Three Lies People with High Functioning Anxiety Tell Themselves: Part 3

Today I am wrapping up the three lies we tell ourselves. Lately, I have noticed with myself, and my clients there are lies we tell ourselves to keep ourselves in the unhealthy cycle of over-functioning—feel anxiety/shame—keep over functioning. We tell ourselves these lies with positive intent: get more done and avoid feeling anxious. But these lies are hurting us and keeping us from healing our anxiety.

Three lies we tell ourselves:

1. I can break the time/space continuum.

2. I don’t need help, also known as asking for help is a personal weakness.

3. One mistake means we are complete failures. 

We have looked at lie #1 and lie #2

Today let’s break down Lie #3: One mistake means we are complete failures.

Ok, rationally we know this isn’t true. We KNOW that makes no sense. And yet, our Monger plays there behind the scenes telling us if we make a mistake everything will be ruined (she is so dramatic!!). We can see this lie playing out in our behavior it keeps us trapped in indecision and inaction.

This lie is a sneaky one it shows up in a variety of ways:

Procrastination: frequently we don’t take any action because we are protecting ourselves from imperfect action.

Over-researching: Looking for the answer out there someone has to know the right answer so we search and search before we commit to anything.

Going to committee: surveying everyone we know to find the right way.

When you notice yourself engaging in these behaviors or any behaviors that keep you spinning in in-action you can:

Ask yourself what am I feeling right now? Doubt? Fear? Anger? Confusion? Honor that feeling. Don’t judge it for being stupid or unnecessary. Acknowledge the feeling.

Move your Body. Stand up and move your body.

Remind yourself you aren’t 8 years old. Frequently when I am struggling with fear of making a mistake I will remind myself I am an adult a woman in her late 40s who has lots of experience, education and wisdom. When we get stuck in self-doubt and our Monger is running the show she likes to convince us we are young and stupid.

Try to see a bigger picture. There is no right way. Again we know this intellectually but to really believe that to the core of our being is challenging. Pulling back and seeing a big picture we can see there might be multiple ways to solve the problem and all of them could be ‘right’.

Set a timer for 5 minutes and write down all the possible options. (Setting a timer is one of my favorite tricks to bypass the Monger).  ​Pay attention as you write you will notice which options appeal to you (not which options you THINK SHOULD appeal to you but honestly which options appeal to you. Trust those answers. Too often, we ignore our inner wisdom. We rush right past our Biggest Fan. She is there, quietly inside, waiting to guide you.

Bypassing the Monger and calling in the Biggest Fan requires more than just thinking. We have to notice our behavior, acknowledge our feelings, get into our bodies and brainstorm a bigger picture all while being kind to ourselves. This is how we build self-loyalty.