I don't have all the Information here

This is my newest anthem: “I don’t have all the information here.”

Telling myself this is super-helpful in SO many situations.

When I’m feeling anxious.
When I’m feeling critical.
When I’m feeling judgy or judged.
When I’m asking myself “what if …. ?”
When I’m feeling scared.
When I’m playing the comparison game.

Why do we assume the worst of people and of situations? (hello catastrophizing! ) Has it always been like this? Does it come from a place of fear or some unresolved, unrecognized issue in our own lives? How do we get it to stop?

I think this is one way: “I don’t have all the information here.” I can’t know it all. It’s just not possible to understand all the facets of a situation, and what is inside someone’s else’s head, and all the influencing factors, and the other forces at play. Life has layers. It’s complicated sometimes. “I don’t have all the information here” keeps me curious. This statement kicks off a fact-finding mission because surely there’s an explanation other than the one I’m piecing together, a conclusion other than the one I’m jumping to (insert Office Space reference). “I don’t have all the information here” may even lead to a conversation with a person, and ultimately, empathy and connection.

I know that an uninformed preconceived notion (read ‘my own dang ignorance’) only serves to harden my heart. I don’t want to be a hard-heart. I want to be a better thinker and feeler. I want to be selfless and open. This is one way I’m trying to get there : “I don’t have all the information here.”

Maybe you could try this today too?

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I'm at a party I don't wanna be at

If you struggle with social anxiety like I do and you haven’t read this book by Ellen Hendriksen yet ... GET IT NOW. It is rooted in CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) and rich with tips on how to conquer your anxiety in social situations.

So far, these are my biggest takeaways from the book (maybe try saying these out loud to yourself?):

◽️I will feel less anxious BY living my life, rather than waiting to feel less anxious IN ORDER TO live my life.

◽️Introversion IS my way, social anxiety GETS in my way.

◽️My social anxiety is not credible. It is a liar.

◽️I am stronger, more capable, and more likable than my Inner Critic ever gives me credit for.

◽️I can talk back to my social anxiety with these questions: What is the worst that could happen? How bad would that really be? What are the odds? How could I cope?

◽️In a social situation where I literally know no one, I can give myself an assignment of sorts, i.e. chatting with 3 specific people.

◽️A solution to social anxiety is getting in my reps or exposures in social situations. Repetition is key. It gets easier with more reps.

◽️I feel far worse anticipating my challenges than actually completing them.

◽️The success of my task is independent of the outcome. The only criteria is ‘did I follow-through’?

◽️Conquering my social anxiety is not only for my sake, but for those around me, who may feel uncomfortable secondarily, or who may perceive me as aloof, distant, snobby or prickly.

◽️If I drop my safety behaviors, not only will I feel better, I’ll get a better response from those around me.

◽️One of the biggest myths of social anxiety: I must perform perfectly. This is highly unrealistic, and aligns my self-worth with performance and results, which is dangerous.

◽️If I try to be “warm and friendly and curious, then everything else - the blemishes and foibles and awkward behaviors all of us have simply because we are human - becomes much less important to the other person because we’re connecting with them.”

Comment below if any of these resonate with you! Happy Tuesday friends!

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