Harris O’Malley writes at the Good Men Project:
Getting better at dating is hard enough.
It gets even harder when it feels like your own mind is fighting back against your attempts to improve yourself.
When I was younger, I used to be a chronic insomniac. I’d be physically tired, but I could never actually get to sleep; my body would be exhausted but I could never get my brain to quiet down long enough for me to relax and pass out. Every night became an exercise in what I called “riding the maelstrom”1—a mental whirlpool of worst-case scenarios, self-recrimination, anxieties and doubts. I would start to drift off to sleep when suddenly I would remember something stupid I’d done that day—“Why did I say that to Emily, oh Christ I’m such a fucking idiot, no wonder I can’t get a girlfriend see this is why you’re a loser. I really like Amy but she probably has a boyfriend and if I go make a move I’m just going to get shot down and then everybody’s going to know that I tried to hook up with her and I’m never going to hear the end of it and…”
Being awake wasn’t much better, to be honest. At least half of my internal monologue involved dwelling on all of my counter-productive anxieties and self-limiting beliefs, a seemingly never ending stream of voices reminding me why I sucked and how nothing would ever work out for me. Trying to force myself past all of that was exhausting.
Going by my inbox, I can tell that many of you have the same issue. At least half of the emails I get come from people who want to improve but just can’t get past all of those nagging voices of failure and self sabotage.
So it’s time to start looking into some mind control and learning how to shut out all of those nagging thoughts and voices…
Read more here.