Twice this year I’ve been told by people I admire and respect that all I have to do is get out of my own way. The first time I thought: Why of course! That makes perfect sense. The second time I realized I have no idea what that actually means.
Get out of my own way.
How does one do that exactly? And is that meant as a constructive criticism? Because I’ll admit, on the face of it, it doesn’t exactly feel like it.
The truth is, for the last year I would argue that is exactly what I’ve been doing by acknowledging my triggers and learning to set and keep personal barriers. But now I’m not so sure. Because after all of it, the change that I’ve made my life and the calming of emotions, I continue to struggle every single day with one important fact: I still don’t trust myself.
So last night, when I heard this again, in a more intimate and significant way, I felt shaken and confused. I realized that the hard work I’ve done to pull myself out of the trenches of depression and anxiety has been important and valuable, but hasn’t yet fully addressed the root of my struggles—my sense of self-worth and my ability to love and honour myself.
I’m not very good at seeing the forest for the trees and tend to get wrapped up in the little things and then let them eat away at me.
Like my own thoughts, and the words and emotions that sit lodged in my head and that seek to negate all the progress that I’ve made.
And so I realized that that is what is meant by this well-meaning advice: To get out of my own way is to acknowledge those thoughts and then trust myself enough to be able to move beyond them. What’s more, I know that it has less to do with my day-to-day happiness, but rather with day to day life management.
Seems simple enough stated here, crisp and bold in black and white. But in reality I think this will be the biggest hurdle of my life.