I’ve always tried to do my best and thought trying my hardest is all I can do. This is true, however I’ve realised this lead to constant disappointment. I didn’t realise I was actually trying to be a perfectionist, mainly because I didn’t have the usual traits or OCD behaviour. I just wanted to be perfectly well, feel perfect and for things to go smoothly. Who doesn’t? This doesn’t seem unreasonable to me. But what is feeling perfectly well? and why would things not be great just because it isn’t perfect?
I feel that there is an in-between stage when you’re getting better. Your health is improving and you can do a little more but where do you draw the line? I still do not feel 100% well and this continues to shatter my confidence.
I’ve held this belief that I’m not able to or not good enough to do things. Yet I did not want to settle for less, I wanted to feel normal. But for everyone and for me personally with chronic conditions all our normals are different. We aren’t all the same and we can’t judge ourselves on others standards. I’ll try to do my best and be my best – so what if it does not perfectly mirror somebody else’s best. We have to set our own goals and standards. There’s only one of you out there in the world and that is the most beautiful thing. We’re not meant to be the same, if we were it would be awfully boring. Meaning we all have different things to offer.
I have come to realise that my anxiety stemmed from fear. The fear of things not being perfect. “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself”- I cannot appreciate this statement enough, as soon as let the fear in it became hard to get rid of it. I believe I worried that I would not be well enough, and I feared the disappointment. I feared things going wrong and then it may further diminish my confidence. I felt I had been disappointed enough. But who controls our disappointment? You, and you alone. WE are the ones who determine how we respond to things not going our way or life throwing unexpected events towards us. This is when we need to focus on what we have, what we can make and what we can learn from these situations.
Fear has more power than I ever expected and has the influence to change our approach to life and cloud our views. If we replace fear with belief in ourselves, how much more power and strength we will gain. We will be stronger in facing our ‘fears’ and become far more likely to tackle them. Even if you do not believe just yet, I believe in you.
Another thing I have learnt is to stop worrying for the things that ‘may happen’, all the ‘what ifs’. These are purely chances. Focus on the now! Do not let things that may never happen or the future ruin what you have now. All we have is now so enjoy it don’t waste it worrying. I know this is hard to do so:
Just take a few deep breaths,
Remove yourself – even just go sit in a different room to get into a different headspace,
Have a shower or bath and wash it all away,
Distract yourself by doing something you love.
Just do not waste your time and precious energy worrying.