Dealing with Insecurities

Most people have insecurities of sorts whether that be trust, confidence issues, lack of confidence of how they look, over thinking or even worrying how people view them. In this post, I will discuss my 2 biggest insecurities, how I try and cope with them and also offer a few ways to deal with your own insecurities. By all means, I’m no expert, but I do believe in sharing coping mechanisms in the hope it may help just one person.

When writing this, I began to realise that I have so many insecurities in life, more than I personally ever imagined. I also hope that by writing this, I will learn more about myself as such and maybe begin to really listen to my own advice!!

I suppose my 2 biggest insecurities are Trust, whether that be trusting friends, family and potential partners that they actually like me, or it being trusting people actually are giving me good advice or help when I approach them for support and Self Confidence, as I struggle to accept praise from people in all areas of life. As silly as it sounds but even when I play Crown Green Bowling and someone says “good bowl/wood Ben”, I struggle to cope with it and it usually puts me off my game!

So Trust. Why is this an issue for me? I look back at incidents when I’ve trusted people and they’ve let me down, and it destroys me. Family wise, I can’t recall a major occasion when they have broken my trust other than when I may have told sister something and she spoke to parents because potentially I could have been putting myself at risk, so I suppose that’s a positive break of trust, if they’re such thing as that! In terms of friendships, naturally friends break each other’s trust over the years and I would be here til tomorrow speaking about that but now I have a collective of maybe 6 people who I know I can trust with anything and everything! Finally in terms of partners, sadly this one scars me and has an impact on how I view things these days. One person in particular, destroyed my trust in girls and it sadly still scares me to this day. I never think I’m good enough for someone, despite them saying I am! This is simply something I need to get over!

Onto self confidence. As those close to me will know, this is something I’ve struggled with all my life and is part of the reason why I have suffered so badly with mental health. I at times lack confidence at how I look, how I sound due to my lisp, how I come across to people I don’t know, how my work, both paid and uni work, is received and even how I come across to friends as I’m arguably naive and too nice for my own good to friends and others I’m involved with! Am I anywhere near as bad as I once was? No, I’m in a better place than I’ve probably ever been, but that’s not the issue. The issue is how I will always struggle with something until I truly have achieved my goals!

How can you and I improve ourselves in dealing with insecurities?

1, Believe in yourself a little. We are all beautiful human beings and have so much to offer the world. It’s simply down to you and I to utilise our strengths and not worry about our weaknesses.

2, Give people a chance and don’t have preconceptions about how people view you!

3, Drop the guard a little even though you may be scared to, the potential positives are endless and could work. If the worst happens, surround yourself with your positive social network and no doubt you will be back on your feet in no time!!

A longer post for once so Thankyou for getting through it!:)

Until Next Time,

Ben

Pushing Your Comfort Zone

So this is a post which is so relevant to me personally at present with me starting proper uni in 5 weeks time. Education is something I’ve struggled with socially since I left secondary education and to say I’m apprehensive about starting uni, is an understatement! Granted, I’m looking forward to it so much and I’ve really enjoyed getting to know the people on my course and other “freshers” but the fact is, I can be the most awkward person socially, as many friends already know!😂

I look at when and why I’ve pushed myself out of my comfort zone across the past 2-3 years, and look at the success of me doing it. I’m going to quickly explain 4 or 5 occasions and what positive change happened when I pushed myself and pushed my anxiety to a point, at the time, I never thought I could cope with.

1, A couple of years ago, I did a high wire course. Now admittedly it was brilliant fun and I really did enjoy the day, but for someone so scared of heights, it certainly pushed me! It wasn’t as if it was only a half hour thing, if I remember right, it took around 4 hours but it was awesome and despite how things ended with the person I went with that day, I look back on it fondly.

2, Starting the OU. As I’ve mentioned already, Education is something I’ve been almost in fear of since I left school after sixth form and scat not exactly going successfully to put it mildly! The positives of me starting the OU are to many to count. It finally gave me the grades to go to proper uni and gave me the confidence to pursue my dreams.

3, Leaving Tesco to go to HJS on only a 12 month contract. I left a job which I couldn’t stand at all but was guaranteed work, for a job which was only for 12 months. I had to push my anxiety to work full time again, to use my limited knowledge and experience of primary education to help children with their education, when I was far from qualified to do so! But unquestionably it was worth it! Got so much out of it and ultimately it gave me the drive and confidence to really push on and pursue goals.

4, Go back into social learning. Now this is something which 5 weeks today I shall restart. Something which I’m as previously mentioned, very apprehensive about, but really am looking forward to the next 3 years and the career that beckons for me after completing the degree.

So to close, what I’m trying to say is, try and push yourself from that comfort zone, make yourself feel uncomfortable for the potential benefits. Take a leap, it may not work out, but what if it does? What if it gives you the life you want? If it doesn’t work out, deal with it then, but take the chance to achieve goals and dreams. One thing I’ve always been taught by my parents is to find the life you want and not to settle for 2nd best, which is something I whole heartedly agree with and live by.

As always, Thankyou for reading.

Until next time,

Ben!:)

Dealing With Change

To most people, change can create a lot of anxiety, worry and so much uneasiness but for autistic people, particularly children, this can gave a profound affect on how they feel. The reality is though, change can be so good! Admittedly, some change is forced and can be negative but it’s about how we deal with it and move on in a positive direction!

So I’ve thought about how to write this post in terms of, do I do a 5 steps to dealing with change type thing or do I just speak about how dealing with change is important?

So I’ve decided to do the guide of how to deal with change, but anyone who reads this, I would like feedback if you disagree with any of my steps so it’s a better representation and simply not my opinion.

So here goes,

Step 1:

Be Open To Change:

For so many people, change is something they simply do not like or want but who knows what great things may happen if you try it? Open yourself to the idea of a new project or way of life, granted, it may be a risk sometimes, but risks can be so worthwhile.

Step 2:

Give Change A Try:

What I mean by this, is to allow yourself to embrace the change and put yourself into the new challenge. Don’t deliberately have a negative outlook on it and almost put obstacles in place for the change to fail.

Step 3:

Have A Support System In Place To Help You With Change:

This may not be a step everyone follows simply because they may want to do things solely on their own without interference from others, but learning from experiences, when I’ve changed my life or daily routine, having a support system in place with family, friends and work/uni, helped massively.

Step 4:

Don’t Be Afraid For The Change To Not Work Out:

Naturally in some cases, things won’t work out for you, but that’s okay! If it doesn’t work out in the way you want, it’s then about how you respond to that. The change may not be for your right now, but may work out for you in future.

Step 5:

Enjoy Change:

Simple enough final step. Enjoy what the change brings, enjoy your life and what the change has brought to it, and celebrate the success of change with those around you!:)

So as I’ve said earlier in this post, I’m not preaching or acting like I know everything, but simply saying what works for me!:)

As always, feedback is welcome!:)

Until next time,

Thankyou for reading,

Ben:)

Reality of Anxiety

So what actually is Anxiety? What causes it? Why do people who suffer from it struggle to overcome it? What effect does it have on lives? All 4 of those questions will be answered in this post.

So What Is Anxiety?

According to the Anxiety UK website, “Anxiety is a normal, if unpleasant, part of life, and it can affect us all in different ways and at different times. Whereas stress is something that will come and go as the external factor causing it (be it a work, relationship or money problems, etc.) comes and goes, anxiety is something that can persist whether or not the cause is clear to the sufferer.” Just to add a little myself, it can be a debilitating feeling that can at times dictate your life.

What Causes Anxiety?

Speaking for myself, my anxiety is caused when I’m out in a situation which I feel uncomfortable with. This is usually an environment with unfamiliar people, or crowded with loads of people too. Also mine is largely caused when my routine as such is disrupted suddenly and I do not then have the time to accept and adjust myself to the disruption. This can be something as simple as the bus or train being late, to a game of bowls not starting on time. If it’s 1 minute late, I sometimes struggle to readjust myself to the new timescale. Reality of life, things change suddenly and it’s how I need to respond to those adjustments respectively.

Why do people who suffer from Anxiety struggle to overcome it?

The reality is, that with most mental health problems, anxiety needs treatment, both medication wise but also therapy wise. Now as the saying goes, there’s no such thing as a “Magic Pill” and from experience, the medication is only really 30% of how you can help to control it. The other 70% is solely down to how much you want it to stop. So many people are scared to have therapy to help out with anxiety but if there is a connection and trust in the therapist, improvements can be made in time. I’ve had around 6-7 therapists in my life, only with 2 have I had a true connection with and made sufficient improvement with. First one being with a guy called Vince, he made me see that life wasn’t all bleak and was so positive about things. Made me look for the good things in my life and make them the stimulus for improvement. The 2nd one being Anita. I saw her in my darkest days in 2016-2017. She picked me up alongside 3 friends in particular from the bottom and gave me confidence to believe and purse goals. Not everyone is lucky enough to have that connection or even gain therapy. Most of my therapy has been private and I can’t recommend private therapy enough. So many people struggle to over come it simply because the support and system isn’t in place for the mass to over come their problems. So much of this is due to the financial constraints of life.

What effect does Anxiety have in life?

Anxiety can destroy lives. Simple as that. It can make you scared to leave the house, scared to go into public. It can stop general life or the life you want to live and follow happening. Ultimately it can have a huge effect on what happens in your life and how you live. How much effect it has on your life, is partly down to the sufferer. If they have the drive and will to try and improve, life can become so much easier. This drive will take time to come, but once that will comes, grab it with both hands and pursue your goals.

Apologies for this being a long post, so thank-you all for reading it, but this is the reality and so many people are not aware of how tough it can be.

Until next time,

AR