Fighting anxiety and low self-esteem – let battle commence…

As mentioned in last week’s blog post, I can now (thankfully) begin addressing more positive subject matter, having covered my back-story within the first five blog posts. Given the nature of the blog, I will need to revisit those core issues on a fairly frequent basis, though the overarching YYCDI message is one of positivity, focusing on coping mechanisms, self-development, positive progression, good health, sources of inspiration, understanding what we are truly capable of achieving, and many other related themes.  I keep harping on about it but  I really do want this to be a blog filled with hope, positivity, belief, encouragement and support.

There may be a slight air of bombast about elements of this post and whilst I don’t usually favour that as a writing style, I make no apologies for it on this particular occasion. Think of this as my rallying cry; my show of defiance; my ‘we shall fight them on the beaches’ moment; my flicking a huge V sign toward these issues. For ‘it’ will not win (when I refer to ‘it’ in this way, I’m referring to anxiety / low self-esteem / low self-confidence). It will not stop me from being the person I want to be. It will not stop me from doing the things in life which I want to do. It absolutely will not define me as a person. This is a pretty constant battle, though it is one I will undoubtedly win.

Rather than touch on a specific theme here, I’ll provide a brief snapshot for each of the future blog posts I intend addressing. I have the weekly themes mapped out for the remainder of this calendar year and they cover the following:

Coping mechanisms:

There will be various posts dedicated to each of the main coping mechanisms I use, including music (anyone who knows me will realise that this particular post will be a lengthy one!), podcasts, motivational quotes, comedy / ensuring there is humour in our lives, revisiting the words and comments of family and friends, stepping out of my comfort zone, how one simple word (“why”) can diffuse the most heated / anxious moments, and normalising situations.

A burning desire to achieve:

What this means to me, how it is a feeling which is becoming more prevalent over time, and how it influences me on a daily basis.

Not enough time to achieve everything:

This is likely part of the aging process but, even at the relatively tender age of 45, I’m concerned that I won’t have enough time to achieve everything I want to in life. This currently has a significant influence on my life and my desire to fight back.

A problem shared:

I’m an introvert by nature, and have always felt a strong need to keep things to myself, but it really is important to try to find a way to discuss issues and problems with a trusted friend / family member.

Using food and alcohol as comfort blankets:

This post may polarise readers but I’m sure it will resonate with quite a few. It’s certainly something I’ve done on a frequent basis over a number of years and, once started, it’s a ridiculously hard habit to shake…

Famous people who have opened up:

Thankfully we live in an age where there is less of a stigma about discussing these issues. I’d like to talk about some of the many examples of famous people who have opened up about mental health issues – the list is huge, it seems to be ever-growing, and that can only be a good thing.

Perspective / putting yourself in someone else’s shoes:

When I’m able to do this, I find it works really well. Turning a situation on its head can be a very effective way of quickly establishing a different viewpoint and subsequently a different mindset.

The art of deception and why bottling it up will do you no good…:

Linked to the ‘A problem shared’ theme above but focusing more on the art of deception. It is my firm belief that many of us are very adept at masking issues and presenting a much different external image to that which is actually occurring internally.

Taking ownership of life:

Considering one of my favourite articles, which addresses a fundamental attitude to life rather than anxiety / low self-esteem but still has relevance here.

Nature or nurture:

Do these issues develop over time or are they within us from a very early age?

Overcoming excessive self-criticism (i.e. the ‘learning to stop beating myself up’ post):

A major issue for the perfectionist in me but one which I’m striving to overcome.

The difficulty in actioning significant change once the decision has been made to do so:

Deciding it’s time to make significant changes is quite easy to do. Actually progressing the required actions is often much harder to address.

What’s the worst that can happen?

It isn’t always easy to remember this but, when I do, it can make a significant difference to my frame of mind.

The problem lies with them, not you…:

When my daughter was younger, and a fan of Taylor Swift (to a much greater degree than she is now), if she came home with issues / problems, we would tell her to ‘shake it off’. In doing so, we were trying to say that it isn’t really important and concentrate on what you can change in life, rather than worrying what others say or do. Often easier said than done but it is vitally important to try and remember this.

How the atmosphere / events taking place at work have a huge impact on our personal lives:

I have a lot to say about this. Possibly stating the obvious but the workplace has a huge impact on our mental wellbeing.

Everyday pressures:

Similar to the work post referenced above, I have much to say about the pressures within everyday life, not least as a result of social media being so prominent within our lives. This will also be timely as I’ll be writing about this just prior to the festive season, which can be a time of significant stress and pressure for many…

Hopefully there will be something of interest in the above themes for most readers. I have received some requests to write about specific topics and I’m certainly happy to do so. If there’s anything you’d like me to address via the blog, please do let me know – you will hopefully know by now that pretty much any subject matter is worthy of addressing here and I’m happy to do so if it will be beneficial to others.

Thanks again for reading – I really do appreciate it.

Until next time.

Best wishes,

Mick

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