By: Nidha Khan, IATG ContributorJanuary 8, 2016
Image via IATG
I have those moments, the ones where I lie awake at night, contemplating my future. I envision a world of possibilities, think of the what-ifs and the what could-bes. I could be anything and everything, nothing is out of reach. But, there are times where anxiety and fear creeps into my mind instead. Doubt grows-- Am I good enough? Will my parents be proud of me? What if I fail? What would I do then? My inner critic is relentless, bound on belittling me and fracturing my self-esteem. Her comments consume me. My dreams become living nightmares, suffocating from the pressure to succeed. I then began to lose myself, only seeing glimpses of the person I used to be: fearless, inspired, and happy.
Over time, I’ve come to realize that even successful people, like Academy Award nominee Emma Stone, has these doubts. For example in a recent interview in US weekly, Emma Stone said, “only in the past six months to a year have I felt like I can really try these different things. I think I was really scared of that for a long time. And if something was really challenging, I thought that I was just going to fall on my face and embarrass myself. I'm just less scared of that now, of failing.”
Silencing my inner critic sounded impossible. But, people like Emma Stone had demonstrated to me that it was achievable; I could take control.
While the list below isn’t comprehensive. I hope it helps you wrangle your fears and anxieties as it did with my own.
At night, spend some time reflecting our your day and create a list of everything you’ve achieved that day. As a person who is shy, my achievement that day might simply have been holding a conversation with a person working in a store. Celebrating small achievements like this is important to me, it reassures me I am progressing in life.
2) Take regular breaks
My mind used to be busy mulling over all the things that I had not yet accomplished. This meant that I was not always mentally present in social situations, unable to enjoy the moments. To keep myself happy, it was important to take breaks, real breaks.
3) Spend time with family and friends
Surround yourself with people who love you. What you do doesn’t matter, simply being together is what truly counts. For me, the love and warmth of family and friends is special. It puts my insecurities to sleep and reminds me that if I fall, someone will be there to catch me and help me to rise again.
Get out there, do something. Volunteer anywhere - at hospitals, schools, or local community centers. I find that volunteering keeps you grounded in reality; there are bigger problems than embarrassment.
Volunteering helped me to create connections with people. It broke down my barriers; I realized that everyone has insecurities, but they’re dealing with it and so can I.
What are you anxious or afraid of and what can you do right now to give those fears the boot? Tell us below.
A food lover who just can’t cook. It takes me several burnt dishes and fits of frustration to create something remotely edible. To save my family the pain of helping me clean up, I sometimes just stick to browsing through Chrissy Teigen’s mouth-watering food pictures on Instagram. When I’m not creating havoc in the kitchen, you’ll find me writing, reading, starting discussions on breaking news and human rights issues, and of course, eating.
Every girl is a work in progress. If you need more help, click here.