PANIC: If You Don’t Trust Yourself to Survive You Will Panic and Fail
Since the country is opening up, I’ve been thinking about this, and I may have mentioned it before, but “Pandemic”— has the same letters as “dam panic.” OK we’re missing an “n” but isn’t that crazy?
Ever since the world closed down and we were told to stay home, everybody has been in a “damn panic.” While a lot of it has to do with fear and uncertainty some has to do with us not having faith in ourselves. When you don’t have faith in yourself you don’t trust yourself to survive; and that’s how panic can set in. If you don’t trust yourself to survive and you let panic get the best of you– you will fail.
How do we stop panicking about everything? First of all, find something else to think about. Find something else to do. But I’m not good at anything, you say. It doesn’t matter.
What are some things you could be doing rather than scrolling your Facebook and watching the news—which no doubt brings on worrying?
Some things I have tried to get more into during this pandemic are cooking, gardening and reading– not all with success– but I’m glad I’m doing it. I decided to read a few classic books and the one I started this week was My Antonia by Willa Cather. Since I’ve “been so busy” I never could “find the time” to get started on the book. Did you know if you go to You Tube they have My Antonia in audio book format for free—and many more to choose from. I got started with the audio version and now I’m enjoying the book.
Just last night I made my first rotisserie chicken. It turned out perfect! Well, not completely, the chicken was too large so with each rotation the drumsticks bumped the pan and as it began to cook the bumping created a lot of smoke– a LOT of smoke. I’m only telling you this to make a point. The end product was great but the hour it took to cook it was a smokey mess.
If someone came to dinner and said, “I love this chicken,” I have two choices: Either say “oh you should have seen what a pain it was to cook” or “thank you.”
Why do we find it so hard to take a compliment? Why do so many of us become our own worst enemy when it comes to having pride in ourselves?
Growing up with just sisters, people who hadn’t seen us in a while would want to figure out who was who, so since I wore glasses on a regular basis, I was known as “the one with the glasses.” And then as we hit the middle school years and my sisters were athletic or had “talents” I would think to myself “I’m the klutzy one with glasses.”
My head would have thoughts like: I’m no good at sports, can’t do a cartwheel, failed at playing the flute, couldn’t make the choir. You get it. You get it because you do it to yourself too, only you have your own ways you punish yourself. We’d NEVER say that about anyone else, so why would we put those thought in our own minds?
What are some of the bad things you say to yourself? Now that you realize what you are doing, stop the negative talk.
The thing is, I have always heard nothing but praise from my family; it was ME who was my worst enemy and I’m not really sure why we do it.
“You look great in that dress,” “Oh, I know it makes me look fat,” or “I got it on sale.” Why can’t we just say “thank you?”
As the years have gone by, I have realized what a waste of time it is to badmouth myself. Dolly Parton said it best with “Sometimes you just have to toot your own horn. Otherwise, nobody will know you’re coming.”
I know I’m not great at anything specific, (besides maybe writing rhyming poems) but who cares? As I mention in my book, “Choose Happy; Find Contentment in Any Situation” I’m not a good singer but singing makes me happy so I sing. I’ve even gotten to where I can lead a sing-along—because sometimes if I don’t lead it then nobody will, and we would have missed a good sing-along.
And while I can’t turn a cartwheel, I CAN turn my attitude around. I’m not a gourmet cook but I CAN cook up a fun idea. I may not have succeeded with the flute but I CAN play a role in orchestrating my own happiness. If w want people to respect us, We need to respect ourselves. If we want people to love us, we need to love ourselves.
And we don’t need to get into a panic if we’re not perfect. I can be a little lumpy and make a mistake here and there– but I just keep trying. I just keep on choosing happy.
If someone tells you, “you are such a good cook” learn to respond with “thank you.” If they say, “you are so good at sewing” say “thank you.” If they say, “you have a beautiful voice– or home– or car” say “thank you.” How about when they say, “you would be great at …”, how about thinking about it. Maybe you would!
When you get a compliment, turn it around and see yourself as a good cook, owning a great house, good at sewing, musically inclined and just generally awesome.
The more we have faith in ourselves, the less of a “damn panic” our lives will be. You don’t have to be afraid to go out even when the media scares you, have faith in yourself. You are smart, you will wear a mask, gloves or whatever you feel you need—and you will keep a good distance. You will be ok.
And if you have a good idea—or someone suggests an idea to you—give it a try. Even if you aren’t an expert at whatever it is, try it; because if you don’t try it then maybe no one will— and that great idea will never happen.
“So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” – Genesis 1:27
“You cannot be lonely if you like the person you’re alone with.” –Wayne Dye
Think about this question: In what ways do you put yourself down?
Get your notebook out or just go over this in your mind.
- What is your lack of confidence holding you back from doing?
- What is one thing that could make you happy if you were “good at it?” What’s holding you back from trying?
- If there was no obstacle what would be the next step you would take to add to your life?
- Do you demand perfection in other people? Think about that for a minute. If you do then maybe you should re-think that, because no one is perfect, and you set people up for a fall if you expect them to be perfect.
- Do you demand yourself to be perfect? Here are some examples: A) You won’t take up art because you’ve never been any good at it. What’s wrong with not being perfect if you can find some joy in it? B) You won’t sing in front of others unless you have people singing with you or the music is in your key or some other reason? What’s wrong with singing off-key? (I do it very well and enjoy every minute of it.). C) You won’t try for that promotion or ask for a raise, or volunteer to be in charge of something. If the boss says no, well you tried and maybe he would have said yes but you won’t know because you didn’t have the guts to try. And volunteering—your life might even get better from the pride you have in your heart from taking a chance.
- This week take a chance. Think of something you think you are “no good at” and try it. If you fail don’t beat yourself up. This time try a new attitude: instead of noticing you failed (or didn’t do it perfect) be proud of yourself for trying.
One More Thought
If God created us in his image, as the Bible verse says– what an insult it is to God if we look down on ourselves. When we say, “I hate myself” or “I hate what I look like” we are slamming our Holy Father. When we say, “I’m no good at that” or “I’ll never be able to do that”– can you imagine how much this hurts the Lord when we downgrade ourselves?
Have a great week and do something cool just for the fun of it—and be proud you tried. I’d love to hear about it.