I’m pretty mediocre at a lot of things in life. I keep trying to get better, but I never do. And now I think I know why.
I impose too much on myself. One of my biggest dreams is to be grandiose. I want people to be wowed by me. I guess that’s pretty selfish and petty, but it’s a latent emotion that needs to be gotten out of the way.
I’ve been afraid to do anything because I don’t want my attempts to be less than perfect. It seems the harder I try, though, the more mistakes I make, or the more I notice them.
Let’s examine my most frustrating problem, and the one which has ruined my life, past and future.
I fail hard at social interaction. But it’s so easy. I can see it, follow it, understand it perfectly. I can never act on it like everyone else does. There’s so much I want to be able to do, but something I don’t know about ties me down. I’m always left as an observer, even if I get the strongest urge to participate.
I’ve been reading a bit lately about how to learn to act more on your impulses. The results are never as bad as they seem to be in your head. With exceptions, which you can imagine, but generally nothing bad is going to happen if you have a gut feeling to do something.
I’m rarely a person to act on impulse. Before I had anxiety problems, I was a pretty bold and brash child. I’ll always regret the hell I put my parents through when I was growing up. I didn’t hesitate at all to lash out and express my anger to the fullest extent a kindergarten child’s lungs, fists, and legs could handle.
But whenever I look back on that, I can’t help but wince. How could I have the audacity to hurt someone else? Maybe being a child is different, and it’s only a matter between now and then of maturity, but I think knowing what I did hurt someone else has caused me to repress feelings moreso than just being “adult about it”.
I have fantasies of lashing out, or even just doing what seems to come so naturally to everyone else. I just want to act on a whim and stop halting myself and missing opportunities that I later regret not doing. It’s such a vicious cycle.
I don’t know what I’m afraid of. People like me. I love other people’s company.
It’s so easy. My mind just won’t let me do it. Maybe I’m scared of being rejected or humiliated. Maybe I’m afraid of losing friends. Maybe I’m afraid I won’t be wanted. Maybe I’m just completely out of it.
Let’s be honest here: How many people are going to remember what you did five minutes ago? Are you going to remember what you did five minutes ago?
They won’t, and you won’t. Even if the bad omens hang around longer than you’d like, the humiliation and the memory of what happened is always blown up to be ten times as bad as it really was. It’s such a fleeting moment. It’s almost nonexistent. No sense worrying about it.
I realized the truth a long time ago that everything I’ve ever been worried about (as far as social phobia and anxiety problems go) wasn’t worth worrying about at all. Everything has always worked out, one way or another. But why doesn’t my mind believe that yet? Do I need to use subliminal message cassettes?
What in the world is stopping me? I put too many limitations on myself. I’m scared to go out in the world and experiment, because experience has taught me that it leads to nothing but rejection.
It’s not true, and I know it’s not true, that I’d be rejected. People don’t expect as much out of me as I worry about. I just need to learn not to hold myself back and stop putting so much peer pressure from myself onto myself. Goodness knows I don’t get it from other people as much as I do from my own mind.
I don’t know.
I’d like to thank GlowingFaceMan (now Xamuel)’s article Self-Imposed Rules for inspiring me to consider myself.