Don’t hold onto a certain bad due to fear of an uncertain good
I haven’t yet figured out when to keep pushing through difficulties, and when to give up, stop and recharge.
But I’m trying this: if one approach isn’t working, use the other one.
[post status: a little rough, but there’s something useful buried in here!]
Here’s some advice you might hear if you’re dealing with anxiety:
“It doesn’t matter WHY you’re struggling, accept the feelings and focus instead on the present”
Sounds great. But, then, so does this: “we should confront and heal our past traumas so they stop bothering us in the present”!
And these good-sounding bits of advice seem to be contradictory..!
How are we supposed to know WHEN to confront past traumas, and when to let go and focus on the present?
(And I bet you’ve come across loads more of these seemingly-contradictory pairs of advice.)
Here’s an answer I often return to:
You might be interested in this talk I was invited to give recently at the University of Liverpool.
The occasion was “Working Conversations”, a conference intended to discuss what a better mental health service might look like.
I was invited to share my experiences with anxiety, some thoughts about custard, and to throw open a few questions for the ‘proper’ experts to consider during their discussions for the rest of the day.
Hopefully I did an alright job! You can see the talk via this link.
I’m very interested in your feedback, so please do let me know what you make of it below!
[This relatively sensible post was originally written for puttylike.com]
I often feel pressure, like questions are burnt into my brain by endless repetition:
Am I contributing to the world right now?
Am I making enough money?
Am I deepening myself, learning new skills and growing as a person?
You might think that achieving any of these goals would be sufficient, but sometimes even when I manage one of them feels like it’s not enough. While I’m learning something valuable, I still feel pressure that I’m not contributing, or earning, or… or… or…
“Work is accomplishment without creativity or nourishment”
[Another quick post today.]
Sometimes it seems as if the solution to a problem is to NOT do something.
For example, if our problem is “I can’t stop thinking about this person” it might seem that we simply have to stop thinking about them.
No. Actually, that’s impossible.