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Everyone's a Mess



When things aren’t going well, we can easily fall into the trap of believing there’s something inherently wrong with us. That it's written all over our face for everyone to see. Take myself as an example; this morning I started ruminating about the things in so many areas of my life that simply aren’t going ‘great’. Now I don’t mean any one of these things is actually going that badly either, there’s no one factor that is a source of pain or upset, it’s just an accumulation of …. ‘unsatisfactory-ness’. The way my brain works, and perhaps you can relate, I am then inclined to think that there is something inherently wrong with me. Afterall, looking around no one else seems to stumble over things the way I do, they all look so confident and smiley.


Kept unchecked, this bottling up can lead to some very harsh self-talk. If I believe I’m the only person stumbling over so many small things, I can easily start questioning my capabilities and worth. These beliefs may or may not be overt, fully fledged thoughts; they could manifest in some deeper ‘knowing’ about oneself. A lingering sense of ‘I’m not ok’. This false knowing can be far more destructive than the issues you were worrying about in the first place!


Its easy to forget that without a speaker broadcasting someone’s inner monologue – or of course, unless they tell you – then we really have no idea what’s going on for the person in front of us. Indeed, if you’ve grown up in a country like Britain, it’s often actively discouraged to voice your problems to others. Those around you are probably really well practiced at ‘holding it all together’ as a form of protection. I myself will walk around putting my best foot forward and greet the world with a smile. A composed, cheery exterior may just be a cover for someone who’s feeling just as scared or uncertain as you are. A massive contributor to this phenomenon is social media for well documented, obvious reasons … but I won’t get started on that topic in this post!



There are many many reasons why we don’t share our issues freely. Perhaps the idea that maintaining a stiff upper lip is the done thing, or we don’t want to appear ‘weak’ in front of other people, or one fears that no one else is going to understand you or you’re just going to seem a bit weird. The irony is that the more we button up and keep it to ourselves, it perpetuates the belief that we’re the only one struggling! Another consequence of this tendency is it means we deprive ourselves of advice and support from other people and the possibility of bonding over shared experiences.


Do you really believe that there is anyone on earth who doesn’t feel out of control from time to time? That doesn’t doubt their actions or wonder if they made the right decision? Afterall, it is human nature to doubt ourselves from time to time; this stops us from charging into dangerous situations blindly on a day-to-day basis. It is possible that they have been putting on such a convincing façade of confidence that they have essentially numbed themselves to insecurities; but really this is an extreme form of denial.


Everyone, regardless of circumstances will have times when they feel less than perfect, weaker than others, fear that they’re too needy, have let other people down or are a few sandwiches short of a picnic.


This post is also a reminder to always aim for empathy and compassion when dealing with others; you have no idea what they’re going through today.


The way out that I suggest is twofold; first one must try to accept that having issues is perfectly normal and part of what it means to be human. You could even go so far as giving yourself a pat on the back for showing up every day and engaging in the grit of life!


Secondly, I would really encourage normalizing sharing your worries and problems with other people; you’ll be surprised how many people will look you dead in the eyes and say ‘me too’. Think about it this way, sharing your vulnerabilities is actually doing a kindness to those around you, you’re not only making it acceptable to fully be themselves but could be offering some much needed relief to someone who has also been beating themselves up because they think they’re the only person struggling.


Their problems may be different to your problems, but trust me, they have problems.


Be Kind for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle -Plato

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