Doing > Not Doing
I haven't been doing what I've said I was going to do which is not not normal. Fear and uncertainty is paralyzing. Since starting this blog I've contemplated deleting it pretty much everyday. Starting is hard. Doing is hard. Doing absolutely nothing all day everyday is hard. Deciding to do something is hard. Following through is harder.
I just started reading The Magic of Thinking Big by David J. Schwartz, PH.D. I don't really have a problem thinking big. I'm a dreamer. But thinking big when you have low self-confidence is a horrible thing. Simple daily tasks have always been a challenge for me to do consistently as I'm preoccupied with thinking about how I need to figure out a way to do something that will make the world a better place. Consistency seems to be my kryptonite and mundane small tasks like brushing my teeth pile up like a mountain. They then seem insurmountable and don't get done.
I almost wish I couldn't think. It would be so nice to live by simply doing. No evaluating, analyzing, or reflection. Just do something, then do another thing.
The reason I'm reading this book is because of chapters like: "Cure Yourself of Excusitis, the Failure Disease". I thought talking about my problems would be cathartic. That writing about my past struggles would somehow free me of my burdens and allow me to function at a high level.
If these posts are repetitive, sorry (not sorry). I can't remember what I've written and I'm not about to re-read any of the crap I've written. I'm just tryin' to figure out how to live.
Dr. David writes in his really old book that "the more successful the individual, the less inclined he is to make excuses." The four most common forms of excuses are about health, intelligence, age, & luck.
This blog is/was about mental health. The first thing Dr. David said I should do is "refuse to talk about your health".
"Talking about bad health is like putting fertilizer on weeds."
The second way to combat this excuse is to "refuse to worry about your health". Third, "be genuinely grateful that your health is as good as it is." Lastly, "remind yourself often it's better to wear out than rust out."
I can't help but feel silly about my growing collection of self help books, but I think what's even more silly is that I read good advice then ignore it. Then I search for great advice. More quotable quotes. But all this searching doesn't get me anywhere.
Dr. David says very simply that action cures fear. Knowing is different than doing which is why knowledge without action is useless. It's why I hated school with every bit of my being because being forced to memorize facts to regurgitate on tests made me want to stab my eyes out with a blunt Ticonderoga pencil.
Learning how to learn is what I wanted out of school, but when I'd ask teachers "why do we needed to learn this?" the go-to response was "because it's going to be on the test". WHO CARES? All those torturous years of math. Such a stupid waste of time. Calculators are great at math. I'm not.
Hmm... got derailed for a minute.
I really need to practice being positive. Practice freeing myself from these bad memories I can't seem to let go of. Now that I think about it, I think my anxiety comes from school, and so does a lot of anger. I got bullied during my freshman and sophomore year of high school. I'd get pantsed pretty much everyday in gym class, and one time during a school dance my bully had his two minions restrain my arms so he could punch me in the stomach a few times.
Going to schools that were nearly entirely white made it challenging for me to love myself. I was undesirable (I had a bunch of "girlfriends" in Jr. High because I'd ask them out and they didn't have the heart to say no to my face. A few days later a friend of theirs would write me a note or call to tell me "so and so breaks up with you".). My bully reinforced this idea that I wasn't of much value as he would call me every Asian insult he could think of and humiliate me whenever he had the opportunity.
I feel like I was conditioned to think badly about myself. The social rejection combined with teachers who mostly cared about grades rather than learning really messed me up. I have a lot of built up frustration with eduction/educators, and really struggle to participate in social situations even though deep down I want to.
Dr. David also recommends focusing your energy on positive thoughts to help build confidence and combat fear. I really, really, need to work on this. 'Cause in my head, all day everyday I just tell myself stories about my past. I think about painful memories. I worry about things I can't control. I obsess over my thoughts which increases my inertia. I'm left paralyzed by thoughts, memories, and fear.
I am my own worst enemy. I read somewhere (probably a self help book) that life is a self full-filling prophecy. It's always seemed a bit ridiculous to me that thinking something will happen will actually make it happen.
I've been practicing the opposite for quite a while, so why not try this new thing out.
I'm going to be happy.
I'm going to be successful.
I'm going to help others be successful.
I'm going to start small by doing 1 thing a day. I'll write down 1 thing that I want/need to do, and my goal is to do it. I started it today, and it seemed to help 'cause of how easily I get overwhelmed (I know I keep talking about health, and reasons why I 'suffer' but this is a process. Deal with it.). My usual To Do List (when I actually write one) is always quite long, and that prevents me from doing any of them.
So, my To Do List today was 1 thing. Shower.
I did it. Hooray!
I crossed it out, then I wrote "clip nails", did it, then "make bed", did it, "do dishes", did it, "laundry", did it, "motivational quote", did it, "write blog post", 'bout done doin' in. My day has been full of really small wins. I feel optimistic, because focusing on doing 1 thing has pushed fear out of my mind. It's easy to do 1 thing a day. It feels good to accomplish everything on my To Do List (no matter how hilariously small).
Action cures fear.