Comparing ourselves to others is the biggest waste of time, and it invariably never turns out well.
Working as a hypnotherapist has put me in a unique position to see that everyone I talk to is dealing with some sort of emotional issue. We all understand fear because we all feel it. We all feel anxious and nervous. We all feel anger and rage. We all feel we are not good enough. We all feel loss. These are familiar human emotions, however when they start to escalate we feel completely alone and believe that we are in some way different to the person sitting next to us. The reality is that we are no different and that some people are more adept at masking it than others, but they are still feeling it.
So, what is the best way to deal with an unpleasant emotional feeling? My answer to that is to talk about it. Share how you are feeling with others. When you do, you will be surprised by the responses and the support you get!
Everyone is a bit scared but we are less scared together.
When we acknowledge that we are not alone in these thoughts it enables us to be less self-critical and more compassionate to ourselves and to others.
I recently spoke at an event in front of 100 people – not my favourite thing to do – in fact I have a fear of Public Speaking dating back to my school days. I honestly believed that all the people I had watched over the years speaking in front of an audience didn’t feel the fear that I was experiencing in the run-up to this event. It was a light bulb moment when I started to investigate and ask these seasoned speakers to give me an authentic answer. They all felt the fear. They all worried it would show in their voice. They all felt shaky. Understanding this really helped me. I was not alone in my fear. I also had some hypnotherapy and BWRT® which gave me the confidence I needed and, I was fine on the day.
In my work I am always looking for “what is not being said”. A client will book in to see me for help with a specific issue such as stop smoking, weight loss or insomnia and then during the session will reveal that, although they may appear confident and self-assured, they are in fact socially anxious or struggling with panic attacks/PTSD. The social mask they have been using over the years has finally started to slip and they are struggling to cope. They have not shared this information with anyone because they feel pressure to keep going, put on a happy face and that they are alone in feeling the way they do.
Social Media also has a part to play in this. There is this belief that we must appear to be happy all the time and to broadcast that news. No-one is being truly authentic. Interestingly most people withdraw from social media when things start to unravel because they can’t face the constant deluge of #livingmybestlife.
As Charlie Mackesy says in his book The Boy, the mole, the fox and the horse:
“The greatest illusion is that life should be perfect”
and sharing how you are feeling and asking for help is the bravest and most authentic thing to do.