Friday, May 18, 2012
The cat sees danger everywhere. Beneath his feet. Around him. The swords box him in, cage him where he stands. Sharp blades are pointed towards his body. Who knows how long they will hang like that, threatening? Waiting for the sword to fall, waiting for the other shoe to drop... And doesn't that really describe the state of anxiety perfectly? It is the WORRY that kills you as much as whatever the negative event actually is...the pondering worst case scenarios, the dread...
And of course, when things are a mess, that kind of anxiety...well, at least it makes SENSE, is not...unexpected. But what about when things are going well, coming together? What about when you've just managed to succeed at something challenging?
And of course, there is internal nitpicking. Did well? Well enough, sure, but surely you could have done even BETTER if you had tried harder, if you were really good enough, if you really belonged in this position, if you really had the skills people think you have...
Considering how easily these kinds of thoughts can come...I suppose it's not all that surprising that Impostor Syndrome is as common a phenomenon as it is.
Fundamentally, I guess, and depending on your exact nature, approach to things, how much work you may have done to deal with negative patterns of thinking, anxieties and worries are pretty much part of the deal of being a living, functioning human being, regardless of the external. Things are a mess? You worry. Things are fantastic? You worry. So it goes. The trick, I suppose, is that act of managing your thinking, keeping things in perspective, accepting irrational thoughts while recognizing that they are irrational and calibrating your actions accordingly.
Sometimes you just need to make a conscious effort to turn your thoughts away from the swords and towards those sunflowers in the background.