“We are all living in cages with the door wide open” – George Lucas
I have always suffered from anxiety, ever since I was a little kid. I’m sure there’s tons of reasons for it; some hereditary, some conditioned. But it’s gotten worse as I’ve gotten older and with the additional responsibilities of work and family, life has little to no tolerance for it. I know I’m not alone in this condition, as I have this conversation several times a day with my co-workers and friends. But this year I finally took a step that I had been avoiding for years. I started therapy and it’s been the best decision of my life. I believe that burying our issues, like I had done for 40 years, truly leads to future implosion. The weight lifted from my shoulders has been tremendous. I will forever be an advocate for people getting the mental health assistance they need. I view my transition not as a stigma, but as an honor.
A life-changing moment happened for me a month or so ago, as I was wide awake at 3am, panicking. I was so sick of the insomnia I was experiencing and was combing thoroughly through my brain; sifting through the golden nuggets of therapy I had taken in over the last year. A recurrent and key theme was that I had spent my entire life trying to be perfect. There was no room for error, ever. Either you did it right, or you didn’t do it. On top of that, I never EVER took a risk. Why would I actually take the chance of looking foolish or falling on my face? I began to think, maybe that belief was truly the root of my stress. I found a few inspirational quotes which drove that point home. The most notable quote was:
“Celebrate failure; it means you took a risk”- Unknown
It was as if the combination unlocked, the gates opened and I was finally able to break free. Only, those gates were never actually closed in the first place. It was only me placing my own restrictions upon myself. I don’t have to remind you, that’s no way to live.
As I opened my eyes to daily life, I saw others out there taking real risks with incomparable rewards. Most notably, my friend John just started a blog about how he retired from banking in the US, moved to Cambodia, and became a hotelier. His blog is here and it is truly an adventure to follow:
How inspiring it is to see others truly living their dreams. But they all had one thing in common: they got over the fear of failing and started thinking about what could go right instead of wrong. Once I got over my analysis paralysis of over-thinking how/when/why/where and for whom I would write, I have delved in and started my blog. I stopped thinking of “for whom” and started writing “for me.” I am now confident in my thoughts and I want people to hear them. And if I can help just one person along the way, it’s all icing on the cake.
What would you do if you stopped being your own inner critic? Which dream would you begin?
“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.”- Anais Nin