I was told, not long ago, that I am prone to overreact, to turn every minor set back into a four alarm fire. I was told this by someone who knows me well and whose opinion about me I respect. I’m sure there is some truth to her words; there are six years worth of blog posts to support them.
I’ve considered my reactions more carefully since gaining this insight about myself. I don’t always manage to reign in my initial reaction, but I’m better at waiting before I share it or choosing to share it in a more positive way. More times than ever before, I don’t share things that bother me with anyone, and usually, after a few days or weeks, the issue recedes into the background.
I haven’t yet determined the overall affect of this change in my life. There are times when I feel more control over myself for holding stuff in, and there are times when I feel more lonely and isolated for not sharing.
But I think the most prominent effect of hearing those words has been a lingering doubt in myself and how I process things. I’m constantly wondering if I’m overreacting, if my feelings are valid, if others would be as upset about something as I am. It’s disconcerting to fundamentally lose faith in oneself like that.
In the end, I can only remind myself that feelings are my feelings, and I can’t control them anymore than I can control my thoughts. All I can do is change my self-talk and thoughtfully consider my actions. I’m getting better about that, but as always, I’m a work in progress.
Have you ever doubted yourself? Were you able to regain that lost trust?