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You get social anxiety when you’re around certain people. That anxiety cripples you and you start wondering why you’re so anxious. Now you’re becoming anxious about being anxious. Now you’re anxious about your social anxiety ➡️ more anxiety.
you’re so worried about doing the right thing all the time that you become worried about how much you’re worrying. you feel so guilty for every mistake you make that you begin to feel guilty about how guilty you’re feeling.
This is “thought loop of despair”
I force myself to sound confident. I go up and say hello to a few people. My voice starts out strong, but then it starts to waver. Everything I say sounds like a question. Hi? How are you? I’m good? Great party?…
After the party I go home and this is when I feel the worst. I start beating myself up. Cue thought loop of despair.
Nobody abuses us more than we abuse ourselves. We pay for our mistakes thousands of times. We make a mistake, we punish ourselves. And you’d think that would be enough, but every time we remember, we punish ourselves again, and again. – Adapted from Don Miguel Ruiz
The anxiety I feel at the party isn’t even that bad. What is 10 times worse is me beating myself up after.
I’ve created this self image that I need to be a confident, charismatic guy all the time, and that if I don’t act confident, no one will like me.
The slight problem with this is that no one is confident all the time. And when I inevitably fail to live up to my own expectations, it causes me to question the foundations of my identity. Am I some loser who doesn’t know how to socialize? I hate weak people, and I hate myself when I am weak. I am only worthy of love when I meet my own standards.
Zen master Seng-tsan taught that “true freedom is being without anxiety about imperfection.”
I gradually begin to accept that: sometimes I act awkward, other times I’m confident. There’s parts of my personality that I like, parts that I don’t like. But, at the end of the day I’m human, a unique individual. And I am learning to love and accept all parts of myself.
There is a life force that runs through all living things. Some people call it god. It is the creator, the enabler of life. God runs through us. We are life. We are god. We don’t need to do anything or achieve anything. We are already worthy of love. Because Love is the very essence of the life that runs through us.
The meaning of life is just to be alive. It is so plain and so obvious and so simple.
We really should stop judging ourselves
Psychologist Dr Kristen Neff talks about how:
There isn’t anything wrong with the imperfection of life as long as we don’t expect it to be other than it is.
Happiness is not dependent on circumstances being exactly as we want them to be, or on ourselves being exactly as we’d like to be. Rather, happiness stems from loving ourselves and our lives exactly as they are, knowing that joy and pain, strength and weakness, glory and failure are all essential to the full human experience.”
I focus my attention on how my feelings feel and where they are in my body. I allow myself to experience my nervousness fully.
I notice how the heaviness in my belly rises and lifts with my breath. I notice the tightness in my throat extending to my eyes, surrounding them with tension like a clenched fist. I stay with the feeling around my eyes. They feel a little tired, heavy.
“Anxiety” doesn’t exist
It is just a word that humans make up. All that exists are physical sensations.
If I started thinking How come I’m not confident yet? this will drive me to start worrying. Why am I not confident yet? I need to be confident and this starts the thought loop of despair.
Accept yourself and then beyourself
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