6 Lies Anxiety Makes Me Believe About Myself
Anxiety is a chronic liar. It tells you terrible things that aren’t true, and it can be hard not to believe the lies. Everyone’s anxiety is different, but some lies are universally relatable.
Here are the lies my anxiety tells me.
1. I am a failure.
For some reason, no amount of “success” is enough to counter this one. No matter how many things I do well, or how many times people tell me how good I am at something, anxiety is always there screaming at me that I am a failure at everything. It’s not selective. It doesn’t tell me I fail at certain things — it tells me I am a failure at life. That I have always failed, and I will always fail. At everything. Forever.
2. No one really likes me.
The most heartbreaking lie anxiety convinces me is true is that no one likes me. Not my family, not my friends, not my classmates or co-workers, not the stranger in line at the grocery store — no one. Absolutely no one. In fact every one hates me. That’s right, they don’t just “not like” me, they actually hate me. They are only nice because they are pretending to be, or maybe they feel sorry for me because they know no one likes me. Anxiety can leave me completely and utterly convinced that no one ever liked me or ever will, no matter how much people tell me it isn’t true. No matter how much people show me they love me, anxiety convinces me it is all an act. I am alone.
3. I shouldn’t even bother to try anything.
Anxiety is like a little ball of fear and hatred that tells me only the worst, most untrue things it can come up with. It loves to tell me not to bother trying anything since, after all, I’m only going to fail. Don’t pursue my dreams, apply for that job, go to that school, or try anything at all — because I’m just going to fail. If I don’t try, I won’t have to deal with the anguish and despair of my ultimate failure.
4. No one else has these problems.
If nothing else, anxiety is determined to convince me I am completely alone in how I feel. That I am the only person on the planet who feels this way, and has these thoughts. Anxiety wants me to believe, truly believe, that no one else could possibly understand anything about what I’m going through, because I am the only one who feels this way, and no one would understand.
5. I’m just being dramatic.
Anxiety is dramatic. But it’s not a choice. It lies and tells me there is nothing wrong with me, that I am just being “dramatic.” Even worse, friends and family might tell me the same, or even ignorant medical professionals might tell me to just “calm down” or “relax.” Anxiety wants me to believe it is all my fault that I am the way I am, and it will do anything to convince me I really just need to stop being so dramatic and everything will be fine.
6. I am weak.
Anxiety can make anyone feel like they are at the end of their rope, unable to handle anymore. It’s a monster like that. But anxiety is especially good at being the little voice in my head that tells me how weak and pathetic I am. It tells me I can’t handle anything. I can’t do anything. I can’t cope with things like “normal” people can. I am weak, it tells me.
But anxiety lies. It lies all day (and all night). That’s all it does — lie. You are not alone in this. Your brain is lying to you. It’s lying. The next time anxiety has you convinced that you are a failure, “stupid,” useless or weak — the next time it has you convinced that no one cares about you at all, remember it is lying. Don’t listen it. Tell your brain to stop lying, because that’s all it is doing to you. You don’t have to believe its lies.
But first you have to take a step back, and accept that your brain is lying to you — because that’s exactly what it is doing, and it will keep right on doing it until you realize the truth amidst the lies.
You are strong, you are capable and you are loved.
Getty Images photo via Grandfailure