Tip #123: If you have a bad day, try again tomorrow.
The Why: Tomorrow isn’t a promise, but it does hold one.
Tomorrow is a place of possibility, of new beginnings, of potential.
When you’re having a bad day, this is important to remember.
As has been said many times, recovering from anxiety isn’t a linear process. It’s not a single, uphill road towards freedom.
It can be more accurately described as a spaceship attempting to get through an asteroid belt that occasionally stalls or runs out of fuel. You can fly up, down, get knocked backwards by a ten-tonne hunk of metal-ore, have smooth patches, be forced off course, and occasionally stop completely before you reach the other side (but you always do reach the other side, believe me).
It doesn’t make you a failure if you run into these obstacles (in a metaphorical sense (or a meteorical sense one might say) hopefully unless you’ve somehow mastered the art of intergalactic travel). It makes you human.
The important thing, probably one of the most important pieces of advice I can give in both anxiety and life, is to always try again tomorrow.
Don’t let one bad day destroy all the hard work you’ve done, or the progress you’ve made.
My younger sister is a prime example of this, and my hero.
At her school, she loves to play with the older kids. But, there’s only one problem: the monkey bars. Now all the other, older children can fly across with ease with their larger strength and arm-span, leaving my six-year-old sister behind.
But, never one to be deterred, she braved them.
At first, of course, she fell off at the first bar. And again. And again. And again.
Her hands were red and her knees were bruised. But she kept trying. Again. And again. And again.
Every day she’d go to school and immediately make a run for them. Always trying again. Determined. Even though she often injured herself (minorly) in the process.
After a month, she finally did it. Every single one. Now whenever I pick her up from school she proudly runs me over to the monkey bars and climbs (to my horror) on top of them, swings two bars at a time, and even can do it faster than kids years older than her.
She embodies the spirit of “if at first you don’t succeed, try and try again.”
I’ve always thought we can learn a lot from children, and this was certainly good lesson: just because something’s hard, you shouldn’t ever give up. If you keep coming back at something fearlessly, eventually you will get there.
And who knows, maybe one day you’ll even be able to beat my sister’s record on the monkey bars.
Becoming anxiety-free isn’t an easy or simple process, but you have to keep going, to keep trying. You owe it to yourself to do so.