I think of blogs, I don\'t write blogs.

 

My excuse was always that I was anxious. I have \'Social Anxiety\', so of course I get anxious over writing or communicating on a website, even if everyone else has anxiety in some form. I did not see it as an excuse though, it was a justification for myself so I wouldn\'t feel so bad about hiding behind a vague profile or not replying to comments. Of course I would feel bad anyway, and frustrated that I should be so paralyzed and stuck in my head when other people managed just fine with, presumably, their own anxieties about presentation and judgement.

 

The word excuse has bothered me for a long time, I am aware that words have weighting and meaning to me that is not always the same as for others or how they might intend it. Excuse has very negative connotations for me, although the word can mean forgive or justify it feels flimsy and hollow. Actually not just that, but actively lying and trying to avoid deserved punishment. I think of the phrase "Don\'t make excuses!" and it cuts me to pieces.

 

Although I have become a stubborn and unpleasantly defensive person I am very insecure (although I have to assume those things are related). My self image and self confidence are very low. I have little or no trust or confidence in myself, my thoughts, opinions, decisions or actions. And I do not feel like I have any right to excuse, justify or be forgiven for anything. I feel undeserving of things which I would consider basic rights for anyone else.

 

I do not actually want to be defensive, it is distinct from assertiveness and confidence and is not a comfortable or secure position. And for me it is frequently hostile and grumpy, and avoidant of accepting and dealing with things that I would actually be better off and happier if I confronted. The assumption, I suppose, is that if I do something wrong (or that I feel is wrong) or have some flaw then a) it will never change and I will always be that way, and b) whatever it is is unforgiveable, nobody will understand and it will make me unloveable.

 

I do not like being aware of how black and white my thinking is. It is ironic (or is it? I\'m never sure anymore) that that is something else I would seek to deny or excuse, instead of challenge.

 

I have been attempting to read a worksheet intended to help to overcome procrastination. Another word I take negatively, thinking of it as laziness, although if I had ever really thought about it I think that it would have been obvious that it actually means avoidance. I\'m fairly confident it is ironic that I initially put off and am still trying to avoid thinking about, reading or working on these modules. But I am glad that instead of being simplistic motivational texts they instead examine the reasons for, thought patterns and behaviors that cause and perpetuate avoidance, because I am coming to realise just how big and ultimately debilitating and paralysing avoidance is in my life.

 

In the worksheet, and in other\'s that I read the introductions to, they describe life rules and assumptions as underlying negative and destructive behaviors. Essentially maladaptive core beliefs about yourself, the world, and how you should be, interact and fit in. These kinds of core beliefs are something I should have been thinking about more and trying to challenge, because I learnt a couple of years ago that I actually had quite a lot of them. But I have been afraid to, not to mention unwilling and resistant. It is very easy to consciously ignore or not be aware of them, making decisions based on them without questioning.

 

Excuses also come up in the worksheet. They describe them as an attempt to justify procrastination and to offset feelings of guilt and shame from avoidance, and there is often some truth in them although not enough to justify the behavior or make the negative consequences of it okay. Procrastination can of course have negative effects on the people around you, not getting work done on time etc, but it also has considerable negative consequences for the person doing it and ultimately like any maladaptive coping mechanism it is a vicious cycle.

 

An excuse (again, one I would not have seen as one) that comes into my head often is "Why bother? It won\'t be any good anyway. It\'s pointless to even try."

 

At this point of what has become a ramble I\'d like to say that I don\'t, when thinking rationally, think of excuses as either positive or negative things. They can be both or neither. But I\'d like to stop making unhelpful excuses for avoidance that ultimately maintain my negative beliefs about myself, perpetuate the cycle and keep me down, miserable and lonely.

 

So, my reason for not writing here* is not simply because I have social anxiety, or because I don\'t have any ideas of what to write (I pretty much write blogs, essays and reviews in my head daily), but because I have little confidence in what I think, I hold myself to an impossibly high standard, and I am terrified of being (and assume that I will be) judged negatively. Even now I am worrying that my writing is pretentious, or incoherent, amongst a bunch of other critical thoughts.

 

Um, if you read all of this then thank you.

 

* Or other places online, regardless of anonymity, getting out of the house or pretty much interacting at all.

2 Comments
  1. Author
    frolic30 9 years ago

    You\'ve got a lot of good insight into yourself.. and being aware of the steps you take in your procrastination or life in general, feels crappy. But once you get past the shame of facing the parts of yourself you don\'t like, you can notice them more often in the moment. That allows for mindful choice in situations, and therefore, progress toward change.

    I guess I would suggest that you really need to start questioning your beliefs in yourself. I\'m sorry for quoting you, but you say \”I have become a stubborn and unpleasantly defensive person\” and I would have to disagree. Deciding that\'s how you are leaves no room to do something different, so you are limiting yourself. Give yourself some credit for the good that you are.. you\'re a rational person so just go with the facts. Have you recently been in a situation where you didn\'t get defensive when faced with some kind of stressor? Yes. So your label isn\'t entirely true after all.

    Challenge yourself and I\'ll challenge you too 🙂 When you need a reminder that you\'re awesome, just let me know!

    Thanks for sharing all this, Morningstar. You\'re a talented writer.

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  2. Author
    coolbeans 9 years ago

    I think you seem like a talented and insightful person. We all make mistakes, that is just part of life, so try not to be too hard on yourself when you do. I don\'t think anyone here is going to judge you, we are all in the same boat in one way or another and we are here to support each other, not tear each other down. I thought of this quote I once heard while I was reading your blog and maybe you will find some wisdom in it as well \”Life isn\'t about finding yourself, it\'s about creating yourself.\” Hang in there and take care of yourself. You did a great job confronting your fears and submitting a blog even though you were anxious about it. Keep up the good fight 🙂

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