Categories
mental health Psychology

Coping with Identity Issues

We can all change our behaviour to fit in with other people. This is how we as humans seek acceptance and make connections. But for those of us whose mental health affects our sense of self, this becomes more about a desire to fit in. It can be a real struggle to know who we are and because of this we struggle with knowing how to behave.

If you struggle with identity issues or an unstable self-image, you might behave in ways that don’t align with your values. It might look like you are constantly changing to fit the situation or the people you are with. This adds even more confusion to this sense of knowing who you are. Not knowing how to act around others can make even the most typical of interpersonal situations feel very anxiety provoking.

1. Define your values

Your values are the guiding principles to live your life by. Paying attention to your values will help you to figure out how to act and how to prioritise. When you have a clearer idea of your values it becomes easier to see when your behaviour crosses these standards, as this will often lead to feelings of guilt and shame. Defining your values can lead to more confidence about going with what feels right for you. Try to notice to what extent your behaviour lives up to your values.

2. Identify your goals

When you are not sure how to act, ask yourself “What is my goal?” Then consider how much your behaviour matches up with that goal. Think about your long and short-term goals for relationships as well as your life. Your goals are your action steps to ensure you live by your values. It can be really helpful, before you take on a new commitment, to examine whether you are doing this because it is the right action for you, based on your values, or whether you are doing this because you want approval from others. If you have doubts, revisit your values.

3. Let go of seeking approval from others

Pay attention to when you may be looking for approval from others. Then practice letting go of seeking reassurance. You need to approve your own behaviour. Notice when your behaviour comes mainly from wanting someone to say that you fit in or did the right thing. Before deciding what action to take in any given situation, check in with yourself to see if your choice is consistent with your values.

4. Ground yourself

When you are feeling anxious or swept up in social situations, the urge to take on other people’s behaviour can be very intense. This is why it is important to ground yourself so that you can connect with your own values and goals. Grounding techniques involve paying attention to the present moment and activate the senses. My suggestions include doing a three minute breathing space, chewing a piece of gum or eating something mindfully (like a mint or boiled sweet), applying a sweet smelling hand cream and trying to identify as many sounds as you can.

5. Plan ahead

This is known as the DBT skill ‘cope ahead’. When you notice anxiety about how to act, come up with a plan beforehand for how you’d like the interaction to go. Remind yourself of your goals and values and write down how you’d like to behave. Try to anticipate what behaviours you might engage in that cross your values and go against your goals. What barriers that might get in the way? Make a commitment to stick to this plan. If in the moment you don’t for whatever reason, forgive yourself and move on. Reflect on the situation with self-compassion.

6. Recognise your strengths

Being flexible in different environments and social situations is a great quality. But it requires balance and achieving balance means acquiring skills. This takes some practice. Try not to give yourself a hard time when you get it wrong. One way of building a more stable self-image is to reflect on your strengths. Ask people who know you to name three things you are good at (and believe what they tell you!). Or, if that’s too scary, pay attention to positive feedback when you receive it.

References

Coping with BPD: DBT and CBT skills to soothe the symptoms of borderline personality disorder by Blaise Aguirre and Gillian Galen (2015).

Image: Chameleon by Bryston Riches.

Categories
Creativity mental health Psychology Writing

Bullet Journaling for Wellbeing

A Guide to Getting Started

What you will need:
  1. A notebook with dot grid pages. Some notebooks come with an index and page numbers, but one without is absolutely fine.
  2. A favourite pen. Possibly a ruler. A pencil is handy too. Coloured pens are optional, as are highlighters, stickers, stencils or washi tape.
What you won’t need:

How to Bullet Plan: a Practical Guide, Everything You Need to Know About Journaling with Bullet Points by Rachel Wilkerson Miller. I’ve read it so you don’t have to! (But if you would like a guide, this one comes strongly recommended.)

Dot grid My Notebook journal by Legami Milano (shown below).
Why Bullet Journal?
  • It helps you to organise your life and keep track of important things.
  • It builds executive functioning skills, like memory and planning.
  • It can be useful when trying to challenge negative thinking biases.
  • It creates focus, supports goal setting and increases goal attainment.
  • It is a place to celebrate your achievements, increase motivation and positive emotion, connect with your values and practice self-care.
  • With careful planning it can take just 10-15 minutes a day to fill in.
The Bullet Journal Method is an analogue system designed to track the past, organise the present and plan for the future.

It was originally conceived for organisation. To give an overview of how it works – and because good organisation is conducive to positive wellbeing – we will spend a bit of time in this area before delving into the wellbeing tips. It should be said that countless interpretations have evolved from this basic method. There is no ‘wrong’ way to bullet journal. The only prerequisite, for it to work long-term, is that it makes you more productive and/or brings you joy. If you are focusing on bullet journaling for wellbeing then you may prefer to skip over this section.

A brief overview of the bullet journal method by its creator Ryder Carroll.
Here are the core tools:
  • Index points to where information on different topics is located.
  • Rapid logging. Events/tasks/notes/lists are logged using a system of symbols to simplify, abbreviate, categorise and organise information.
  • Logs. These are for your events and tasks (known as “spreads”).
  • Collections. These organise related types of information by category.
  • Migration. This is the practice of periodically updating lists to new lists, such as carrying over one month’s unfinished tasks to the next.
Future log:

This log helps you to forward plan and keep track of key events/tasks, such as birthdays/holidays. It is the spread that goes first, either as a list or calendar (or both), and it can be 3-monthly, 6-monthly or 12-monthly. Spread the log/calendar across as many pages as you think you’ll need.

Monthly log:
  • One-page or two-page spread (or more for 6 or 12-month spread).
  • Layout can be a list (dates/tasks/events), or a calendar plus a list.
  • Copy the relevant dates, tasks and events from your future log.
  • Write your monthly tasks list – essentially you are using this space to note down everything that you need or want to get done that month.
  • Add-ons: important events/don’t forget, mood tracker, monthly goals.
Weekly log:
  • One-page or two-page spread.
  • Schedule all upcoming activities by referring to your monthly log.
  • Make space to keep a to do list and (optional) notes section.
  • Add-ons: habit trackers, main focus, meal planner, quotes, reflections, sleep tracker, weekly goals and review, and so on.
Daily log:
  • Log entries using short, bulleted sentences and organise by category (task/event/note) using symbols. Mark priority entries with a star.
  • Migrate any outstanding or incomplete tasks over to the next day.
Your bullet journal is a to-do list and planner and diary in one.

It makes capturing and organising information really fast and it helps you to focus on the things that are worth your time. Stress can impact on productivity and poor organisation can increase stress, so it’s win-win.

The productivity part kicks in when you take the time to evaluate your logs. At the start of each new month, look back over your weekly/daily logs to assess your tasks and timescales. Scan for open tasks and ask yourself, “which are worth my time?” Only these tasks get migrated. This process weeds out distractions, allowing you to focus only on what you consider valuable. It can be a helpful goal setting activity too.

Collections

At this point you might decide to log related tasks in a collection. For example, if you are working on a specific project, you would copy all related tasks on to one page (remembering to record the page number in your index). You can refer to your collections when planning your month or week. They can include reminders, like things you are waiting on, shopping/wish lists, or low-priority tasks you want to keep track of. Collections help you to organise your thoughts and plan your time.

Reflection and “Intentional Living”

It is possible to bullet journal without a daily log. In fact, you probably won’t need to use both. If you have a particularly busy day ahead then you could use a daily log; otherwise you can rely on the weekly spread.

It is helpful for this reason to leave enough space for a task list in your weekly spread. Once the week is up you then create a new weekly spread, where you migrate any relevant events and outstanding tasks.

In my case, I do a mini-review of my week every Sunday to establish which tasks are important. Only these are migrated over to the next week. Low priority tasks get migrated to another month or collection.

Carroll calls this process Reflection. If reflecting weekly feels too burdensome or time-consuming, try reflecting monthly instead. Use it as an opportunity to refocus your attention on what matters to you. This is known in the Bullet Journal Method as The Mental Inventory. It forms the basis for goal setting, weekly planning and “intentional living”.

If intentionality means acting according to your beliefs, then the opposite would be operating on autopilot. In other words, do you know why you’re doing what you’re doing?

Ryder Carroll, The Bullet Journal Method (4th edition), page 29.

Making to do lists addresses the overwhelm of decision fatigue too, with the benefit of having the lists all in one place so you can organise them.

The Bullet Journal Promise: “accomplish more by working on less”, page 16.
The Test: for each item on your Mental Inventory list ask yourself “is it vital?”, page 41.
Bullet Journaling for Wellbeing

“The power of the Bullet Journal is that it becomes whatever you need it to be, no matter what season of life you’re in.”

Carroll, page 44.

The bullet journal method is designed with flexibility of both form and function in mind, insofar as you set up the pages as you go along. The effectiveness of your bullet journal will depend on the simplicity of your method. This is especially true of your weekly spread, which you will use every day. These are my suggestions for making a bullet journal work for wellbeing, based on my experience of setting up my own.

The Weekly Spread
  • Weekly calendar spread: create this over two pages and schedule your daily activities a timeline order (symbols are optional). Reflect at the end of each day by adding anything else for an accurate record.
  • Choose a Main Focus. This is something you would like to keep in mind or work on throughout the week. It could be wellbeing related, like “aim to get more early nights”, or “catch myself catastophising.”
  • Goals. These can be more specific and measurable than your focus and could support monthly goals e.g. go for a run 3 times this week.
  • If you are using Custom Bullets and Signifiers (a key with symbols to denote different tasks/categories) keep them as simple as possible.
Daily Reflection: Improve Productivity and Boost Your Mood

I can only improve my time management if I know how I have spent my time. So, at the end of each day, I add in retrospectively any tasks I have completed but not logged. This gives me an accurate record of my day.

Having an accurate record challenges my negative self-perceptions. For example, I sometimes get a gut feeling I have not achieved enough with my time. It is difficult to buy into this negative thinking when I have evidence to the contrary! If I don’t have the time or energy for weekly reflection, seeing my achievements accrue day-by-day is motivation enough. And if I have genuinely achieved very little, then I still benefit from the bullet journal ideas for positive wellbeing (discussed below).

Journaling vs Bullet Journaling

There are several ways you can incorporate the qualities of a traditional diary or long-hand journal in your bullet journal.

  1. Write your diary entries in between weekly logs or after daily logs.
  2. Dedicate a page or two to record reflections, thoughts and feelings.

Alternatively you might decide to keep a separate reflective journal and keep your bullet journal for planning, positivity and progress.

One key benefit of the bullet journal is that it brings everything together in one single place, but it can still suit the multiple-notebook person who wishes to use a separate bullet journal for health/home/study/work.

In this video Carroll explains the differences between journaling and bullet journaling and shows how to combine the two.

Journaling vs Bullet Journaling by Ryder Carroll
Habit Trackers
  • These are great for motivation and reinforcing behaviours. You could consider including one with your weekly spread, starting with just three habits. Mark the relevant box for every day you do them.
  • You can change the habits from week-to-week or month-to-month.
  • Specific health and wellbeing trackers could include meal planners or sleep/water trackers. You might choose to include these if/when you have a particular health goal (mine is often “no caffeine!”).
  • You can track TV/smart phone usage, step count, days you cooked from scratch / packed a lunch / met your savings target – anything!
Bullet Journal Habit Tracker by Lynne G. Caine.
Mood Tracker

Mine takes up one landscape page for each month and looks like this:

 Tues 1st Weds 2ndThurs 3rd
6+ Fruit & Veg    
8+ GlassesxWater   
Fatigue / Lethargy   
Headache   
Nausea   
Nightmares   
Poor sleep   
Socialised   
Anxious   
Dissociated   
Flat / Numb   
Sad   
Sensitive   
Agitated   
Angry   
Distracted   
Irritable   
Paranoid   
Calm   
Content   
Elated   
Energetic   
Focussed   
My Monthly “Mind & Body” Mood Tracker
  • You could use ticks, crosses, coloured boxes – any method you like. I separate habits from physical symptoms by using different colours and I colour-code each mood type too (positive/negative/neutral).
  • It is possible to record morning and afternoon separately by using two different colours and splitting each box in half diagonally.
  • Another idea, if you want to capture the emotional intensity, is to use block colour for strong emotions and shading/dots for not so strong.
  • Keep it simple, though. If it’s not working for you, the next time you set up your monthly tracker try simplifying it and see if that helps.
Three More Monthly Trackers
  • Housework – list all the different chores and dot when you’ve done them. This might not be that fun, but it does remind me to clean!
  • When Did I Last? – e.g. car MOT, dentist, eye test, oil bicycle chain.
  • Workouts – each time you exercise record it in your bullet journal. Even if it’s a short walk, that still counts. I use mine as motivation.
Habit tracker by Martha @marthasjournal.
Bullet Journaling for Wellbeing: Collections

“Creating Custom Collections is a creative, enjoyable, and rewarding aspect of Bullet Journaling because you’re empowering yourself to solve your own challenges!”

Carroll, page 237.
Action Plan

Create an action plan for a particular goal or project using these steps:

  1. Define the goal/objectives
  2. Set a realistic schedule within reasonable time frame.
  3. What are the barriers/obstacles I might encounter?
  4. What strengths/resources do I have already to help overcome these?
  5. What will be my first step/s? Make this manageable!

This is ideal for turning a Mental Inventory into more actionable steps.

Brain Dump

Take up 1-2 pages and get all your thoughts out of your brain and on to the page. You turn all your worries, ideas and dreams in to a list or a mind-map, which you can then turn into actions (if you choose to).

Celebrating Small Wins
  • On one page list the dates of the month down the left-hand side and beside each date, on each day, write down something you achieved.
  • If this seems challenging at first then start by doing it once a week. It’s about congratulating yourself on the small wins and celebrating your accomplishments, no matter how insignificant they may seem.
  • Remember that once complete your tasks turn into accomplishments! An achievements page gives you a dedicated place to celebrate these.
Check-In

Use one page of your bullet journal to do a mental health check-in. Divide the page into four sections and assign a category to each quarter e.g. physical/mental/emotional/spiritual). Do this as often as you’d like.

“Every day, once a day, give yourself the present of savouring the good in your life.”

Carroll, page 187.
Gratitude Practice
  • List the dates of the month and on each line write down something you are grateful for. Or fill an entire page by writing a list in one go.
  • Gratitude lists work best if what you record is specific and genuine. So if you can, noting it down as soon as you think of it can help.
  • Try the Three Good Things exercise. Write down three good things that happened that day. Next to each positive event, answer one of the following questions: “why did this good thing happen?”, “what does this mean to you?” or “how can you have more of this good thing in the future?” Do it every day or three days times a week.
Random Acts of Kindness

Make a list of ideas for random acts of kindness, marking them off each time you do them. Or simply notice when you perform a random act of kindness and note that down during your daily or weekly reflection.

Carroll, “Less, but better”, page 236.
More ideas for your bullet journal toolkit

The possibilities are endless, but here are some of the ones I like:

  • Books – list the titles you’re reading and tick them off when you’re finished, or break it into smaller chunks by tracking chapter progress.
  • Films / TV shows – use this collection to list all the things you plan to, or want to, watch. Again, tick them off once you’ve seen them.
  • Turn this into a goal by choosing one thing to read/watch each week.
  • Mental health toolkit – list some coping techniques that help most.
  • Self-care – list all the things that do/don’t increase your wellbeing.
Some final words on persevering with your bullet journaling

This wasn’t straightforward for me at first. Sifting through all the available information and making a start was slightly overwhelming (and, I’ll admit, on some days it still is). It took some perseverance and I had to keep tweaking things until I found a set up I was happy with. It was worth it, though. (If you’re interested, I’ve written an essay on how I got started.) I still search Youtube and Instagram for inspiration (without overburdening myself) and I don’t keep any tried ideas that don’t bring me satisfaction or joy. Above all I keep it simple. Happy journaling!

Image: Can Bullet Journaling Save You? The New Yorker (September 2019)
Categories
mental health Psychology Writing

Coping with Self-loathing

Negative thoughts of self-loathing can be unrelenting. Feelings of shame, guilt and self-directed anger are destructive for self-esteem and can keep us stuck in certain patterns of behaviour. If it goes unchecked, feelings of shame and self-loathing can perpetuate a vicious cycle of self-criticism as our low mood spirals down further – even turning into self-neglect or self-harm. At better times it can manifest in not being happy with who we are.

It is especially important to focus on acts of kindness towards oneself during these times. Because as hard as it may be, facing the pain that self-loathing brings is the key to resolving it. Learning to feel and process our emotions is a way of developing emotional resilience, but it takes practice. Start by trying out these skills drawn from CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy), DBT (Dialectical Behaviour Therapy) and mindfulness.*

“It’s not all bad. Heightened self-consciousness, apartness, an inability to join in, physical shame and self-loathing—they are not all bad. Those devils have been my angels. Without them I would never have disappeared into language, literature, the mind, laughter and all the mad intensities that made and unmade me.”

Stephen Fry, Moab Is My Washpot

1. Have patience

Creating new brain pathways and new ways of thinking takes time. Being patient with yourself as you practice is the first act of loving yourself.

2. Ask for help

This can be from friends, family, teachers, therapists, co-workers or self-help groups. Focusing on getting help for yourself is an act of kindness.

3. Don’t avoid the self-loathing

You cannot address your emotional pain without feeling it first. Facing the reality of your self-loathing is painful, but it is the only way to get out of it. Do this by acknowledging that the pain is there – don’t dwell on it or ruminate. This is the DBT distress tolerance skill known as Radical Acceptance. When you can face the pain, instead of fighting it or dwelling on it, you are mastering it – and healing from self-hatred.

4. Do things you enjoy

If you are in the depths of self-loathing it is likely that you’ll be having a lot of negative experiences, but it is possible to build positive experiences. This is known in DBT as Opposite Action. When done mindfully, it can reduce emotional vulnerability and create balance in our lives. It works like this: if we feel shame and notice the need to isolate, instead we speak up; or, if we feel disgust and want to distance ourselves through avoidance, we push through it and get through the situation. By doing the opposite action the emotion goes away or becomes less uncomfortable. Self-loathing punishes you by depriving you of the things you love, so do the opposite. The more you practice doing things you love, the more you will love.

5. Try a Zen practice

Think about someone you respect who you consider to be a wise, compassionate person. Now imagine that person is living with you in your mind and body during moments of self-loathing and see how they might handle your self-hatred. You could even repeat a compassionate phrase or mantra in your mind – something like “you are enough”, “you are doing your best”, or “this too shall pass”. This is a difficult task, but with practice you will find greater self-compassion.

6. Forgive

Forgive yourself for all your perceived faults and failings. If you have crossed your values and hurt someone, ask them for forgiveness too. Keep in mind that at any point in time you are doing the best you can do. Releasing yourself from anger or resentment is an act of self-compassion.

A note on Opposite Action

This is one of my favourite skills to practice and share with others. I have found it to be effective in so many different situations. These additional practices have helped me with my mental health and might help you too if you are feeling self-loathing – or any other strong emotion for that matter.

It is possible to use opposite action by using your body differently. Take some deep breaths if you are feeling anxious or panicky, or place your hand on your heart when you notice judgement or blame. Challenging the physical signs of shame and submission, for example by lengthening your spine and grounding through your feet, can help to combat self-loathing.

Morning Pages

Taken from The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, this is her “bedrock tool” for creative recovery. She likens it to “a form of meditation for hyperactive Westerners”, as the pages clear her head and prioritise her day. Morning Pages requires you write three pages, by hand, first thing in the morning, about whatever comes to mind and which you show to no one. There is no wrong way to do it; you simply keep your hand moving across the page, with no breaks or pause for thought. This practice dislodges the dust from every corner of our life, eventually moving us towards constructive action.

It is helpful for people who have difficulty expressing painful or strong emotions (so all of us, then!). For example, I have found it to be a particularly powerful tool for working through anger and frustration.

List 25 things you love

This is another one of Julia Cameron’s creative recovery tools. If you’re anything like me you can become entrapped by your list-making, so don’t over-think this – just get some things down on paper, which could be a page in a bullet journal (if this is something you like to do). Cameron also talks about scheduling an “artist’s date” – a once-weekly, solo expedition to explore something that interests you. You could do your own version by scheduling a “self-care date”, creating for yourself just one hour a week –or more – to do something you enjoy. You could refer back to your list of loves for ideas, or throw it away as soon as you’ve finished – it is up to you.

References

Coping with BPD: DBT and CBT skills to soothe the symptoms of borderline personality disorder by Blaise Aguirre and Gillian Galen (2015).

Julia Cameron Wants You to Do Your Morning Pages, The New York Times online (February 2, 2019).

Read Julia’s Blog online / her books The Artist’s Way and The Right to Write.

*These skills are best practiced when you feel safe and well enough. If you are experiencing a mental health crisis or medical emergency click here for information from Mind, the mental health charity, about how to get help.

Photograph (my own): Self-compassionate Graffiti, Princes Place Public Toilets (Royal Pavilion Gardens, Brighton).
Categories
mental health Psychology

8 Ways to Overcome Fear of Failure

Fear of failure presents itself in all sorts of ways. Maybe our negative self-talk takes over. Or perhaps procrastination is our self-sabotage method of choice. Fear of failure leaves us feeling stuck and unable to step outside our comfort zone. My own fear of failure takes the form of negative thinking, lack of self-belief and resistance to change.

Resistance to change is part of being human, and fear is almost always the number one reason. Fear is a natural response to threat, either real or imagined. Anxiety is a type of fear that has something to do with the thought of a threat or something going wrong in the future, like fear of failure. Mental Health Foundation has this to say about it:

“Fearing failure can make you try to do well so that you won’t fail, but it can also stop you doing well if the feeling is too strong…Just knowing what makes you afraid and why can be the first step to sorting out problems with fear.”

Mental Health Foundation, How to Overcome Fear and Anxiety (online publication).

I have been thinking about my own fear of change. What about starting university makes me afraid? When I reflected on this question I realised that behind my resistance to change is a fear of failure. Here are my tips.

1. Remove fear of the unknown

Identify the possible outcomes (and obstacles), including the worst-case scenario. Ask yourself: “what would failure actually look like?” Make a contingency plan. This uses what is known in Dialectical Behaviour Therapy as our rational thinking or “reasonable mind”. It is possible to over-plan, though, so don’t let this stop you from taking action.

2. Take small steps towards your goal

Thinking about the end result is often too overwhelming. Break it down into smaller steps instead. Makes these achievable so that when you complete them your confidence is boosted. These small “wins” will promote positive emotion and increase your motivation to succeed. 

3. Stay in the present moment

Fear of failure can become a real barrier when we negatively evaluate the past (recalling times we have ‘failed’ in the past) or predict the future (imagining what could go wrong). Mindfulness teaches us to see these for what they are: thoughts (not facts). Learn to detach yourself from your inner critic; that voice is not you (and what it says is not true).

4. Practice radical acceptance

Radical acceptance means accepting the situation for what it is without judgement. Fear is painful. Suffering is optional. Resistance only leads to further pain, so don’t add the pain of non-acceptance. Acknowledge the reality of your fear and don’t fight it. Accepting the presence of fear reduces its intensity, meaning we are more likely to move forward. We might say something like “this is where I am right now. Now what?” Avoiding or denying our emotions delays healing, so this is worth practising if we want to make progress. Acceptance leads to change.

5. Accept impermanence

Impermanence, or the philosophical problem of change, is a concept in Eastern philosophy that has been shown to attain mental balance. It teaches us that attachment is the root of suffering. Much like practising radical acceptance (which also draws inspiration from Buddhism), accepting impermanence encourages us to appreciate the present moment and overcome resistance to change. Dr Paul Wong is a positive psychologist specialising in Chinese traditions whose summary of impermanence demonstrates its relationship to radical acceptance:

“Attachment to possession and achievement invariably leads to disappointment and disillusionment, because everything is impermanent…Failure to embrace life’s experience in its entirety is at the root of suffering.”  

Dr Paul Wong, Chinese Positive Psychology: Future Directions (2014).

In other words, we must accept the reality that everything is temporary. The sooner we do this, the sooner we will reduce our suffering – allowing us to adapt to change with more mental clarity and calmness.

6. Focus on the good things

Highlight your achievements and things you are grateful for by keeping a journal. Find three good things each day that have gone well and write these down, including your reflections on why they went well (this is known as the Three Good Things exercise). Try this every night for a week. Focusing on the good things like this increases positive emotion, decreases negative emotion and helps us to cope with difficulties. It even has the potential to increase our ability to achieve our goals.   

7. Embrace imperfection

Failure is not final. Yes, it can be painful, but it offers valuable insights. It helps us to learn and grow, leading us towards success. Persisting in the face of setbacks and adapting to failure is known as adopting a growth mindset (what do I need to do differently?), rather than a fixed mindset (which tells us to give up). Practice your willingness to fail.

8. Try taking action before you feel ready

Don’t wait for the perfect moment to start something. If you are prone to perfectionism this will challenge you, but persevere. Your self-esteem could be dented (on the floor, even) and you don’t feel confident enough (yet). I am rooting for you! Do it anyway and the confidence will come.