Moving beyond self-doubt

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I am a thinker. An over-analyzer. It keeps me from doing a lot of things I could or even should be doing (meeting friends, meeting deadlines). This is why I decided that my word of the year 2014 would be ‘yes!’, as in, to say ‘yes’ to things more often rather than thinking in my regular ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’.

If the past month of doing so made me realize anything, it’s that doing the things I would normally dodge or cancel actually makes me feel a lot better. It’s the breaking out of my comfort zone (which, ironically, isn’t all that comfortable to start with) that creates moments that are completely worthwhile. Setting aside my doubts, anxiety and mostly my insecurity creates a space of actually ‘living’ rather than just thinking about living.

What usually kept (or, still keeps) me from going ahead and doing those things is my insecurity. As someone who overthinks everything, I create a lot of obstacles in my head that block options. Whereas someone else might experience that as difficult, for me it can feel paralyzing. Instead of breaking out, I close off to the possibilities and lock myself in self-doubt.

99p

Over-analysers often tend to be perfectionists as well. If we didn’t care so much about how things turned out, we wouldn’t give them so much thinking time. It’s this perfectionism that often keeps me from socializing. When I don’t feel like I’m in ‘a good place right now’, I’d rather not meet up with friends. I want them to experience my happy me, rather than weighing them down with my less-happy me. A friend of mine confronted me with this recently, by asking me what I’d do if he told me the same thing. What if he told me he wasn’t in his happy place, and that’s why he didn’t want to see me. Would I be okay with that, or would it make me want to see him even more, to help move past the negativity?

Ummm, d’oh! I’d book the first train ticket to come see him!

So why is it that I react so differently when it concerns me? Why do I not allow others to help me move past that negativity? They do not even have to know they are it; I know from experience that going ahead and saying ‘yes’ to things that make me háve to break out of my self-doubt and step into ‘real life’ are already enough to break out of the negative space.

I know everybody goes through hard times. I know nobody feels perfect all the time.

It is extremely silly to accept that as a ‘no problem!’-thing from others, yet allowing it become the main reason to lock myself away from enjoying life and all the amazing people in it when it concerns myself.

If I do not expect others to be 100% happy all the time, why do I expect myself to be so? And how did I let that translate into the silly notion that others expect that of me as well?

The thing is: they don’t. Nobody (well, except myself) expects me to be 100% perfect. Ever. Because, deep down, we all know better than that. We all know that nobody ever is. Realizing this is one thing. Acting on it is another. Moving past that self-doubt, those insecurities and that self-made pressure is not easy, but so far, it’s been worth it. Saying ‘yes’ to things has opened so many opportunities not just for fun things, but also for deeper connection. But more on that next time.

One thing I’d like to share now, though, is a realization I had: My paralyzing over-analysing is not a ‘given fact’. Yes, it is part of me, a big part of me, even. But, it’s not like I cannot work on it and go against it, if I put in the effort to do so. Being aware of this habit is the first step into moving past it. It’s not like I broke the habit and changed my persona in the past month, nor do I expect I ever will. But I did realize that, even though it might be my first response to let myself overthink and freeze up, I can decide to make a different choice and go against that initial response. And that is quite a liberating realization!

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Monday Motivation / Musings

its-all-in-you

I wanted to share this, because it resonated with me.

Why did it resonate?

Because, while writing someone two weeks ago, in my mind I jumbled together the following;

‘You are exactly what, where and who you are supposed to be’.

Now, I am not calling copyright on this. I am sure other people, great minds, have written this if not similar things. But, it made so much sense. I so longer for this person (and everyone reading this!) to be able to feel that. To feel that they were just right being them. To not Always feel like having to compromise a little something here, to change a little something there. To add some, to deny some, to diminish some.

It has become so natural to so many of us to continuesly renegotiate ourselves. Who we are, what do we stand for, what do we want out of life, what is our purpose? Why, or why not did something happen? Shouldn’t we, or couldn’t we have?

If only we could grasp to this inner truth of being just right, would be such a powerful thing. As the above picture says, we have all we need to deal with all we face. Because we are enough, we are just right! And by acknowledging that, by feeling that, grasping it, we can use it. See it as the powerful burning flame inside us that it is and let it warm us up from the inside. Glow, gleam, shine, beam!

If we would use that flame inside us as a beakon of hope and power instead of continuously burning our fingers trying to manipulate it. When we stop questioning all that we are, could have been or should be. It would leave so much energy to channel in other directions.

Wednesdays words of wisdom

Apparently I am sticking to some familiar series posts right now (fun friday, monday motivations and wednesday’s words of wisdom), but I am too busy with deadlines to write a proper post. However, these words of wisdom found me at the right (vulnerable) time, so I’d still like to elaborate on them.

An arrow can only be shot forward by pulling it back. So when life drags you back with difficulties, that means it is going to launch you into something great.”

I have no idea from who the quote originated, and googling doesn’t seem to bring forth the answer. I found it on a tattoo website (I scan those religiously on down-days), and a girl had a tattoo of an arrow on her wrist. The quote was her explanation. And it struck me (no pun intended) as a wow.

An arrow can only be shot forward by pulling it back. I tend to get so hung up on the bad. How I am so down now, more than ever or whatever, and how I can’t see this ‘ever getting better’. Which, honestly, does not help the process of getting anywhere. But the downs, the setbacks, however large, are always interpreted (by me) as the worst thing that can happen. And I tend to get comfortable in the gutter instead of trying to get back up myself , or even accepting a helping hand to get me back up.

But what if the down, the gutter, the setbacks – what if they are all just a ‘calm before the storm’. The pulling the arrow back. The deep breath before a wild ride. What if it’s just a moment of preperation before the good stuff starts?

‘From the dark, you can see the stars’. I love stars, the moon, the cold crisp air the nighttime brings. I missed it so much when I lived in a 2-million people/skyscraper city. But by reading the first (arrow) quote, I realized I might be getting a little too good at making myself extremely comfortable in the dark. However great the stars are, we all need light. We are like the most gorgeous flowers. We need light to grow, to bloom and to blossom.

SAMSUNG

So, from now on, I will try to be a bit more mindful about getting too comfortable in my gutter. About accepting a helping hand to stand up straight again. Because however great the view at the stars might be from that gutter, I, too, need some sunlight in my life. Maybe the setback is a pull back, maybe this will all launch me into something new and amazing. Maybe I’m about to fly and boom. Hit bullseye. Or whatever target or goal. Or just keep zooming. Freely.

Or, like Cupid’s arrow, touch hearts.

*Free translation; May I find some light, to live with a gleam of hope
*Exact translation; May I find some light, and live in its traces
*Made in (mid)2012 (my own, obviously)

Wednesday’s words of wisdom

This monday I decided to do a (long due) Monday Motivation again. Today it is time for another long due series post; a wednesday’s words of wisdom.

green green grass

We all get into a slump sometimes. And oh how easy it is to stay stuck in there. Sometimes it’s just easier to convince ourselves that that is just how it is, or even how it’s meant to be. Others can recover, others can get better. Others can recover without blabla. Others are wiser. You are just blablablaBLA. It’s so easy to compare and then judge yourself. To put yourself on the lowest step of your imaginary ranking. This is life, we are all human. There is no hierarchy. We are equals.

We should stop frickin’ comparing.

Instead of pointing fingers, we should lend each other a hand.

Stop judging. Not just others, but stop judging yourself. We can continue to list out our own flaws, and flat-iron someone else’s. The irony is, the other will probably be doing the same thing. It’s so much easier to name brilliant things about someone you admire, when it is so hard to name even one amazing asset of yourself. I know the popular saying is that the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. However, think about this one for a minute;

The grass is greener where you water it

Isn’t that so true? If you keep putting someone else in the spotlight, only allowing yourself to wither in the shadow, how can you expect green grass? Grass doesn’t grow in the dark. It needs both water, light and space. So why not claim it. Claim your light. Your water. Your space. Find out what makes you grow. Your essentials. You cannot grow in (self imposed) shadows, you need and deserve to be acknowledged. Loved. Your soul needs nourishment, just like the grass needs water. Your body deserves to be nourished like that too. And you deserve to claim space. To settle, to ground in. And if your space has a big fence, or a big tree, or a big whatever blocking your direct sunlight, you need to cut it down. Weed out the things depleting your soul soil. You deserve to grow and bloom and blossom

*My feet 5 yrs ago, anklet was replaced by my two ‘wedding-bands’ a year later. Pretty darn green grass though

Wednesdays words of Wisdom: Guest post

Now, I know I said I have some guest monday motivations coming up, but I found the coming guest-post to be more of a “Wednesdays words of wisdom“.

I hope y’all don’t mind.

The coming lady is the most amazing, intelligent Zen-angel ever. A lovebug, as she calls it. The one and only blogger I have ever met in real life, when she was traveling through Europe. She is so stunning, not just her looks, but just her entire presence. And she has a way with words!! Oh my. Oh and yeah, her name is Zoe. How can you go wrong with that?!

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i really hate how attached to our bodies we are


(my shoulder and an earring i am really sad i lost)

how we use them to judge ourselves
to judge others

in america
bodies are institutes for shame

in europe i watched women eat bread
and ice cream
and pasta
not gluten free spinach pasta
pasta-pastas
the kind overtly body conscious people replace with salad at dinner

now
i know we can say
‘it’s because they walk every where!’
or
something like that

but

that’s not really an excuse, is it?

we talk about bodies like they shape the person we are completely
like big thighs means less heart
or
round tummies means cruelty

when all it means is
big thighs
and
round tummies

maybe if we talked about other things it wouldn’t matter
maybe if we redirected our attention, positive and negative, elsewhere
we wouldn’t worry so much

because, the truth is,

i’m really tired of talking about bodies.

i’d rather talk about things like
writing
eating
books
love

my body is round
squishey and
i feel beautiful
most days

to call myself beautiful and squishy out loud
sounds revolutionary
silly
and
boring simultaneously

my friend
one who met me as i stumbled into an eating disorder but didn’t stick around to watch me stumble out
my friend said something to me
on the phone
yesterday

she said
‘and i bet you lost weight from all the walking’
like it mattered more than the people i met or
the things i saw or
how achingly different i feel inside

i thought two things
one
‘what a funny thing to say to someone in recovery’
and two
‘she doesn’t know me at all’

the words
‘bodies’
and
‘contention’
don’t fit together to me

why fight the very thing cradling
the very thing you are?

so,
with that being said,

what do you love about you?

much love,
zoe

Wednesdays words of wisdom

As a procrastination for writing down what I am actually feeling, I leave you guys with the quote that I have on my mirror (the only thing I see when I look at it, as I try to avoid my reflection at the moment)

“There is nothing wrong with change, if it is in the right direction” ~Winston Churchill

(&Who are we to disagree?)

 

Wednesdays words of wisdom

Ah, another wednesday. Time for some words of wisdom.

Not mine, d’oh, that would be some paradox!

But I read this the other day and thought it’d make a nice Wedneday post, since it’s been too long since I did one of those anyway.

The elevator to heaven broke down. You have to take the stairs now. Step by step. ~Joe Girard.

Bwoah. That one was an in my face-type of ones. STEP BY STEP, Sooz. I wrote about it last week, in my mother’s day post, how I thought I would just ‘do’ ‘this recovery thing’, like, BHAM, and get it over with. I learnt the hard way that that’s not how it works.  Every journey starts with a first step, yes. But I forgot that after that first one, the entire rest of the journey is made out of single steps too.

‘A small step for man, a giant leap for mankind?’,  not so much when it comes to recovery. For us, it works the other way around.  Hysterically texting a friend after spontaneously eating (&finishing) a McFlurry? Wearing short sleeves for the first time in two years? A small step for mankind but a giant leap for us.

What (giant or baby) steps have you made thus far that made you realized your on the right track? And where do you hope that path will lead you to?

Wednesdays words of wisdom

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these! But apparently my wednesdays are getting wiser again (though, don’t be fooled by my seemingly up spirit lately, my Uni is getting way off track and I don’t think I’ll be able to get things back together before the end of the year. I’ve let it slip too far to catch up on things again..)

Anyway, I read these words in the paper about 2 months ago, and they stuck with me, so I figured it was time to share them;

In fifteen minutes, everyone will be in the future.

I suppose it’s a bit of a spin on Andy Warhol’s famous quotes, but I like it nontheless. It helps me put things into perspective. Why dwell on the past. or even on the now. It’s gone before you realize it. And also with the whole procrastinating your good will. ‘I’ll start tomorrow..’, or, ‘Well, I’ve already fucked up for the rest of this week now!’ etc. What’s going on now can seem forever ago in just a little bit, so don’t worry about it too much. In fifteen minutes, you’ll be in the future. In fifteen minutes, whatever is bugging you now will be in your past. In fifteen minutes, you’re your future you. in fifteen minutes, whatever was bugging you will be part of your baggage and nothing more than that. Hey, isn’t that liberating?