Is this going to work? What are they going to think? Oh god, I don’t want to do this anymore.  This is amazing. OK, this is a good sign. Yay, they liked it. It was a success. What the heck just happened?  This isn’t working. Ok that didn’t work, let’s try this. Why? Why? Why?”

Sound familiar?  Welcome to the roller coaster of thoughts, that produce a roller coaster of feelings, that produce a rollercoaster of actions and inactions.  To be absolutely honest, these are my thoughts and it happens quite frequently! It is frustrating to say the least, and when the ride is at its peak, I just want to throw my hands up and say “I’m done with this, it’s not worth it and I suck at it anyway!”   

I recently read an amazing blog, written by Liz H. Wachuka, in which she said:

“The truth is, almost everything we do is done poorly when we first start doing it – that’s how we learn.”  

And,

“I’d like to add that unless we have a purpose for doing whatever we do, then we give up as soon as we fail the first time.”    

When I read this, it reminded me that I resist doing things because I’m afraid to do it poorly, screw up and fail.  I hate the thought of even trying because there is a chance I will fail and I don’t want to be judged or ridiculed for it.  When I read quotes such as Liz’s, my logical mind understands it and reacts: “of course, I knew that” but the rest of my mind reacts like: “hell no, I’m not willing to do that and be judged, hell no!”  And guess which one is louder?

Recently, I had a conversation with my business partners and I was sharing with them that my anxiety had been very bad lately.  It had grown to the point that I had not been doing the things I normally do. I was staying home, I was grouchy, snappy, and just a massive “NO” to everything.  I was literally acting like I didn’t care, and the reality was that I cared too much. When I was on the call with them I broke down, I was crying and saying that they were expecting way too much of me. I was feeling like they were expecting me to run, when I was still trying to crawl, and they needed to leave me alone.  I was very close to quitting, giving up, saying screw it all, I don’t care anyway which is what I do that when things in my life occur as challenging. I felt like I was being pushed up against a wall and didn’t know what to do so my only way out was to quit. I went on for 30 minutes and they got that I was not faking this just to get out of my responsibilities, they realized that it was real for me.  After I let it all out and they listened with no judgement just love and concern, I felt lighter. I felt lighter because in that moment, I stopped hiding and pretending everything that fine. I did not want people to know what I was going through because I didn’t want to deal with it and would rather just sweep it under the rug. However, my peeps don’t let me get away with that…thank goodness. After saying everything on my mind, sharing with them what I was feeling, I could see that I was reacting to how things were occuring to me through how I view myself.  You see, I constantly have the thoughts of “I’m not good enough,” “they can do it better,” “I will never succeed” running through my head. And it’s not all that surprising that I always want to give up and quit as these thoughts are not encouraging at all! After that call, I got really clear that what I was telling myself was impacting my life and what I was doing and not doing. I chose to let it go and the only way I could let it go was by choosing to stop believing that what I thought about myself was true AND to get into action by taking on everything I was resisting.  I’ve learned, that for me, what makes the real difference is actually taking ACTION. Inside of being responsible for my thoughts and emotions I went from wanting to quit everything to being back in action and possibility in a matter of a couple hours!

Now, you may be thinking that your emotional roller coaster takes you out for days or even weeks.  Well, I’m here to let you know that it took a lot of practice and personal development to get to where I am today.  When I was younger my emotional roller coaster almost took me out permanently. And I’m so grateful that it did not.  But back then I battled depression and anxiety which were brought on by my fears, my feelings of embarrassment and shame.  Over the years, I’ve learned to recognize that my thoughts aren’t always telling me the truth. And when I feel like I’m being backed into a corner, I’ve trained myself to share my thoughts and feelings with the people I love and trust.  It is inside of that sharing that I hear my thoughts as if for the first time, and it totally interrupts the pattern, like taking the needle off the record.

I’ve also learned to give myself a break and be kinder to myself which is why I love Liz’s quote so much. The truth is, almost everything we do is done poorly when we first start doing it – that’s how we learn.”  I am very clear that everything I do- whether I succeed, screw up or fail- is a learning opportunity for me.  I don’t have to be perfect, and neither do you. Becoming proficient at something new takes time.

The next time you find yourself on the emotional roller coaster and feeling like you want to quit, remember Liz’s quote, breathe, and share what is going on with your trusted friends and/or family. Then choose to get into action!   It’s all part of learning and expanding yourself. And don’t forget to do everything you do with passion.

 

Written by: Simone Vitellaro