Social anxiety disorder has been an extremely unwelcome companion throughout my life. From the age of 13 to now in my 30s – the feeling of dread has been ticking over in my mind.
It’s sad and frustrating to think back over the many career and educational opportunities that I missed out on. The truth is I couldn’t cope with the intensity of my anxiety. In one of the few office jobs that I held down for a few months, I’d spend my time at work feeling unbearably tense. Being in an environment surrounded by people overwhelmed me. I’d feel a crashing wave of relief as I walked out of the door at the end of each day, only to feel the familiar dread when I realised, I had to go back and do it all over again tomorrow.
It has undoubtedly held me back, but I refuse to give up. I have the drive to make something of myself, and that’s where the frustration lies. I’m sure if you experience anxiety too you can relate. So even when my anxious mind tells me that I should give up ever trying to write anything, ’cause it’s rubbish and no-one will want to read it – I decided to write this post. Because that’s how change happens, you acknowledge the anxiety but carry on anyway.
It’s never too late to try and make changes to your life as it’s something we’re all innately capable of. Your brain is constantly adapting and learning (it’s called neuroplasticity – the connections in your brain strengthen and weaken over time.)
As I’m trying to change my tricksy brain I’ll set myself some goals. I find it extremely helpful to have some structure in my life. (Without goals I skip from one thing to another as there’s so many things I’m interested in. Think jack of all trades and master of none).
- Take the time to write every day. If I want to get good; I need to practice.
- Leave the house at least 4 times a week. This one could be tough as I’m great at finding reasons why I’m too busy, too tired, etc.
- Plan my time. I have a weekly planner, so I should make use of it to try and focus my endeavours.
That’s all for now. If you want to set yourself some goals too, I’d suggest that you stick to a few, and start out small as there’s no point in overwhelming yourself with a humongous list.