This is so common when we are anxious. If we worry, stress, rerun conversations, lie awake at night struggling to fall asleep, find that we can never relax, or that quiet times are the hardest, then it's also likely that we might keep making mistakes and that no matter how hard we try we always seem to be in trouble or doing things wrong.
We might have the best of intentions and keep trying to help other people, or to make a positive difference, but somehow it all keeps going wrong.
Very often when we are anxious, we can end up trying too hard, or not seeing the real potential for there to be a problem in what we’re doing, because we're in such a hurry and working with such urgency that we keep missing the mark.
I can think of so many people who just couldn't stop and kept making things worse even though they had the best of intentions.
When the anxiety systems of the brain are active, we'll often get that energy or knot in the stomach, or a tight chest, and those physical feelings make everything feel urgent and really strong. We act on impulse desperately trying to do the right thing but time after time it seems like we just keep getting it wrong.
When I used to be anxious I remember always trying to keep people happy and just trying too hard. I'd end up annoying people and then because I was already anxious and worrying I would take it so personally when things went wrong.
Then I would beat myself up for days telling myself that I was the worst in the world, a loser, a failure.
Of course, all that did was to make me feel like I needed to work even harder to restore myself in people's eyes and I was back on that rollercoaster of trying too hard, failing, and beating myself up again.
Anxiety, trauma, and stress all make it much easier for us to end up falling from one effort into the next without being able to take control and change what's happening. It can be really demoralizing feeling that it's just out of control and that it will keep happening.
The bottom line is that our brains work better with less stress hormone in them. Cutting stress with simple activities like mindfulness, exercise, postural feedback, etc can all dial down the strength of that worry reaction. However, if there's been a lifelong tendency to anxiety or to always be worrying, or having flashbacks and nightmares of old traumas, then there's probably a lot of opportunity to make life better by dealing with those issues. That's what turned my life around completely.
My advice is to be honest with yourself and make a list of how often you find that you're worrying or stressing and get a handle on just how big an issue it is in life. It's very easy to ignore what's happening when we don't pin ourselves down on it, but once we do see it, it's much easier to decide if it is something to make a change in.
There are a lot of proven ways to reduce anxiety, worry, and psychological trauma - even PTSD, available out there. Recognizing that there's room for improvement in life is very often the first step that takes us to doing what we need to do to make everything better in the future.
Change is easier than you think.
Have a great week,