Here are some examples that go through my head when I am doing creative work, writing or even when I am just watching a film or relaxing!
- I am not doing enough
- I am wasting my time when I am not working on my project
- I should be doing more
- I am not good enough
- People won’t like what I am doing
- I can’t do it
I realise everyone has anxieties, fears and worries. I noticed the day after I had registered for the Brighton Fringe my mind tried to make me worry and be anxious at 4am the next day! I was determined not to encourage that anxiety. Especially at 4am. Life never seems good for anyone at 4am.
I started to ask myself, Why was I anxious when it was something that I had been wanting to do for years? Why do I feel fear when it's something I really want?
When these feelings come up I realise it is what I do with the anxiety and with these negative thoughts. To get over this negative voice I first acknowledge the thought, write it out and then challenge it.
These are examples of the challenge to the thoughts in bold:
- I am not doing enough - I am doing a bit every day. I can’t do everything at once.
- I am wasting my time when I am not working on my project - I am entitled to have days off and I have other things to do in the day.
- I should be doing more - I am doing what I can when I can
- I am not good enough - I haven’t finished working on my project. Who am I comparing myself against?
- People won’t like what I am doing - How do I know until I've tried? I will learn from my mistakes and get better.
- I can’t do it - I will give it my best shot. Yes, I have never done my own show before but everyone has to start somewhere. I will learn from the experience. What is the alternative?
As you may have read in my previous Brighton Fringe diary post #1 I am getting some help from the work of Gabrielle Bernstein who has turned me into what she likes to call a Spirit Junkie. I actually love the name too. In her work she talks about making miracles, asking for what you want in your life and trusting that the Universe will have great things in store for you. There is more to it than that so I recommend you research her if you want to know more. No worries if not.
To help me further and under the suggestions of Gabby, I am making a list of my positive intentions, goals and visions for my Brighton Fringe show. I know I require a clear vision of what I want to achieve so that I can work on getting it. My intentions will create the reality I want.
One of my intentions is that the project will be fun to work on and will be a exciting. It is already fun and exciting. I am going to learn a lot along the way. I will make mistakes and that is OK.
If you are feeling the same way about a project or situation make sure you ask yourself, ‘What am I asking for? and ‘What do I want?’ Write it down and you might be surprised what you come up with.
There are also two thoughts that seem to be at the core of these worries and doubts. These are, ‘What if I fail?’ and then surprisingly, ‘What if I succeed?’ It seems a bit crazy to be worried about them both as they are on both ends of the spectrum. These questions shine a light on the fact maybe I don’t think I am good enough for good things to happen. I haven’t put myself first for a long time, maybe because of fear and situation I was in.
Today I made a decision to believe in myself more, really be clear in knowing and asking for what I want and letting myself just be. The negative thoughts and feelings might still crop up, but I will keep acknowledging they are there and challenging them.
I have a lot of work to do, I know that, but these subtle changes in my attitude should help. They will help. They are already helping! I have also started meditating again even if just for a couple of minutes a day. It is strange to me that my creativity is coming from a more open and calmer space. I used to think that I thrived on stress, high anxiety and adrenaline. I thought everyone did things that way being completely stressed out. However, that experience was making me physically ill and mentally a big mess.
At first I was worried and thinking that I would be too laid back and not get my work done if I was calm. However, I don’t want to live like that again. No more high anxiety. I have been so lucky to have the space over Christmas and New Year to be in The Lake District at my parents. This has helped me calm down, have time to think about many things and focus on healing myself. I am determined to make my new positive thinking and work techiniques work for me back in Brighton.
Anxiety is so awful and I have battled with it frequently over the years. Now I want to know what it is like to succeed, achieve and learn from a quieter, calmer, open mind. I want to fully trust myself and my work. I don't want to make things harder for myself anymore.
Don’t get me wrong, I am still scared, fearful, and anxious, but I am using tools to work alongside these feelings. One of the Spirit Junkie mantras is, ‘I speed up by slowing down’.
I did this the other day and ended up writing an article for The W Review and a blog post in one evening. It didn’t seem like work at all and I enjoyed it. I need more of that please.
So if you get anxieties like me, even when you are doing something you love, maybe these tools can help you too. I am just sharing what works for me and one fo my intentions with my blog is to be honest with you. If you are not writing a Brighton Fringe show these things could be applied to your life.
- Write down your worries and negative thoughts when they come up
- Challenge your worries and negative thoughts
- Write down your goals, intentions and vision of your project
- What are you asking for? What do you need for your project?
- What do you want from your project?
- Remember your intentions create your reality
- Sit calmly for a few minutes a day and clear your mind - Meditate
- Make space mentally and physically for your project
- Believe in yourself and your project
- Believe you deserve good things for yourself and your project
- Go for a walk to change up your energy
- And breathe!
Let me know if this article connects with you, if you have any tips or just say hello in the comments below. Thanks for reading.