When My Anxiety Makes Me Apologize for Who I Am
My anxiety causes me to feel like I am always making mistakes. When I make a mistake or perceive I have made one, this reinforces the voice inside my head that tells me I am not good enough. Whenever there is an opportunity for even the tiniest bit of doubt to surface about myself, my inner critic consequently overtakes me. For instance, I regularly apologize for my actions. An example of this is when I am working on a project with a team of people, and I fear that I may come across as bothersome as a result of my frequent check-ins and reminders. I just want to see us do our best and make sure that my teammates feel valued, but the anxious voice that fills my mind says, “You’re being too controlling” or “Give them the space they need to progress with the project, or they won’t want to work with you again.” It is extremely difficult for me to quiet this anxious voice because of its power over me, yet I am taking small steps to be kinder, gentler and more compassionate towards myself, striving to elevate my feelings of self-worth. I also apologize frequently for my inaction. When my anxiety is particularly strong and causes me to freeze up, I am filled with regret over what I am fearful of doing during these moments of heightened anxiety, such as making phone calls, scheduling too many commitments or standing up for myself.
Since I often feel incompetent because of what I do or what I am fearful to do, this leads me to depreciate my value, to the point when I even apologize for who I am. I question if my company is a burden to others. It is heartbreaking to feel sorry for who you are, and I wouldn’t want anyone to feel this way.
I have an important message for anyone who can relate to a feeling of inadequacy, a message I aspire to remind myself every day when my anxious voice becomes too loud: You are worth being loved. You are not a burden. And may you always remember you are beautiful, just the way you are!
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Thinkstock photo via Anna_Isaeva.