I talked in an earlier blog about how I thought something was terribly wrong with me for feeling anxious.
Another layer to this story is the way in which I habitually identified myself as an anxious person. Not anxious once in a while or anxious for situations I really cared about, an anxious person. As you might imagine, this label I’d unconsciously placed upon myself was confining, for various reasons. For one, the moments, hours, even days I wasn’t anxious seldom registered in my consciousness. Then there was just a slight imbalance (okay, quite large, really) in my perspective of who I was, which meant I rarely stopped to consider that I was more than my anxiety.
Too often in our fault-driven world, we can fall prey to obsessing about what’s wrong with us. In my case, I used to think, “I’m not centered, calm or confident enough. And in social situations, I lacked the ability to come across as knowledgeable or worthy of respect.” While we all have growing edges and there may have been some truth to this perspective, it wasn’t the whole truth.
I, like you, also have innate capacities and strengths that validate my worth and ability to contribute to the world. Yet, these inherently positive qualities often go unnoticed. Which means it’s our ‘job’ to be more intentional about noticing them. Please know that we don’t focus on strengths to pretend that real problems don’t exist. Rather we focus on strengths because we are whole people who are much, much more than our foibles and faults.
See if you can turn the lens of attention to what’s right with you for a change. Even the fact that you’re carving time out of your busy life to read this blog is a big deal. It shows your commitment to health and healing and your courage to discover new ways to relate to yourself when you feel anxious or upset.