Helping While in the Shadows

Have you ever wanted to make someone’s day better? Did you want to give someone some words of encouragement? If you answered yes to these questions, that’s great. Now let me ask you this, have you done these things but wanted to remain anonymous?

Wanting to help others, but wanting to be anonymous during the process isn’t something odd. I personally have done this numerous times and many people do this too, so your not alone. So why do people want to help those they care about but want to remain anonymous or in the shadows while doing so?

Helping From Afar

I previously talked about insecurities as well as low self-esteem before. Not long ago I talked about not wanting to be around wonderful good people because you felt like you didn’t deserve their attention or company. That being said, you still want to help these people in any way you can.

You may be going through a period where you feel insecure or really shy but you want to help out a friend. So maybe you give them something in their absence. You may slip a note of encouragement in their locker at school and it’s signed anonymous, you leave someone some money in their work cubicle, or you make an anonymous donation to a friend or family members charity. You may change or edit an invoice or someone’s English paper and then walk away.

Why Though?

Some people do this because they don’t feel like they don’t deserve the person who their helpings gratitude and thanks. They don’t feel worthy enough to be around these kind of people because of bad past experiences where their gratitude wasn’t appreciated and fear of rejection.

Being in the shadows feels comfortable for some people. For example, last year someone I know donated some money to a mutual friend of ours charity she was supporting, but the person remained anonymous. She was very happy with the donation, but she never found out who it was.

Some people will follow their friend’s social media accounts, but not interact with them. They may check their recent posts and tweets to see what they’re up to, but not comment or ‘like’ them. These people will read what is said and send good vibes that person’s way or say a prayer for them.

If you are someone who wants to break this habit and way of thinking, here are some ways to do that:

  • Accept your flaws
  • Be gentle with yourself
  • Accept acts of gratitude and the other person’s words of kindness
  • Don’t second guess yourself or the other person’s words or gestures
  • Embrace the good values and morals about yourself
  • Challenge your insecurities
  • Eliminate unrealistic expectations
  • Eliminate All or Nothing mindsets

Wrap Up

Helping those you care about in the shadows may be odd to some, but as long as your not being weird or inappropriate about it, your ok. Good intentions can be present, but they can be wrapped with insecurities and unrealistic expectations. This kind of mindset can be overcome, it takes time though. You are worthy of being around good people and having good people in your life. Like I said I have been through this myself. It took time, but I was able to overcome it. So if I can do it, you can as well.

Take care, stay safe, and remember your not alone and you have worth in this world.

Getting Stuck in a Bad Cycle is a Pain

Let your unhappiness and frustrations be your fuel to break your vicious cycles

Trina Hall

You ever gotten into a situation where you got stuck in a bad, stale, or painful routine where the same things repeated themselves over and over? At some point in our lives this has happened to us. Either we did it to ourselves intentionally or someone put us in that predicament. There are times where a series of unfortunate events happen to us that is out of our control where we get caught up in a vicious cycle. I’ve been caught up in vicious cycles by my own doing or having things out of my control work against me. So your not alone if you think vicious cycles only applies to you.

What is a Vicious Cycle

A cycle where you find yourself repeating unhealthy, unwanted, behavior, that has become a bad habit, or part of a routine is a vicious cycle or circle. We can put ourselves in this predicament intentionally and unintentionally. For example, an unhealthy routine can be so ingrained and our way of living that we don’t notice it. We don’t notice the bad habits or the unpleasant things we’re doing because in a way they have become second nature to us. A vicious cycle can also consist of unhealthy repeated behavior between you and another person. For example, you may not get along with your sibling and every time you try to talk about anything, you both wind up arguing about something and you both wind up in a bad mood. It’s a vicious cycle if it’s happened numerous times even when you try to avoid it. You just feel stuck in it and you think you can’t break free.

What Can This Cycle Do You

This cycle can take a toll on you physically and mentally. Mentally, it can lower your confidence, affect your self-esteem, and your self-worth. You may believe that you will never get out of it no matter how hard you try or how much help you get. It could get so bad that you believe that you deserve this unhealthy way of life because it’s happening you so many times. An unhealthy way of thinking can lead to tough problems even down the road.

Physically, a vicious cycle can be draining to where you don’t have the energy to do anything. You may have heard the fight-or-flight response. When under stress, your body goes into this mode. The fight-or-flight response is the help us with survival situations. These situations are avoiding a dangerous animal or person, making sure we’re safe during a dangerous storm, making sure we stay focused when were traversing through rough terrain. As time has going on, the fight-or-flight response has gone into overdrive. Our body recognizes that we’re in a unhealthy, unsafe, or unpleasant situation so it’s putting out energy (cortisol and adrenaline) to help us get through it. These days situations like being stuck in traffic or waiting in a long line, arguing with someone are triggering the fight-or-flight response. These situations are draining our energy making it tough to do anything. With our energy being low or depleted, it makes it harder for us to deal and cope with anxiety, tough situations, or do the things we enjoy doing.

Break the Cycle

If your stuck in a vicious, or stale cycle, here are some ways to get out of it:

1. Try doing something brand new

2. Relinquish control

3. Challenge your thoughts and the situation

4. Look for repeated behaviors you do that are good

5. Open up to others

Discussion

Doing something entirely new is a great way to disrupt the cycle. Skydiving, traveling to a new country, learning how to scuba dive, learning a new language, are just a few ways to change things up in your life. Engaging in something new means you have no prior knowledge or experience. So the unhealthy, unwanted, and repeated behaviors have nothing to attach to. You can use this as an opportunity to start a healthy, fun, and proactive cycle.

If you’re in a vicious cycle where you’re trying to control something that you can’t, but you keep trying and keep failing, it’s best to just give up on that. Repeated attempts that have ended with the same result over and over and it’s affecting your health in a negative way, indicates that you should just stop it. There are things in this world that we can’t control like peoples behavior. Giving up on that control means that you are stopping the cycle.

The vicious cycle may be going on in your mind. Your mindset may be stuck in an unhealthy way of thinking. You may be dealing with unwanted stress, believing in lies about yourself, or thinking you’re a failure and will never succeed at anything. In reality, a situation is just a situation. It becomes a stressful situation when we attribute stress or anxiety to it. To break free, breakdown your thought process and the situation by challenging it and seeing what is real and what is not. From my own experience, I have found that I set unrealistic expectations for myself, so I changed the way I thought about some things. I picked apart my thought process and eliminated unrealistic and unhealthy thoughts about life, people, and myself.

One way to break a vicious cycle is integrate good behaviors into a new cycle. For example, if you watch something on TV that excites you, you can use that high morale to exercise. After exercising, you may have more confidence to do things that you may have been hesitant to do before. You acquire a new life experience or you learn something new which you can share with a family member or friends. You share this experience or information and your back talking about that TV show that excited you. As you can see one good thing led to another and another. You can turn the vicious cycle into a proactive, happy, and fun one.

Sometimes opening it up and talking things out can break the cycle. A cycle that consists of arguing back and forth with no resolve could be stopped by talking calmly instead of yelling and listening to the other person instead of interrupting them. Both of you coming up with solutions and trying to figure out what can work instead of it being one-sided.

Final Thoughts and Sum Up

A vicious cycle can be harmful to you. Remember if you’re stuck in one, you can get out of it. Don’t think that you’re the only one who is dealing with it. All it takes is one action to break the cycle. Don’t let yourself be a prisoner of your own mind. Ask for help to get out of it. If you’re stuck in a vicious cycle that includes another person or group of people, it may be best to forget about the other person or people all together. You decide how you want to live. If you don’t like being stuck in a stale or vicious cycle, you have the power to free yourself from it. It’s ok if you have to ask for help.

New Beginnings…A New You

Nothing in the universe can stop you from letting go and starting over

Guy Finley

There have been times where we have gotten used to something, like a routine, and for a long period of time it became a part of our life. Then something happened that shook our world and we had to start over. We were so comfortable doing what we were doing, we didn’t want to start from scratch again. However, even though we didn’t want to start over, it actually may be good for us.

New Beginnings: A Fresh Start

Your not alone if you’ve had to start over anything in your life. I’ve had to and there are so many people who have had to as well. A new beginning can describe various life situations. You move to a new town and go to a new school where you make new friends. You start a new job and you have to adjust to a new work environment and interact with new co-workers. You get married, you have a child are new beginnings. You quit your old habits and work on developing new ones which can be a new beginning. The high school to college transition I talked about in a previous post is also a new beginning. These are a some handful of life situations where a new beginning can occur. New beginnings can be scary because we’re transitioning out of something comfortable to something that isn’t and may be rough. The unknown factor rears itself into this idea because we can’t predict how things will turn out whereas before there was that predictability. Starting over isn’t always an easy thing regardless of what it is, but sometimes it’s necessary.

The Adjustment Phase

We have a period of adjustment in anything new that we do. There is no way to get around it. Any kind of adjustment is going to take time to get used to. In some cases, your changing your behavior into something that is supposed to be better for you. This concept is something that can’t be rushed. Sometimes it can be a uncomfortable transition, but not always. New beginnings can be helpful for us to grow as a person. We learn new skills, acquire new knowledge, and can meet new people who can help us to continue to grow. They can help us learn new things about ourselves directly and indirectly. They can become life long friends regardless of distance.

If your struggling with beginning something new, here are some ways that can help you through it:

1. Let go of things that your unable to control and move on.

2. Change your mindset

3. Accept a new reality

4. Hold onto the good things

5. Take that chance

6. Freedom in the unknown

7. Keep going

Discussion

A new beginning requires you to move forward and let go of things. There may be things that your unable to control and you have been trying but with no success. So if that’s the case, it would be best you stop trying. Trying to control something that you can’t can have a bad impact on your overall health.

Changing your mindset is important because it will help you through the adjustment phase. If you go into something new and or start over, you won’t get far if your telling yourself that you can’t do it, your going to fail, nothing good will out of this, or this is a waste of time. Positive self talk will help you believe in yourself and also help in not letting the fresh start be overwhelming and even confusing. It does take awhile to adapt to a new mindset; don’t rush it, be patient with yourself.

A new beginning can consist of a new reality. This reality may include learning something new, meeting new people, adapting to a new environment and atmosphere whether that’s a new town, church, state, country, school, job, a step parent, etc. Accepting the new reality can be tough, but acceptance is what will help you move forward because it means that your acknowledging the new start and are committed to seeing it through.

Now just because your starting over doesn’t mean you have to do a full entire reset of your life. If you are moving away, that doesn’t mean you have to cut all contact with your current friends. If you want to change your behavior into something better, that is a new beginning. People that you are close to you don’t have to go away just because you need a fresh start. Some people will be apart of your life forever and some won’t.

Taking a chance on someone or something can be nerve-racking. A new start is no exception. There are some people who take that leap of faith and it pays off for them. They can adjust to the new setting, new style of life and thrive on it. You can as well. Having people back you up and supporting you makes taking that chance easier. If you strongly believe in yourself and tell yourself you can do it, things tend to work out for you.

Breaking away from old habits and current routines can be frightening, but there a sense of freedom and relief that can come out of it. On the one hand, your not tethered to anything. You have a blank slate in front of you to start over metaphorically. You start over the way you want to. This way of thinking can make the unknown factor less scary. Now there will be tough times and challenges, but don’t let them stop you. Keep going, remember you wanted a fresh start so that things would be different and better. Let that fuel your drive to keep going.

Final Thoughts and Sum Up

New beginnings can be scary at first glance, but they can be good for us. A fresh start can be helpful in leaving behind an old style of life that may have been destructive and transition into one that is healthy and rejuvenating. Remember to go at your own pace. Don’t think you have to rush the process because you think you have to or someone tells you to (this may not fully apply to school and the workplace). If you take a small step each day, that is good. One thing to remember it’s never too late to start from the beginning.