I have quite a special relationship with my own brain. You see, I am fully aware of the fact that I can’t always trust it. It’s not always kind to me, and sometimes it just straight up lies to me. A lot of people aren’t aware of the fact that their brain is, in fact, an ass. I am aware of this and I’m not afraid to examine my own thinking process and the emotions that come with it. Human psychology is just so darn fascinating. After quite a few years of examining my brain-workings, I have come to a few insights about me as a person. I am confronted with insecurities on a regular basis, combined with an occasional fear of failure. Let’s dive into those insecurities first, shall we?
I guess I’ve always been a bit insecure about myself as a person. I’ve always been afraid of not being liked by others, of being perceived as boring and not being worthwhile. I was never bullied or told any of these things, it was just my brain telling me this. As a result, I still struggle to make contact with people I haven’t met before for example. I’ve gotten better at it, but I still remember a time when I was terrified of going somewhere new where I didn’t know anyone. Luckily this has passed, but I’m still a little reserved around new people in new places. I can’t help it. If you enter my world though, and the places I already feel comfortable and safe in, I’ll just be me. I’m not a shy person at all, I’ m very open about pretty much anything once you get to know me, but you still have to wriggle past the initial introversion. As a result of being more introverted at times, I often get the remark that I need to be less safe. Be more crazy. Spontaneous. The problem with this is that once I start thinking, I go into over thinking, and over thinking kills spontaneity. It’s a real party pooper. I told you, my brain is an ass.
Another thing I’ve noticed is that my insecurities go hand in hand with a fear of failure. I’ve only recently (about 2 years ago) discovered this. I’ve had it since I was a little girl really, but I never realised it until then. It showed a lot during anything that was somehow related to performing. I remember being enrolled in a dance class when I was about 11. It generally takes me a long time to familiarize myself with a dance routine, which is ok, but I put so much pressure on myself during those classes because I wanted to do it right the first time. And I just couldn’t. So I felt like such a failure and after I injured myself in school one day, I refused to go back to dance class. I wasn’t good enough. Same thing a few years later when I went to middle school. I started out doing Latin and I wasn’t bad at it. We did have quite a demanding teacher, which of course made me put a lot of pressure on myself because I wanted to be good. At the end of the year I had a score of 67 percent. I didn’t continue because I didn’t think that was good enough. I can give you countless examples of this, but it wasn’t until I had my first real panic attack on my way to an exam 2 years ago that I realised I had a serious fear of failure. Looking back now, I realise how much I’ve missed out on and how much I’ve held myself back, just because I was afraid I wasn’t good enough. Even worse. A fear of failure comes with a fear of rejection. And because I’m afraid to fail or be rejected, I just avoid the situations this could happen in. Which is not a very good method, so I’ve learned. I do push myself more nowadays, but I can tell these things are still holding me back.
It’s just so confronting knowing that you’re the one creating your own problems. I know there’s an element of luck and timing involved in the things that happen in life, but I’ve realised that I’m the main source of my own issues. The only reason I’m still doing the job I’m doing is because I don’t spend enough time challenging myself, learning new things, or simply looking for another one. The reason I don’t do that, is because I’m afraid of rejection, of failing. The reason I don’t have any money is because I can’t stop spending it on things I don’t need, expecting it to satisfy a need I just can’t seem to satisfy. The reason I’m not in a relationship is because I have a hard time opening up to people I don’t know and/or trust so I just don’t get to know a lot of new people. I’m aware of these things. Sometimes it feels like I’m stuck in a self-made, never-ending circle, and I can’t seem to break out. I can’t even begin to describe how frustrating that is, which is why I’m going to be visiting a psychologist again. I had one session a few months ago and I learned (*) so much in this hour, it was mind blowing. Unfortunately, it’s also very expensive and I just couldn’t afford any more sessions. I can’t really afford any now either, but hey, I’ll figure it out.
(*) These are the things the psychologist taught me. I just want to share them because they really have helped me and maybe they can help someone else too.
First of all: words have power. I used to say: ‘I am insecure.’ He corrected me and told me that it’s not a personality trait, it’s not something I am. It’s a feeling, an emotion that comes and goes and that can be dealt with (this blew my mind a little bit).
Secondly: you need to tackle insecurity step by step. You need to break the issue down into smaller parts that are easier to deal with. And every part you deal with contributes to dealing with the bigger picture. Baby steps people.
Lastly: try and channel someone with confidence. You need to try and place yourself in the shoes of a confident person, which would be Beyoncé in my case, and imagine what they would do. This doesn’t always work but putting on a Beyoncé song usually gives me a little ‘bad bitch’ boost so I guess this tip kind of works too?