So I had my first experience of a troll. A comment on one of my Vlog videos that suggested it was a load of hot air and as useful as the advice that passing wind reduces your risk of a load of nasty illnesses. I had done a lot of mental prep before starting this journey and I knew that at some point I would cross paths with someone with a different point of view that was happy to share it in a less than constructive way. So it didn’t upset me, what I hadn’t prepared myself for was my old friend doubting Dorris.
I have suffered with self doubt all of my life. If I allow my brain to travel it’s own path I would be constantly battered with a persistent internal dialogue of, “You are not good enough”, “You have done that wrong”, “You can’t do this”, “You will only make things worse”, “You don’t matter”.
However Dorris and I go way back and I have found a few tools along the way which help me keep her in her box. (Some of the other negative emotions I have faced in life I have found a way to overcome more fully and they don’t even need a box, but Dorris bless her won’t give up that easily).
Name your feelings – Dorris is someone I can talk too, empathise with and apply logic too. I often find my hardest emotion can become my greatest ally if I give them a name and make them part of the narrative. It also takes away some of their power. If you have a particularly hard emotion perhaps fear you could always give it a name that evokes courage of a silly name that makes you laugh, draw a picture in your head of the character either one that makes you feel the opposite of that emotion or one that disempowers the emotion.
Reflection/ Self Awareness – one of my aces is to not be afraid of experiencing or trying to understand an emotion I am suffering with. Sometimes I can’t find a route cause and I just have to acknowledge that it is there for no apparent reason. Dorris however has some strong routes in my past. My mum who was an absolutely amazing mum suffered for years with extreme manic depression and as a young child I learnt to live in a world where I witnessed the very real impacts of my actions. If as a child I rocked the boat or caused an upset it often led to the outcome that involved a suicide attempt from my mum. As time went on, try as hard as I might, I also found even when I did “get things right” it would not give me the outcome I wanted. My actions continually failed to make my mum happy and well. This foundation has given Dorris great power and I have to work with her to take away that power or help her understand the basis for her opinion is flawed.
As an adult now and with hindsight I understand that my actions actually often had very little impact on my mums mental wellbeing and even if I could have been the worlds most amazing child it wouldn’t have mended her. Reflecting on these emotions and applying a lifetime of learning to them helps to put them in perspective. Just be careful too much reflection in my experience is a bad thing. I never want to get trapped in the rabbit hole unless I have a strong rope and someone to pull me out.
Be Kind – Most emotions we experience are there for a reason, to protect, warn, explain or teach. Sometimes they get out of hand or become unbalanced. Dorris does not need me kicking the crap out of her every time she raises her voice. She needs me to try and understand her and to be kind to her. She needs to come on this journey with me. In my experience I started off trying to bully my emotions or dismiss them this did not help and often made them worse.
Challenge yourself more – Yep you heard me if you doubt you can do something dial it up. I have often found that pushing myself that bit more means if I fall short of my target I still often achieve the original goal and there is a sense of achievement in that. After all if you aim for the stars and fall short you might still land on the moon.
And to all the trollers in the world, I hope you are ok and if your trolling brings you some form of joy feel free to direct it here, otherwise find something that does bring you joy and cling onto it.
And if you would like to hear me blowing hot air here is the link for corresponding Vlog on self doubt. https://youtu.be/hscu0MaWYnc