My husband was sound asleep, and knowing that he would be waking up in just a couple of hours for work, I didn't want to wake him. My heart was pounding, my breathing was shallow, and my body would not calm down. My panic attack was taking over my mind, it started imagining the worse.
What are the worse possible things that could happen with this new job? The worse thing could be that no one will like me. Maybe I won't be good enough. Maybe I won't be able to keep up with all the responsibilities that I am going to be putting on my shoulders.
What some people may not realize about panic attacks, especially those attacks that accompany PTSD, is that expecting the worse is not always pessimism. It's not easy to just "flip the switch." It just is. It's how the mind is processing information. It's not accurate, it's biased, and it perceives the bias as truth. And so at this moment, I felt like every possible thing that could go wrong would go wrong, and that was just how it was going to be.
During these attacks, it's like there are 2 versions of myself: Logical Jensen that knows that this is ridiculous and Emotional Jensen who can't process anything at the moment. They were arguing with each other. It was something like this:
LJ: Jensen, seriously? You can't expect to be perfect the first time.
EJ: You don't get it! If I don't, I'll get fired!
LJ: Yes, but Jensen, you were picked to do this job, which is saying something.
EJ: BUT WHAT IF I FAIL!?
LJ: Then it's not the end of the world. You've been through worse. BELIEVE ME.
EJ: (Not processing what LJ says) I need to know everything before August 22... I need to do (start making unrealistic list..)
EJ: THE WORLD IS ENDING!!!
And hence the 2 Jensens argued with each other, and I just listened to the thoughts. That's normally how it goes.
But this time was different. As I thought of all the worse things that could possibly happen, as I thought of all my fears, as I listed every insecurity that I have, a thought came into my head. This thought definitely did not come from the 2 Jensens. It was as if it interrupted the argument. It was clear and distinct. It said,
"Your biggest insecurities and fears are hidden strengths the Adversary does not want you to remember. Your insecurities are blocks that prevent you from understanding the power that you have."
What if our insecurities and fears about ourselves are hidden strengths we once had, and we have to remember them?
What if we took our insecurities and instead of being afraid of them, we conquered them?
What if our insecurities are blocking us from the greatest thing that we can do for ourselves?
Everyone has talents and gifts that they are supposed to use to accomplish amazing things. The Adversary knows that. So, he tells us, "You can't do it. You're definitely not good enough. And seriously, look at yourself. What could you possibly contribute?" The funny thing is, he makes it seem so true. So, instead of pushing ourselves, we listen. He uses fear to limit us.
He uses apathy and laziness.
Why develop hidden talents when there's Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, or even Pokemon Go? (Humor... it's ok to laugh!) Looking at these take time away from you. Instead of developing talents or conquering insecurities, we watch other people live their lives through their photos. We play mindless games.
These things are not bad.
But how much time do we spend?
If he can get us to not care, if he can get us to be apathetic, if he can get us to become clueless about the power that we have within ourselves, then he has won.
In a world where so much negativity is happening, where there is so much hatred, be a light.
Think about your insecurities. What makes you view them as insecurities? Is it how you look? Is it that you don't feel like you are capable?
Change that. Try thinking the opposite.
Think about your goals. What do you want to accomplish? Is it to develop talents? Is it to accomplish a dream? Is it even just to be a little bit better everyday?
What are you going to do to get there? What are you willing to sacrifice in order to gain?
Change the way you think.
It's so easy to just give in. It's so easy to give up. It's so easy to do nothing. Sometimes, we may feel like we need some huge change to happen to help us develop and grow. Sometimes, we may think that we need obstacles and challenges. But it doesn't have to be that way.
Turn a weakness into a strength. Change an insecurity into a power.