I worry way too much. For example, I should be used to lab by now, but I still get extremely anxious each Friday before my lab session. I think it has something to do with knowing I’ll never get a perfect lab experience, but who will? After all, most of it is just finding out your hypothesis is wrong. I also worry about extremely minute things, such as what others think about me.
Okay, I can understand how that reads. After all, I’m a college student so I shouldn’t really care what anyone thinks, right? Well, not exactly. After all, nearly everyone on this planet cares about what someone else thinks. I kind of have an excuse because according to Erik Erikson, at 18 years old, I’m still an adolescent (and adolescents care a lot about what people think of them). So, what about the rest of you? The ones who aren’t deemed to be adolescents? Well noting that everyone, regardless of age, cares about the opinions of others, I’ll try to help you.
First, know it is human nature for us to take a few negative opinions and globalize them. What I mean is we focus on negative comments and believe everyone believes those negative things about us. Not true. What you’re doing is listening to what I, and Martha Beck, like to call the wrong “People Committee.”
The People Committee is a group of people whose ideas and opinions you globalize. If you’re ever feeling bad about yourself, it could just mean you have the wrong People Committee. I want you to think of people who make you feel bad about yourself. Whether it’s an overbearing mom, a passive-aggressive friend, a lying spouse, or an intimidating professor, it’s important to focus on individuals and not groups of people. Otherwise, this won’t work. Okay, now that you’ve thought of the people who are…not so great…tell them to go (not literally, but figuratively; otherwise, you’ll end up in a lot of drama and I’ll deny I ever wrote this). Now that your old committee is gone, you no longer value their opinions. They can say whatever hurtful thing they’d like and won’t bother you because you’ve fired them…finally. Now, you need a new committee, one full of people who love you. Full of people who, if they knew your darkest secret, would love you the same or even more. Think of the person who loves you the most; it could be a parent, a grandparent, a friend, your dog, or someone completely imaginary. This person will be in charge of the committee and it is their opinion you will value most as they’ll be the ones to support you no matter what.
Now, fill up your committee with two to three more people who also care about you. Now, it is expected and perhaps even rational that your mind will now globalize the opinions of your new committee and you’ll have an entirely different approach to life. And remember, no worries.
Questions? Email Briona at email@example.com.