I recently read a quote about trauma that is applicable in a myriad of situations. It essentially read that our our progression with struggles are not linear. Rather they are circular. We will continue to come back to the same frustrations and pains. However, each time we circle back, we are stronger from having experienced it each time before.
Why is it that so many of our experiences seem to circle back to the same root insecurity? Our mind believes what we tell it. If you are continually telling yourself the story that you can’t ever make friends, when you enter a new environment, you aren’t going to try to talk to somebody new. You already believe the lie that you’ve told yourself. Then each new circumstance you encounter reinforces the story you’ve created, and it becomes a self perpetuating lie.
Here is a small example. I have always liked being one of the boys. Growing up I loved being on the farm, watching and playing sports, hiking, camping, fishing, anything that was active I wanted to do. As a result, I wasn’t particularly “girly”. I wore over sized t-shirts and put my hair up in ponytails. The first time I remembered not feeling like I was “girly” enough, was in 5th grade. My parents bought me a beautiful watch. At the time, I was disappointed. I wanted a sports watch with a timer on it. I created the narrative that my parents wanted me to be more feminine, so they bought me the pretty watch hoping it would help. Fast forward 20 or so years to today. I am a very confident woman. I can dress up with the best of them. However, when I find myself around women who are very put together and look the part of what I consider to be femininity, I still start to squirm. I don’t quite feel adequate, and I want to avoid the situation.
This is not a new phenomenon. We all have times of self doubt. The question is how do you stop the lie? How do you make the change? The first step is being brutally honest with yourself. What insecurity do you have that time and time again rears its ugly head? Once you can recognize that insecurity, you can start to recognize these feelings IN THE MOMENT. You can realize that these feelings are not reflections of your abilities, rather they are reflections of your fear. Recognize that fear, and use that realization to make a change that will make you stronger for the next time you circle around.