The other day someone gave me some really nice feedback on the posts I share on the #BestYouProject and asked what got me into trying to help people so I thought I’d take a quick post just to share my story of going from an obsessive over-thinker to a much happier, balanced and more positive person.
I had challenges with anxiety and confidence most of my adult life to the point I couldn’t even order food in a restaurant or shop. Ask my friends, they have witnessed it or you may even have noticed it yourself.
My anxiety blocked me from communicating like I normally would and I would mumble out the sentence, hoping that the other person would pick up enough of it to work out the rest. It was pretty debilitating … but I managed to get over it.
I used to struggle for breath whenever I got even slightly stressed out, like I knew a deep breath would help me calm down so my anxiety tightened up my chest to make sure that didn’t happen and even small breaths were virtually impossible … but I managed to get over it. Sounds crazy to someone that has never experienced it but that is just how anxiety impacted me, everybody is different.
You would think that just taking a simple breath would be easy enough, I mean what’s hard about that but when your anxiety is in control it somehow finds a way to stop you. I had read that breathing techniques can help calm you down but this knowledge worked against me for so many years any time times got tough.
It took a bit of time but one day I realised that I had also been viewing myself as victim for pretty much most of my adult life as well, which only got worse when we had a hard time of it with the birth of our son coming 5 weeks early and multiple scares and visits to the hospital for the first few years of his life. Being in this victim mode left me angry and had me asking “why us?” all the time … but all that “bad luck” disappeared when I ditched the pity party and once I started focusing on the good in our life I really started to make progress.
If you spend all your energy wanting others to feel sorry for you by telling them your hard luck stories over and over, you’ll just find more of the same and feel awful in the process. I know this, I have been there.
People may feel sorry for you in that moment and go along with your pity party but then they’ll go on with their day while you try to find someone else to feel sorry for you for all this “bad luck” you’re having.
I see a lot of people struggling and knowing that I have information and tools that could help them spurs me on to keep sharing. The feedback I hear in the pub, via text or when I bump into people in the street is a reminder that we all have challenges and that what I am doing is being well received and appreciated by someone.
Many don’t want their personal challenges highlighted on Facebook by commenting or liking my posts but so many take the time to tell me personally that they value what I do, that is enough to know that I’m on the right track.
A larger number than you would think struggle in silence thinking they are alone in battling their anxieties, insecurities or even depression. That drives me to share stories I have of others and myself with similar challenges so that they can see that there is light at the end of the tunnel and most importantly, that they are not alone.
I battled with anxiety, insecurities and confidence issues most of my adult life and have managed to overcome myself. I started the Best You Project back in 2012 to try to help other people get over confidence / anxiety / insecurity issues similar to the ones I suffered from myself.
I’ve learned some mind blowing scientific information over the years on how our minds work, picked up some expert coaching advice on building confidence from the best in the business like Jim Rohn, Zig Ziglar and Wayne Dyer, and studied a whole load of useful mindset techniques that really can change your life for the better.
This information and these techniques really helped me build confidence and identify ways to improve my own life so when I see other people struggling with similar issues I desperately want to help them make the same progress and developments that I made myself.
I see it in others all the time, people making excuses for not helping themselves and feeling sorry for themselves instead of finding ways to make things better. I relate to it because I’ve been there and I know for a fact things won’t get better for them until they stop wallowing in the bad stuff and wanting to tell their hard luck story over and over.
You cannot afford to waste any more of your time and energy focusing on what’s went wrong in your life when you could be reaping the rewards of focusing on what’s went right.
Once you change from seeing yourself as a victim to realising just how lucky you actually are your whole outlook on life will change.
Obviously we all still have bad days from time to time but for the last 5 or 6 years I have largely enjoyed the benefits of overcoming the anxiety I had and my confidence has rocketed. These techniques really do work and I want to help others beat their own anxiety challenges and insecurities the same way I have.
I discovered some amazing life changing information through years of research online, reading books, watching seminars and talks, and even going to some workshops and I’ve shared it all on the #bestyouproject.
If you’re struggling yourself or just looking for a little pick me up you’ll find everything you need there.
To make things better all you have to do is DECIDE that it’s time to do so and follow it up with consistent ACTION.
These are several of the key areas that helped me:
- Knowing that what I program into my subconscious is HUGELY important
- Removed negative influences, replaced with positive influences
- Choosing to focus on the good around me (variety of useful techniques available)
- Became aware of the power of gratitude
- Discovered the many benefits of celebrating my achievements daily
- Identified my own mood boosters
- Learned that taking regular action really helps build confidence
- Finally realised I am 100% responsible for my own journey, nobody was going to pull me up to the next promotion or hand deliver the next big break, I had to go out and make it happen myself
- Started to enjoy setting big goals, realised that if I want to achieve great things I need to aim big regardless of the naysayers
Back at my worst, I used to watch the news and start worrying about terrorist attacks and anything else worth worrying about out there. I would go from worrying about one thing to worrying about another … because I was focusing on the bad stuff.
I was over thinking everything and making myself miserable. By focusing on only the negatives of my life I was just finding ways to find more things to worry about.
This all stopped the day I learned about the power of my subconscious mind, it set me back on the right track. When I learned that my subconscious is like a computer that you can reprogram I knew I could get over the negativity that I had drawn in.
You are what you feed your mind – I’d heard that a million times but I never really knew the full power of the message! I was feeding my mind negative input on a regular basis so I was becoming more and more negative myself.
When I started my own challenge to improve I started watching motivational speakers on You Tube, I bought books on happy living and creating success, and most importantly I started focusing on the good things in my own life. Recounting my strengths, appreciating everything I had much more and celebrating my daily achievements. I changed my focus to good and kept at it persistently.
By changing what I was focusing on I started finding more and more good things in my life. Everything looked better in a new light. I was finding the positives all around me, instead of the previous negatives.
I started having more empathy for others and realised that I was more in control of my own life than I had ever imagined. I started finding opportunities rather than hindrances. My expectancy switched from worrying and fear to actually expecting nice things to happen.
You can’t live a life waiting for the right conditions to start. You cant keep believing happiness will appear when you reach a certain milestone, that won’t happen … but when you start focusing on everything you have and how lucky you are, your happiness and contentment levels will soar.
Without gratitude for what you currently have, you will never appreciate what you get in the future. You have to count your blessings now and find ways to not only value yourself more but actually celebrate who you are.
The Techniques you can try yourself:
- Daily Gratitude – Write a daily list with minimum of 5 new things each day that you are thankful for
- Reprogramming– Affirm all your strengths, what you want in life and who you are as often as you can
- Daily Achievements – Write a daily list with minimum of 5 new highlights from your day
- Change what you watch, listen to, who you spend time with (choose positive influences)
- Aim High – Add in goals and take action towards them
- The Book of You– write out 3 chapters, 1st on your strengths & character, 2nd on your past achievements and 3rd on future goals
- The Good Things – List out all the good little things about each area in your life – work, family, yourself, your house etc
- Victory Log – Create a victory log with all your achievements, add photos or videos if you have them
- Recorded Reminder – Record your goals, strengths, targets, gratitude and listen back daily
- The Personal Advert – create a script as if you were selling why people should get to know you and why you’re amazing
- Remembered– write how you would like others to remember you. What would say about you, what achievements would they talk about if you had managed to reach your best and fulfilled your biggest dreams in your lifetime?
- Bright Side Challenge – every time you feel yourself starting to talk negative switch your focus and find 5 good things about the situation
- Vision Board – fill a pin board (that you’ll see several times a day) with pictures that capture your biggest, wildest dreams
- Mood Boosters– create your own list of personal mood boosters that you can turn to any time you hit a low
Life isn’t easy but you can help yourself by focusing on the good stuff instead of the bad. When you do this your anxiety will slowly fade and your confidence will grow … trust me, I have been there and got through it.
And understand this, everybody has their issues and I mean everybody! Some people just choose not to dwell on them and enjoy the good stuff instead. Even those people you think have the perfect life, they have their challenges as well. Just focus on improving yourself.
Check out #bestyouproject for more of my musings and a whole heap of confidence building, happiness management techniques.
Thanks for reading, I’d love to hear your feedback and comments