“Don’t let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.”

So for the last year or so I’ve wanted to join a gym. Although I have a skinny physique, I am extremely unfit, and as I only like the outdoors in the Summer which only lasts around 2 weeks in the ever so glorious UK, I believe an indoor workout is definitely more for me.

Even though I’ve wanted to do so for the last year, I am still yet to join or even visit any gym whatsoever. To be honest, until recently it was an unrealistic idea with having to pay a monthly fee and not having much spare time, however, now I am in a different posistion where I’ve managed my workload to a point that I can look at starting a hobby as well as afford one.

But still, I’m yet to go to the gym.

I’ve looked at different fitness classes, different memberships, different companies etc and even though a few look appealing, I’ve taken no action and to be honest, I’m scared.

Before even booking an induction, I’m thinking about walking into that gym for the first time and getting turned away. I’m already thinking about everything that could go wrong. I’m fearing the judgey glances of those people who are basically gym gods, and what the staff members may be thinking about me. I’m worrying about looking like an idiot because of how unfit I am, and people wondering why a girl like me is at the gym.

I keep telling myself I’m being stupid, I can’t ever build myself into a better person and the person I want to be if I don’t ignore all of these irrational insecurities¬†that are going through my head, but it’s hard. The thought of entering a new environment alone absolutely petrifies me, especially when attention could easily be drawn to me for being the newbie. But I have to do this at some point, and I bet that when I decide to take the plunge and walk through those gym doors, yes I’ll be anxious and timid and frightened, but I’ll be so proud of myself as well for taking that step.

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Stop, Think, and Stutter.

As a child, I couldn’t sit still. I struggled to concentrate on one thing for a period of time and my thoughts constantly jumped around in my head as if they were a group of school kids on a trampoline. I used to think about so many different things at the same time, I regularly skipped over things and would say one thing, and then the next sentence would be on a totally new subject.

I’ve begun to stutter or mess up when I’m speaking. My written language skills are actually quite good, and reading off a script even I manage quite fine, but when I’m trying to follow the words in my head rather than with my eyes, it becomes more difficult. Often as a child, and even in my teenage years, my mum would tell me to “think before you speak,” as I’d often find myself in trouble because I didn’t think of the repercussions of my words. As I’m getting older, I am doing so, but it seems to make it a lot more difficult for me to get any words out in the first place.

I’ll speak on the tannoy in work and I’ll stutter, or I’ll merge two words into one, or even skip words out entirely. Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn’t. I’m concentrating so hard on saying the sentence, sometimes my brain is saying the words faster in my head than I’m saying them over the tannoy, and it often leads to this happening as a result.

As this is a habit that I’ve developed only recently, I find it quite embarrassing. I worry about people thinking I’m stupid because I can’t get my words out, which often causes me to mess up more than normal. Working alongside colleagues and customers also in a service based workplace only highlights this issue more because it’s happening in the same environment on a regular basis. But it’s become apparent to myself that it’s better to have to repeat and correct myself, rather than possibly offend or make somebody feel negative because of what I said before thinking.

One Step Forward

Yesterday I took a step in the right direction. I woke up and thought it would be another shitty day. I didn’t want to go to school or work and had already written and sent my excuse email into school about why I wouldn’t be in. The plan then was to have a wee and then follow my usual routine when I felt like this. Time to go back to sleep and sleep the day away.

I’m always so happy in my dreams and love remembering them and telling myself them back like a story the next morning. But all they are is dreams. A lot of the time they are about scenarios that have already happened, but how they could have been better, but sometimes they are of things I actually dream of such as winning the lottery, travelling, falling in love etc. The dream world is so much better than the real world, but I can’t just keep escaping to my imagination and ignoring issues in the present.

Before I went back to sleep, my phone rang and somebody needed a lift. This is what caused the change and made me turn the day around. I thought, if I have to get changed to take him somewhere and get ready for work later anyway, I might as well go into school. So I did, and although I missed the first hour of my double lesson, I managed to get some work done for the first time in a while.

Yesterday ended up being quite a productive day. I got some school work done, I tidied up the house, and I went to work and earned some money whilst training up to do more things. And none of it would’ve happened if I hadn’t had that phone call.

Motivation is what will kick start my days and make more days good ones rather than bad. I just need to learn where to find my motivation and not rely on fate to send me a phone call each time before I find it.

Sticks and Stones

“Sticks and Stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me.”

This is a lie I told myself throughout my childhood. Almost all the times I can remember crying throughout my school years was because of words that came out of people’s mouths. Words with no meaning behind and were just used as words to win an argument, usually not actually meant.

Up until recently, I thought I was the things what other people said I was, but I realised I was so much more and that was just their perceptions. Over the past 6 months, although there’s been an ongoing battle with my mind, I’ve gained in confidence. By that, I don’t mean I think I am the most beautiful 18-year-old in my area or I’m the funniest person I know, but I’ve stopped caring about what other people think of me, and only care about the opinions of those close to me.

People will make snap judgements about you. They will judge you before you’ve even opened your mouth, and they will portray you in a particular light whether it’s right or wrong. People remember you at your worst more often than your best. It’s your job to show them who you really are. This may still lead to them thinking of you one way, and that’s fine as long as you don’t allow yourself to believe they are right if you don’t agree or don’t like what you hear. Human Beings are judgemental creatures. I know I am. But it’s what you do with your opinions and your judgement that matters.

The people who I am close to and REALLY know me with will tell you I’m honest. If I don’t like something or I don’t agree with something I will say so to try and avoid it ever happening again. I will not be walked over or watch somebody else be put down because they can’t defend themselves.

Some people who know me will call me a bitch. If I don’t like something or I don’t agree with something I will say. I will often give back as good as I get as long as I’m not too emotional and end up crying. If I do end up crying, these people shouldn’t feel satisfaction as if they’ve won, I was probably crying over how cute my dog was earlier that morning or because my shoelace became undone. If I cry it’s probably just been one of those days.

Personally, I agree with both of these people. I am honest and believe it’s easier than spinning up a web of lies to avoid awkwardness, but I can also be a bitch and be unnecessarily honest about my opinions that I’m often not entitled to. Knowing your audience and identifying differences in relationships between people is the key difference being those two things. I will always be honest, but sometimes I may say something that my best friend would instantly know isn’t meant in a serious way, but could be offensive or belittling to somebody else. I recognise this and know it’s something I need to work on.

My point is, just because I don’t allow people’s judgements to get to me anymore, it doesn’t mean other people do the same. Many of us need to become aware that these labels we put on each other can hurt people emotionally, just because it doesn’t hurt us, doesn’t mean it won’t hurt others.

Speed Bumps

Yesterday I had a crappy day. I didn’t feel like doing much, I didn’t go into school, and I was miserable in work. It was one of those days where I just wanted to stay in bed at home.

I was stupid to think that reading a page of information would give me some sort of “cure,” but now I know that there’s a long road I have to go down, and there are going to be speed bumps along the way. Yesterday was the first time I’ve felt down in weeks. I wasn’t anxious, just down. I’m learning that this is normal. Lots of people’s moods vary, but I’m not very good at dealing with it. Ignoring the issue isn’t going to help, neither is giving into it. Yesterday I did give into it and didn’t go into school, which afterwards, I regretted.

Today is a new day, and I haven’t woken up in the best of moods, but I have got out of bed. Once I’ve finished writing this, I’m going to go have a shower and get ready for the day. And I’m going to make the most of today. Feeling like I’ve done something productive and used my time well always puts me in good spirits, whether that be going out with my friends, to see family, completing an assignment, or just cleaning up around the house. However, when I feel down or anxious, I want to stay in bed all day and wait for tomorrow, which is not productive in anyway possible. So then usually, my mood is carried onto the next day and I get stuck in a vicious circle. My theory is, if I push myself to get out of bed and get ready for the day, it will be the start to a successful day. I need to be the force to start the chain of the dominoes falling, and push that first one down. I need to start making myself get out of bed and get ready for the day. I hope that this will lead to more successful days.

Making Decisions

This year I made so many silly decisions. I made the decisions based on “what ifs,” worrying that the worst possible outcome would happen if I did this or that. So instead of doing any of these things I wanted to do, because I was worried about the future repercussions, I shut people off, I backed out of plans, and spent most of my down time shut up in my house on my¬†own.

Any person I got close to this year I shut myself off from because I feared getting hurt. I don’t know whether this was anything to do with anxiety or just me not being willing to trust new people, but I do know I’m fed up of it. I need to start taking risks, and to start taking a chance of being hurt because the outcomes may not be that, but could leave me happier than I have been in a long time.

I’ve made new friends this year, and they’ve been some of the most supportive people around me, but getting close with somebody on a level that is a lot more than just friends is a big ask for me. It’s not that I don’t want to, but my brain is telling me to run at any sign of me getting too attached to somebody.

I’m done with that though, I’m done with pushing people away. I’m going to challenge myself to take the next step that I never usually reach, and I’m going to risk the chance of getting hurt if they turn out to be the dick I feared they were.

I’m done listening to my fears, and I’m going to fight them instead.