I suffer from anxiety. I have done for years. There are times when it really, really sucks. There are times when it really doesn’t make the world a whole bunch of fun.
It can cause significant stress from very little, create worry from even the smallest of problems, build doubts where there should be belief and suck the happiness from a day faster than buttered bullet.
And why the hell would I decide to share this with the wider world and a bunch of folks I’ve never met and possibly never will?
Quite simply because the moment I learned to be honest with myself about it and to share that “weakness” with others, to just be me, was the moment I started to take slowly control of it.
I spent a whole lot of years building a persona that countered that anxiety outwardly. I taught myself to become an emotional blacksmith crafting a bigger and better suit or armour that I would put on and wear into the world every day.
If you ask most people that have worked with me or know me somewhat they’ll likely say I come across as confident, on occasion sadly even to the point of arrogance.
This, for me, was a mechanism I spent many years building to counter something in me that I saw as weakness. I purposefully worked to build that out because of the, guess what, anxiety, that I’d get if I thought people didn’t see me the way I thought for some reason, that they should.
What truly changed the game for me was when I started to understand and more importantly, be comfortable, with that “weakness” and focus more on just being me.
When I began to see it as normal, to accept it as true and to not just work towards purely coping with it, to realise that it didn’t make me less, I took a step closer to being a much more powerful version of me.
Everyone has that thing or things that they struggle with and everyone has strengths and weaknesses, positive traits and negative ones.
It’s amazing how empowering it can be when you accept that as fact and acknowledge the ones that you struggle with or you don’t like as being there within you.
Whether you choose to acknowledge them or work to bury them deep down, they’re still there inside you…. but that doesn’t make you weaker or less able than the next person.
You are absolutely not alone in having struggles and just because that person you admire has a wonderfully curated Instagram or Facebook life, that doesn’t make them struggle free or better than you are.
That thing you see as a weakness can be harnessed in ways you didn’t realise possible and can create significant power to drive you forward when you enable it.
If you push the bad stuff further down within you and bury those struggles and demons under layers of character that aren’t truly “you” all the time, they’ll never have the chance to escape or evolve.
The moment that you realise that the bits you don’t like or the things you struggle to deal with in life aren’t actually weaknesses is the moment you begin to own them. The more you can begin to own them and take charge of them, the more you can allow yourself to be well, yourself and can be proud of that. The moment you start to achieve that is the moment you take another step towards greater happiness and fuel yourself to create more, build more and be more.
Being you is awesome. There’s only one of you around and there only ever will be one of you and no one else can do you as brilliantly as you can.
Life doesn’t have to be built on a perfect platform where everything is exactly in line. No matter how much social media, celebrities and areas of the media may skew your picture of the world, it’s always going to be imperfect and so are each of us within it.
Be honest with yourself, accept your struggles and your challenges and realise that it’s not just normal but that you can own them and evolve with them. They can go from being the biggest pain in your life to the thing that fuels you and drives you forward to do more than you thought possible.