Generally, people don’t like to be scrutinized. I am one of those people. And yet, judgements are a completely common part of human nature. Oh so confusing!
As a person with social anxiety, I feel that it is perfectly NORMAL for ME to fear judgement.
As a writer (and a person with Social Anxiety), “Fear of Judgement” is my middle name. In my world, I am socially anxious because I have an underlying “Core Belief” that makes it hard for me to trust others. Simply, if I trusted all people, and didn’t fear what other people thought of me, then I would have a lot less social anxiety!
It’s also NORMAL for ALL people to have their own opinions about what they see and read.
- We are human.
- We have our own ideas.
- We think. We analyze. We compare. We contrast.
- We share. We debate.
- We love. We hate.
- We like. We dislike.
A surprise self-discovery, after I started “The Anxious Butterfly”!
I started this blog to bring more awareness to mental health issues, and to offer peer support to people who are suffering. My goal is also to share my own personal stories, battles, struggles and triumphs with the intention of inspiring others, and giving hope to those who also have challenges.
What I didn’t expect, is that my anxiety and pain would have a bit of an upswing. Even my physical pain has gone up over the past few weeks (which can happen when I am stressed). I had no idea what the reason was at first. I couldn’t figure it out.
Then it hit me! The only new thing that happened over the past few weeks was my new adventure, “The Anxious Butterfly” website. Once I realized this, an avalanche of my recent “anxiety thoughts” fell over me.
A list of my anxious thoughts:
- Why can’t I figure out the domain name?
- Why can’t I figure out how to “map the domain name”?
- Why can’t I get this WordPress account to work?
- Why is this site not showing up? What did I do wrong?
- Why can I not figure out how to use this web graphic theme? It looks like crap?
- What will other people think when they read my writing?
- Am I capable?
- Will my topics resonate with anyone?
- How will people judge me and my thoughts?
AND THEN, I did a “Thought Record” to challenge these Judgements!
If you haven’t learned the amazing “Thought Record” tool to sort out anxious/distorted thoughts – it’s a definite must! I will be sure to talk about it’s details in the future!
It certainly helped me a lot in this situation. At the end of my thought record, I came up with….
- I was frustrated that I had a rough start setting up my web site, but it has only been a few weeks. It doesn’t look how I want it to, but it will get better, and there will be people out there that will understand my growing pains. If there are some people that wonder why the site doesn’t look polished, they have the right to think that way.
- It’s okay if people see my grammar less than perfect – because it IS less than perfect. However, it is also important that I acknowledge to myself that I am improving and taking one day at a time. I have some mountains to climb, but I am working on it.
- I may have thoughts that I am not capable, but I have to remember my accomplishments instead of focusing on what I think I’m not able to do.
- I can’t control what others think of my thoughts, stories, topics, and/or ideas. I also can’t control what others think of me. However, I do have control over what I put out into the world. I can write content that is important to me, and if that has a positive impact on at least one person, then it makes everything about “The Anxious Butterfly” all worthwhile.
LESSON: People will have judgements. Challenge your OWN thoughts.
People will have positive things to say about you, and people will have critiques. If we feel anxious/upset about the way others perceive us, it is important to know the things we DO have control over, and the things we DON’T have control over.
It is important to review each of our anxious thoughts to decide if there is another perspective. Instead of getting into the hurricane of self-destructive and distorted thoughts, perhaps an internal review can bring a more positive outlook. This is difficult at first, but it absolutely gets easier with time. I certainly can attest to the success I have had with this technique.
LESSON: Don’t be afraid to fail
I will be talking about the topic “failure” in the future, but I thought it was important to mention it here. Too many of us put a great deal of pressure on ourselves to be perfect.
- Nothing has to be perfect when you are learning.
- Nothing has to be perfect when you are trying something new.
When we fail at something, we are creating a moment to learn from. It has taken me many years to fully understand this. And, even with this knowledge, I still need to remind myself. It is an important lesson that we ALL need to incorporate into our daily living.
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