Anxiety doesn’t tend to bring out the worst in us in a way that affects others. We are often people-pleasers, hyper aware of our social interactions and determined, in the shakiest way, to have as little negative impact on others as possible. Usually, we take the brunt of our own anxiety, channelling any negativity it generates towards ourselves in an effort to appear socially acceptable.
In my experience, this negativity manifests itself as insults and degradation that harms our self-esteem and acts as a barrier to our goals. Sometimes, these insults and degradation are learned behaviours. Especially if raised in an abusive household in which confidence and self-esteem was seen as a hurdle to the toxic agendas of others.
Anxiety can turn us into our own worst enemies and in our darkest times, we aren’t always kind to ourselves. Sometimes, it can make us downright awful to ourselves. When it comes to our writing, variety of emotion is essential to our productivity and quality of our work. The problem is, too much of one and not enough of the other is an undesirable imbalance. Anxious Authors have a responsibility to be kinder to themselves!
Kindness is a habit and one we don’t necessarily practice on other people. Not because we don’t think their shoes are cute or their outfit is awesome but because social interaction is a gamble. Our intentions are good, our words are kind but we still run the risk of being perceived as strange. We can’t have that, right?
Anxiety puts us in the habit of being unkind to ourselves, at least in our thoughts at times. So the process of behaving better towards ourselves is a matter of the same. But being kind to ourselves is very difficult, sometimes impossible when a crippling sense of worthlessness takes over. The answer is simple but not necessarily easy. Practicing saying kind things to others puts us in the habit of saying kind things. Eventually, we might actually end up on the receiving end of one or two of those things.
I say this both from experience and as someone who still struggles to express kindness to others out of fear and who struggles to express kindness to myself as an involuntary masochist. Giving someone a simple compliment often makes a difference to their day but it opens the door to offering compliments to ourselves. Even if it’s just a crack to begin with.
Today’s Anxious Author philosophy is this: if expressing kindness towards yourself is impossible, do it for someone else. Because once giving compliments and helping people is a habit rather than a fear, one day we may be able to extend the same to ourselves. And whether it feels like it or not, we actually do deserve it.
Thanks for reading! Did you know I also write urban fantasy books? Check them out here!