lifestyle, a new exercise regime, learning to drive, painting that amazing, abstract, unique piece of art, pursuing a dream job or creating your own income, being a better friend, making your own decisions, whatever you feel you need that validation for - I’m here to tell you that you don’t need it. I have experienced this so many times myself. It’s took a lot of self reflection to realise that the only one stopping me from doing what I believed in was me. And anxiety. The validation you seek is already within you. It's in your soul. Take the plunge. Do it without questioning yourself and see what amazing things you can make happen for yourself. You will get that external validity in the form of a compliment in some way at some point. But don’t do it for that. Do it for you! To start you off:
Think about that thing you’ve wanted to do for a while but haven’t because your anxiety made you believe it was fruitless. Make the decision to do it. You believe in it and that’s enough.
Start each day with some positive self talk. It doesn’t have to be out loud. Just a 'loud' silent thought that overpowers the anxiety. You can do this. YOU. CAN. DO. THIS.
Take action. No more procrastinating. If there are any blocks or obstacles that are truly in the way, work around them until you can finally remove them permanently.
Life presents with so many twists and turns. The best and only thing we can all do is be true to ourselves. Who knows where it will take us. Use the cliche imagery in your mind of the woman standing in the lavender field with the sun half set and her arms splayed out to the sides with the feeling of utter freedom and being at one with herself! A bit airy fairy but no effs given! That’s the feeling we all want deep down. Peace within ourselves and the knowledge that we are fulfilling who we are meant to be. So stop seeking the validation that will ultimately find you anyway. And remember, keep going even when you feel you’re not moving forward. You are. Even if you aren’t captivating the audience or results you want. You will. You’re only one decision away from the life you want to create. Small steps. Only a message away Love you lots