My Own Race, My Own Pace!

Anxiety!

It is such a crippling feeling, oftentimes leaving me feeling numb and in a state of panic. I spent the last few days feeling very anxious, and the number of changes happening in my life wasn’t helping one bit. From the anxiety caused by the pandemic that continues to claim lives, to the inability to travel, the changes happening at work and the family feud between my brother and me about money. I am NOT dealing.

As the pressure mounted, I allowed my brain to play tricks on me – telling me stories that put me under immense and unnecessary pressure. I somehow managed to push myself into a dark corner, comparing myself to my counterparts in countries such as South Africa, Kenya and Botswana. Suddenly, I felt like I was not doing enough to grow my business and the various side hustles. Finding a balance between my 8-to-5 corporate job and the many side hustles I am working so hard to build suddenly became a mammoth task. This never used to be such a struggle. Worse still, the slow growth and lack of money across the different projects I’ve invested my energy in was not helping. The pressure of time! Could things get any worse? Why do we always put ourselves under time pressure?

I felt extremely anxious, vulnerable, stressed and emotionally drained. The impact of this situation was evident when I struggled to stay awake beyond 20:00 hours since Monday (I usually sleep at 22:30 hours daily). Feelings of leaving Lesotho resurfaced, making me a little despondent. The reality of the closed borders also exacerbated the situation. My mood and energy levels took an unfortunate turn and this negativity affected my interpersonal relationships.

Why am I anxious?

Well, the future is very uncertain from all perspectives. It is scary to hear about friends and loved ones losing their jobs due to the pandemic. It is scary hearing about loved ones testing positive for COVID’19 and some who have actually lost their lives as a result. It is terrifying hearing about potential retrenchments that are going to impact more people and about those people living in extreme poverty because of loss of income. Personally, I’ve lost income due to the ongoing pandemic, which has negatively affected my financial plans making me very anxious.

Can I change any of this?

Well, probably not. What I’ve then decided to do is to change my frequency and focus on my circle of influence. I decided to run my own race and to do so at my own pace.

Many a time, we forget to celebrate the progress and growth we’ve made. I know I am guilty of this. The drug of achievement, chasing the next big thing can become addictive. The obsession with perfection can also be detrimental to one’s mental well-being. I can be my own worst enemy, constantly beating myself up and comparing my progression to other people. Not only is this ridiculous and nonsensical, but it’s also very abusive.

I am unlearning so many bad habits. I am learning to be my own biggest fan and cheerleader. I am learning to be kind to myself, to celebrate myself a lot more. I am learning to run my own race and to actually be happy. I’m also learning to stop comparing my pace with anyone else. You deserve happiness, you deserve kindness. So be kind to yourself, stay in your lane and keep going.

Am I still anxious? Well, I am not completely out of the woods yet. What I know for sure, is that I’m doing a lot better than yesterday and that is progress. I’m taking it one day at a time, doing a lot of positive self talk and carving my own path.

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