Another in the blog series- following on from Don’t Feed The Cat and The Cat is Back.
This is the next part. You may understand now that the learnt habits of worrying is something we are in control of and not a big scary issue out of our control. After decades of helping people to become anxiety free, one of the key factors is knowing that we can change and we don’t need to live this way forever. With your new-found knowledge, commitment to change and of course, like anything in life, a bit of work you will start seeing the change in how you feel.
Insecurity breeds insecurity … take small steps and let your confidence start to grow.
You’ve stopped feeding the cat and not stuck in the reassurance trap, the next step is to look at other things we do, that can give us a warped sense of safety. Safety and security is a feeling we should have inside of ourselves, if we don’t feel secure we can start searching for comfort outside of ourselves.
If we feel insecure we can start covering ourselves with a comfort blanket, which for a while we can make us feel a bit better, but in the long-term it just makes us more insecure and anxious. Then something else comes along that we don’t feel secure about, so we add another comfort blanket and again we get a temporary feeling of relief. If we continue to do this, before we know it, we have smothered ourselves with comfort blankets and the issues we were trying to resolve are still there. These habits of comforting ourselves with things has the opposite effect and tells our mind that we don’t feel secure. This then adds to our original worries and anxieties.
Comfort blankets don’t work they just smother you.
Now let’s try and pin point a few comfort blankets you may have in your life, you may not have realised that they are causing you more anxiety and making you feel insecure. Maybe going to certain places makes you feel a bit nervous so you started to carry a bottle of water just in case you get a dry mouth. It seems sensible, but if it’s a comfort blanket then it will only make you more insecure. If you have done this, you will be aware over time you end up not being able to go out without it. When you forget it, you feel even more worried. Maybe you have a bad stomach and you have to take Imodium, you then start taking it out with you all the time. The same fears can grow and it all leads to the same thing, more fear and anxiety. Don’t get me wrong, at times all of these items are good things to take out with us, but if it has become a comfort blanket for you, you will find that you can’t go out without it. You still feel the anxiety that made you take it out with you in the first place, plus a bit more. You’re not any safer and you don’t feel any less anxious, in fact you may feel more anxious and now you have the need to have to carry this with you whenever you leave the house. If this is you then it’s time to take action, try doing a small trip without it and build your confidence up. Over time your mind will forget and you will start feeling more confident. Please don’t expect a miracle change, taking steady progress is much better then racing to do something, then racing back to the beginning again. Keep thinking about your mind as a muscle, regular exercise over time makes you stronger. Be steady and consistent with yourself and your mind will build the confidence to change.
Push through the fear and challenge yourself, you WILL grow stronger
Now let’s have a look at more things that could be breeding insecurity and so in turn making you anxious. Maybe it not the things we have to take with us, maybe it’s the thing we do. Our mind is a like a massive computer, like a computer it sees things in black and white, right or wrong, there is nothing in-between. But, we are different we see things in many shades from black through to dark greys to grey, light grey off white to white and we think our minds will see this too, but it doesn’t. Your minds computer will look through those insecure hopes and choose the black or white of what the issue is.
If we want to be safe and secure and anxiety free we have to start acting this way then learning the habits to stay this way.
Let’s expand on this a bit more, I do like examples of things, I think it makes it easier for you to see what I am saying. These examples can always be transposed into the things that you’re doing. If you feel uncomfortable with people and you blush, then you could be avoiding bright places, hot places, face to face conversations with people, being centre of attention and embarrassing situations. I get why you want to do this, as these are the things that make you feel uncomfortable and they can trigger you to blush. The reality is, your still blushing while trying to avoid or do these things and in fact the avoidant habit is not helping you to stop blushing it’s become an added part of the problem.
Putting things off creates avoidance, avoidance creates fear and fear makes you anxious.
Maybe you don’t like talking to groups of people, so you avoid speaking to them and over time you end up speaking less and less adding to your insecurities. You might not feel confident doing something at work and end up over checking it, the habit of over checking that of piece of work gets stronger and you still feel more insecure about doing the work. I could go on for ever, but I think you get the gist of what I am saying doing things to stop you feeling uncomfortable just make you feel more uncomfortable. Your mind will just see these actions as you are being afraid and will encourage your body to feel more anxious about them. Your mind thinks that’s its keeping you safe helping you to avoid scary things, it doesn’t understand that you are nervous because you don’t feel safe inside and have created these irrational fears.
You can do it, it’s only the fear that you can’t that’s stopping you.
So now you understand why your feeling anxious now it time to stop doing these things and start teaching your mind to feel safe. This will allow you to develop the calm and confidence you deserve. Start thinking about how a confident person would approach this situation and do the same. It will feel different, because of course, it is. But, you know the other way is making it worse-not better, so you have nothing to lose but everything to gain. Steady steps are the best way learn, do the easy things first and build up to the bigger situations.
Next week I will continue on the theme of feeding anxiety. There are now video clips with motivational quotes and images on the social media pages please subscribe as all those positive images will help to keep you more positively focused.
Have a great week, thanks for dropping by Sara x
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