Monday, December 23, 2013

You Don't Have to Control Your Thoughts. You Just Have to Stop Letting Them Control You.

A few months ago I wrote a blog titled Just Say Yes.  It was about how I liked to experience new things but I didn't because it took me out of my comfort zone and how I needed to figure out how to say yes more often. After finishing the book "My Year With Eleanor" this past weekend (which I mentioned in this blog about change), I realized that I haven't made any progress in saying yes more often. Which is disappointing.

This particular book was very inspirational, not in making large changes, like Veronica and I first talked about when I started reading it, but more inspirational in that it raised awareness.  Until I started this book I wasn't really aware of how often I don't do something just because it takes me outside of my comfort zone. Or how often I don't say something because I'm afraid of reactions or the ramifications of what I'm saying. How often the decisions that I make on a daily basis are based on fear.

I guess I also didn't really realize that I was making decisions based on fear.  Fear is a weird emotion.  I guess I never made the connection that a lot of my anxieties are caused by fear.  Not like the fear I have of crustaceans or spiders, but the fear that I have of the unknown.  I'm so rooted in routine that I easily get in a rut.  Then I can't wait to do something to help me get  out of that rut.  I feel like if I were able to get rid of some of my fears and anxieties I wouldn't feel stuck in a rut and I would feel like I was experiencing more of what life puts in front of me everyday. 

I've learned that my anxieties can be conquered.  My airport anxiety is a prime example.  I'm still not in love with airports, but I am in love with taking trips, therefore, I have had to come to terms with my fear of airports.  My biggest anxiety isn't even in the flying anymore, which is a HUGE step, it's in getting through security.  Accept what you can't change.  I can't not go through security so I just take a few deep breaths and suck it up. It used to be that if I had to fly I would spend days stressing about packing and flying.  Now I just make sure I have my headphones.  Getting on an airplane is no problem for me now.  It's the repetition that makes it all okay. When you have proven to yourself, repeatedly, that you can do something, each time you do it get's easier. 

So, I'm going to work on being conscientious of the decisions that I make daily based on whatever fear is driving the decision. I am going to start saying yes more often.  I am going to learn to ask for what I want and I'm going to stop keeping my mouth shut.  I'm going to make myself and Eleanor Roosevelt proud. I'm tired of anxiety and fear and so I'm going to do my darnedest to eliminate them from my life, and not use them as an excuse anymore. 

The first anxiety I should probably work on is the one I have of working out.  That will be necessary after the wine and food of Christmas...

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