Friday, March 23, 2012
Lately, I've been working really hard on overcoming my anxiety issues, both about life in general and social issues. They would seem pretty small to the average person but it took a long time for me to get to that point. And it's gotten me thinking about what success really is.
I used to think that success just simply was. That the alternative was simply failure. It was a 50/50 outcome, basically. In my moments of lower self-esteem, I just simply thought that I was a failure since I didn't reach it. My ideas of success and failure looked something like this:
Now I feel like I can have a much broader sense of what that can be, exactly. I know that it can be black and white and that much of it is how you perceive it. Nothing is rigid or set in stone but flexible. Even if you're not doing so well at something, you can always do things to make yourself better at it.
It adds up after a while. "Success" and "failure" are not concrete titles; they're not Heaven or Hell. They are simply current states that come in varying degrees.
And, of course, you cannot accomplish victory all at once. As with everything, it has to be worked at. A little there and a little there can add up to something big in the end that can actually end up meaning something.
So the little things do matter. You can look at things and realized how far you have come.
I've learned that acknowledging your own strengths and your own successes does not necessarily make you an arrogant person. I've also learned that putting myself down just to make myself seem more humble to people really isn't all that healthy, either. So I might as well work on putting that theory into practice.
My small victories that have made me think of this are as follows: 1) I'm learning how to manage my stress. Before, worry was a constant in my life and, at any given moment, I was worried about something. Now I have moments of calm and can even forget about them for a while. Today, I got out of school for this clubs and I wasn't constantly thinking about what I was missing and how I would make it up. 2) I've planned my birthday party and I've actually went through with it. I haven't changed my mind because I thought it would suck or that no one would come. 3) I went into town today after school until six-thirty with my friends. Before, I might have lied and said I couldn't come because I was worried about homework and upsetting my routine or I would put off thinking about it. I didn't worry as much about my routine, which I have a hard time changing. 4) When I looked in the mirror, I liked what I saw. I've been feeling that way more lately. 5) I stood up to someone who I felt was stepping on me way too much recently. This was the hardest of all to do and the one I take the most pride in. Before, I would have taken her blows even though I swore I was going to say something.
Even as I wrote those, I was worried that I was gloating and that everyone who reads it will think I was arrogant. I'm publishing it anyway, though.
Those are baby steps but they're good anyway. I'm sure I've had less noticeable baby steps because I've noticed that I've made in that regard at least.
I'm sure everyone else has that one obstacle, too. That one thing or a bunch of things they want to do but can't. Some things are easier to overcome than others of course. In this situation, it takes time and the little things to add up.
I guess it takes determination too. It took that one day for me to get up and say that I was sick of my anxiety taking over my life. It just took one of those small little things that added up for me to say that I had enough. While I recognized that not all of it was my fault and not all of it would go away, I was determined to do what I could to stop it from affecting my life negatively.
Of course, now I'm starting to freak out about my party even though I know it will be fine.
If you need that one scrap of encouragement to go on with whatever endeavor you're doing, take this as a sign.
Because all it takes are those small victories to keep on going and to win out in the end. Keep trying for them.