This is one of the deepest distorted beliefs I’ve had, and I know I’m not alone.
Recently, (like 2 weeks ago), I was doing my usual morning self-work, I was feeling low because I’d spoken up about something important to me to someone I’d just met.
I went on to take yet another look at my struggle with feeling so anxious when I spoke up.
This had become my latest symptom of being a highly sensitive person, or the most common label, a person with a mental illness, or anxiety disorder.
(I really hate, yes hate the label MENTAL ILLNESS. We don’t say, I have a LEG ILLNESS, I have an EMOTIONAL ILLNESS, I have a ELBOW ILLNESS. Anyhow that’s another blog.
And so, on December 2nd I drilled down to reveal my core fear of not being lovable, that I have a deep fear of rejection, and a low-level constant shame, linked to high fear of ‘MENTAL ILLNESS’.
As a young child, my parents took me and my brother to visit my uncle who was in a ‘Mental Hospital’. It was terrifying, to a small child it felt like a Hammer House Horror movie set.
Tall dark figures lurching around, dribbling, slurring, hunched shoulders, and inaudible speech.
I even remember my uncle offered me a mint humbug, so old and soft it was stuck to the paper.
The thing is that when we experience things that are scary and unknown, our sponge-like brain soaks it up and stores it to use anytime she likes in a misguided attempt to keep us safe.
My installed program… Mentally ill people are scary, dangerous and live in a Mad-House, stocked with white straitjackets.
Just to top it off, I grew up just down the road from one of Sheffield's major Mental Hospitals, which again looked like a haunted mansion.
So, my sensitivity really says, ‘If you struggle, people will fear you, they will not love you, you will be locked up with soft humbugs in your pink dressing gown counting the flies on the ceiling.”
In short, I didn’t feel safe, so I became over-anxious, which circulates more anxiety, which creates more shame, fear, and self-loathing. = People will hate me if I’m not normal.
You may not have been taken on such a fun outing as a child, but I guess you will still have been shown that if you don’t fit in, you're not good enough.
I've worked with clients who have different tapes playing but still result in the same primal fear
Because guess what? If we aren’t lovable, if we actually are disliked, we are gonna be lonely and die! (That’s what our distorted thinking creates if we allow it)
Here are some of the things I've heard from lovely humans over the past 10 years.
“I get nervous about everything. Sometimes I don't know why I'm anxious. I just am”
“Even when things are going great. I feel uncomfortable, it won't last”
"I've spent most of my life holding my breath and hoping that when people get close enough, they won't leave.”
“I just can’t ask for help, people will think somethings wrong.”
“I love helping other people, but I can’t help myself.”
“If I speak up, it’s going to create conflict.”
“I hate conflict.”
“I apologize for everything and anything I do. If I’m too quiet, I’ll apologize. If I’m too loud, I’ll apologize.
I need constant reassurance that everything is good to feel ok about myself
I am ashamed of my body
I’m not a good person
I prefer to stay quiet and keep myself to myself, I feel too uncomfortable in front of others
I talk too much because I hate silent pauses
It's a belief system that’s growing, we live in such a disconnected culture.
Our connections are becoming blocked because we spend too much time using our devices, we can no longer travel with ease, we wear masks, we're unable to relax in a crowd.
It’s a critical time for us to remember the first step of feeling loved, belonging, and cared for (so not hated) is to recognize your own self-sabotaging patterns of thoughts and beliefs that have become you.
Since I allowed myself to feel the fear that I may be disliked, unlovable and outcast to the dark place, I remembered that if I felt those things, then I need to address them with myself.
I realized that each stage of my awakening to my own program prepares me for the next stage.
I remind myself that I love taking care of myself, I don’t need to be liked by anyone really. I realized that I spent way too much time ashamed because others would see me as weird, sick, mentally ill…. I am afraid of that term; I don’t like it.
So, I now say, I have a sensitive mind and soul, and I love that.
I remember to breathe, go to bed early, have most days of the week alcohol-free.
I practice noticing my old wounds and fears as they are triggered and I say to myself, ‘It’s ok, it’s just that old thing.” I say, “I love you; you are so brave.”
I smile and feel the fear dissipate as I love myself just as I am, and then all is calm, fun, flowful. My sensitivity is on low setting now, and I feel amazing.
So, if you catch yourself thinking something along the low self-worth lines, remember. YOU my darling need your love more than anyone, and YOU need to be around other lovely people so that you don’t hardwire the program that you’re an introvert, so better stay home.
Nothing good comes from hiding your light.
Be brave, learn how to like and love yourself, practice noticing your program and recording over it, get help, make the changes, and feel the heavy fears fall away.
I can’t imagine anyone truly hates you, and that you don’t matter to someone, but I do know how we can learn and adopt these fears.
But if you have anyone toxic in your life, cut that cord.
Learn to cheerlead yourself first.
Finally ask yourself if you have opened up to other people and invited them to open up to you so that you can build the bridge of trusted connections, where you will be able to cook up some love.
This is a huge area of personal happiness, so please reach out and take a journey with a great coach who will be able to help you help yourself.
No blog, book or video will be as powerful as you working with a professional who will be your mirror, teacher, and cheerleader.
If you are still reading this, you are already on the right path, you’re open, you’re waking up to the power of YOU.
If you want to help yourself and me, please take 5, and fill out this anonymous survey about soothing anxiety.
Or contact me personally
I would love your stories or comments here.
Thanks for reading. I hope this helps you or someone you love.
Love Love Caron oxox