‘You can do more’, ‘you have to do more’, ‘you should do more’ have been phrases that have caused havoc in my friend Anita’s life. It led her to be so unrealistic, expecting the unattainable, thinking of things that are beyond her imagination. She used to spend more hours validating the thoughts that criss crossed her mind instead of actually doing one thought at a time. She would spend much time alone and this greatly impacted her life negatively. She couldn’t talk to people, she lost sight of how to be grateful, she was never happy of what she had done. All these was because of anxiety.
Research shows that anxiety remains to be the most prevalent mental health concerns for girls and young women who are more likely to suffer from the illness.
Anxiety makes one have a ruthless, unwavering and a counter-productive stream of negative self-talk that eventually makes one get blurred. One can’t draw a defining line between fact and fiction.
Anxiety makes one buy the thoughts of his or her mind as opposed to what truly he or she can achieve. One thinks that those voices in their minds are sources of motivation but the plain truth is that they will make you feel that you need to do more only to realize that you’ve spend so much time on mediocre stuff.
One should not confuse this with believing in oneself. I describe belief as an idea that possesses the mind and anxiety as an idea that the mind possesses. But how will you know that whatever you are having in mind isn’t anxiety but belief? Well that’s a story for another day or rather, you can visit your friend ‘Google’, I’m sure he will have plenty for you.
Wait, before hitting that search button, maybe I will hint on the differences between the two. You’ll have to answer the following questions honestly:
- Are your thoughts allowing you to become the leader, mother, student or employee that you have envisioned for a long time?
- Are your thoughts a form of motivation or are they instead a vehicle causing you to lose sight of your own strengths, competence and individuality?
I hope answers to the above will help you differentiate between the two.
Going forward, let’s make time to be cautious of our thoughts, let’s pay attention to our optimistic, productive and realistic thoughts. Let’s shy away from negative self-talk and focus on the positive side of our thoughts. We are strong and capable. I know we can do it.