I thought long and hard about my next post, as I think I have covered a lot recently about having a ‘whatever’ attitude to how you feel and so many people have this concept, and reading through, so many have improved a lot. I have like a diary of my own suffering and how I got through each stage, so I have plenty more to say and do take on board what people post and do think ‘I remember that stage’ or ‘I remember when I struggled with that’ and try to cover such comments or posts the best I can.
Today’s topic certain people will relate to and it was certainly something I went through that held me back. When I first suffered from anxiety, I really had no clue what was wrong with me and in time my confidence really plummeted. Well we all know what people with little confidence have a habit of doing and that is ‘People pleasing’ not only that, but we try and cover up how we are feeling, still trying to be the jolly person with loads of confidence, when inside we feel lost and bewildered.
I remember going to work and just trying to please everyone. My confidence was so low, I felt that everyone was better than me, I had suffered from depression and wanted to make myself feel good and wrongly thought that trying to please people would do this. I stopped having opinions and just agreed with everyone, which is the quickest way for your confidence to plummet even further. I used to get frustrated as to where the old me had gone and try and cover up how I was feeling, acting through the whole day, ‘I must not let people see how I am’, ‘I must come across as normal and happy’ The stress of this had me break down in tears one day. I could no longer keep this act up. I was sick of trying to make people like me, which in turn had the opposite effect I am sure, as people lose respect for someone who has no opinions and just agrees with what everyone is saying, it certainly made me lose even more confidence in myself.
So one day I thought ‘No more’ I am not acting my way through the day, if people notice I am not myself, if I come across as odd then so be it, I am no longer pretending that everything is OK. So many people email me and say this hurts them more than anything. Losing who they are. I say ‘Don’t chase your own tail trying to scramble your way back to who you were or act like everything is OK, this will only put yourself under more stress’.
I also said to myself, ‘However I feel I am no longer trying to please people. However I feel I am going to have an opinion, this anxiety is just a surface feeling, I am still me underneath and that confidence will come back in time, but not if I lose who I am underneath and I have never gone around trying to please people in the past and anxiety will not lead me down that path’.
So from that day if I came across as odd then so be it, if people spoke about me not being the person I used to be, quiet, more withdrawn, not as chirpy, then water off a ducks back, the real me will rise again in time. Also from that day on, the people-pleasing stopped, I no longer ‘Tried to make people like me, to help me feel better, this was just having the opposite effect, it just made me feel worse anyway’. From that day on the stress of trying to be something I wasn’t and not have to act anymore was lifted from me. I felt more at ease and in time, when I was free of anxiety, I was more confident than ever. The real me had risen again like I knew it would, it was always there, but it came back stronger than ever.
So if you can relate to any of the above I would like you to do the same. I hated trying to please others, I knew that acting my way through the day made me feel worse and like everything else. I always recognised this and tried to change it. These changes made so much difference to me in the short and long term. Never forget however you feel, that person is still there, just waiting to rise back up, more confident than ever.
Just to finish, so many people who recover say how much more confident they feel, also how they view life differently, they lose their lust for material things and just enjoy living again. They no longer take the simple things for granted and love just waking up in a morning and doing the simple things, that person was also me.
I hope today’s post helps in some way and that everyone had a great bank holiday.