Do you tell yourself the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?
At first you might say YES or course I do. What would be the point in lying to myself?
And I would be first to agree I tell myself the truth.
But when we start to examine the words we use, the thoughts we have and the way in which we respond to situations, we start to uncover a whole web of lies.
The thing is we do lie to ourselves, often. We don’t mean to. In-fact we don’t even know we are doing it half the time and we don’t it in good faith.
When was the last time you told yourself you can't do something?
Or that XYZ wasn’t for people like you.
Or maybe you’ll always be this way its just how it is?
These words, these, thoughts, these responses to situations are lies.
I used to tell myself; I’d always have difficulty ordering food in a restaurant. I couldn’t bear the thought of someone judging my food choices and I’d often say “I’ll have the same thanks”. And then hope they wouldn’t look at me whilst I was eating it.
If I had to make an important phone call or an appointment, I’d put it off feeling scared of talking on the phone and getting it wrong or sounding daft.
When shopping I’d get hot waiting in line to pay and have to check my money ten times over before handing it over.
Getting hotter and hotter, flush in the face.
I’d be overly self-aware in public places.
And die if had to walk past people I didn’t really know in the corridors at work. Crossing my arms, or closing my shoulders, lowering my face. If I couldn’t see them, they couldn’t see me, right?
And crowded spaces were to be AVOIDED at all costs. I’d feel the panic rise up in me. The shortness of breath, the increased heart rate and the panicked wide eyes. Silent tears, and my thoughts in my head telling me to get out of there.
I’d come up with excuses to get out social situations or I’d go the other way and over prepare for every possible scenario. Details planned to a T.
My imagination used to be permanently on over drive, coming up with social situations and highlighting just awfully they’d be and how embarrassing it would be.
And it felt like the truth.
Like life would always be like this for me.
I had accepted from an early age and believed that this was my life.
Of course none of it was true. Nobody cared what I ate in the restaurant, they were too busy thinking about themselves.
And the lady on the other end of the phone just wanted to book the appointment correctly and move on with her busy work schedule.
I always paid with the right money and never took longer than was necessary so my panic at the till was uncalled for.
The crowded rooms and corridors, the social situations were just full of people going about their business, In all honestly, they probably never even noticed me.
So WHY did I and do people experience life in this way?
Why do we tell ourselves it's not okay to into a crowded room and talk to people we don’t really know.
Why do we spend our valuable time creating embarrassing scenarios in our minds and setting ourselves up to fail at the first hurdles, or in many cases not even getting off the starting blocks?
There is no pleasure in it. There is nothing to gain from it. Its just a way of being they somewhere along the line we accepted to be a truth for us.
The tension, the feeling blue, the panic attacks, the demotivation, the being held back, the tears, the quickness of breath, the red face, the stutter, the avoidance. It was all based on a lie.
Now this is the truth and you may find to hard swallow I know I did.
I argued at first.
But that panic attack was real. I felt it with every part of my body and was drained for days afterwards.
My face did burn and my words didn’t come out when I tried to speak.
Tears did silently roll down my face when I dashed out of the event and shut myself in the ladies, that feeling of panic did wash over me like an uncontrollable wave and I found it hard to breath.
These things did happen they were real. My anxiety, my panic and struggles were real.
And yes, those symptoms are real. These situations really did happen, that’s no lie BUT the trigger for them wasn’t real. The trigger for them came from the lies I had continually told myself. These lies were hidden in my words, my thoughts, and my beliefs and became bedded in my life through my actions.
Seriously, I created my anxiety through the misuse or I could even go so far as to say abuse of my imagination. YES the symptoms were real. There is no denying that but the cause was my imagination.
I can’t begin to tell you how I felt when I worked that out. It was a mixture of freedom, because if I had created it, I could learn how to un-create it. Now that excited me BUT god I felt stupid having wasted so many opportunities and avoided so many social situations because I thought I only ever told myself the truth.
The thoughts we have are ours to own and use as we wish too. Sometimes it’s easy than others, sometimes our thoughts are heavily influenced by external factors and sometimes we just don’t want to see the real truth.
Why am I telling you this?
Well I believe that if you can develop good self-understanding you can achieve all the things you want to in your life. If you have a good self insight you live an empowered life, one that doesn’t leave you at the mersey of others, one were you don’t have to blame other people, situation or things and one were you can be free to enjoy every moment.
Well almost every moment, this is life after all.
Can you relate?
The Truth Spectrum is the first of seven pillars that we walk through in The Positively Blooming Formula. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to discover more.