Sometimes you need to step away.
To turn your back on the things which cause the most stress and unhappiness.
Sometimes this is easy, sometimes this may be physically possible.
One thing which has surprised me most over the past year is how easy anxiety now embraces me.
Before I had the confidence just to say how things were.
Sometimes this would mean ‘white lies’ which I would reconcile, I knew how I felt and I thought I knew how people would better understand this.
I now find it more difficult to be anything other than honest whilst remaining, at times, a people pleaser.
I know the person I would like to be, but when push comes to shove, anxiety kicks in.
And of course, like most things which wear us down, anxiety doesn’t make sense.
For me, anxiety can be outweighed by self-confidence, no matter how low self-confidence, just a tip of the scales in your favour can be all you need to get by.
I always know after the event how much better I am for being there, and when I’m not there the kick is so much worse for letting anxiety get its way.
Whilst it began as something most prevalent in my social life, it has crept in to all things, suddenly even social situations with close friends or meetings at work come under the microscope, and if possible an opt-out clause is found.
Fortunately, over the past week or so, confidence has been found.
It crept in as openness was demanded, conversations were rehashed for transparency and context, and through conversation once again reaffirmation that the right decisions had been made.
And whilst I thought I was ok because I had forgiven, what I missed was in order to move on I also had to accept the situation.
Whilst I knew the right decisions were made and remained confident in the transparency of the rationale- to be held in judgement by others, repeatedly, the feelings of how that affects a person are hard to articulate.
I have now accepted that I am at peace with the decisions made, that people in positions of judgement must have their own terrible anxieties to carry in that role, and ultimately there are too many variables to allow anything other than acceptance of future decisions.
For me, now, I have acceptance, the favourite work phrase overrules “It will be what it will be”.
And everyone, either now or in the future, will need to move on, and the choice is the individual’s to make.
I am choosing to move on. To accept whatever decisions made will not change me, they will be accepted.
And as things rebalance at work, the enthusiasm and motivation for work is rediscovered in the most unexpected and unscheduled of meetings.
With a knock-on effect that confidence is re-emerging at home- the need to continue the feel-good, the desire to continue to feel a sense of happiness and enjoyment.
That self-doubt still overwhelms, but slowly, very slowly, I question myself. I am trying to stop the opt-in, only to want to instantly opt-out. I am trying to remember why I opt-in.
I am making progress, now I am succeeding in overriding the opt-out.
I am beginning a path to enjoying social situations again, to not feel distracted by other worries.
I am beginning to enjoy work, to not second guess, to be good at what I do.
Values and integrity are aspirations to be met on a daily basis.
I hope these feelings of optimism continue to accompany me though 2015.