There is another dimension, beyond rationality, beyond trust, beyond self-respect. I don't mean the Twilight Zone. This is the substance of nightmares. This is the substance of anxiety. I call it The Checklist.
Everyone travels through The Checklist - some may do so nonchalantly, with each thought being fleeting and detached. Others are fully aware of their entry into The Checklist as they go through their day, incapable of focusing due to a constant antagonizing by objects as minute as the dot on an "i".
The Checklist is not about the confidence of an individual, but about his or her own lack thereof in others. The Checklist skews what we have been told by others into lies. It produces facts from nothing but emotion and assumptions.
The Checklist draws you in whenever you least wish to enter it.
There are twenty minutes left on the final exam.
Is he losing interest in me?
I'm sharing my first laugh in a long day.
Wait, are you laughing at me or with me?
I haven't slept in twenty-six hours and all mental function is lost.
When was the last time I had a valuable conversation with him?
*Stays up for three more hours evaluating essentially nothing*
On the phone with my best friend.
My professor must think I'm an absolute idiot after what I said today.
The Checklist wakes me up in the middle of the night to ask unnecessary questions such as:
Did he like my post yet?
Does that random lady whom I'll never see again think I'm rude for not holding the door for her?
Does my editor hate me for turning in another article late?
Did I use "whom" incorrectly earlier?
The Checklist approaches each of its victims differently; it empowers the idea most likely to keep an individual from bonding with others.
For example, The Checklist reminds me of any given embarrassing moment within my memory on a daily basis, just to alert me of the possibility that the witnesses to that particular moment may also still remember it. I find myself unable to look some people in the eye for fear that I will only see that moment in them; it then becomes my definition of how they see me.
This is not a lack of self-confidence. This is an inability to trust others. If I can't know exactly what they're thinking, then why not assume the worst just to be safe. The Checklist is not an inability to confide in others, but rather an ability to conceive anything they say as untrue. Maybe they really are compulsive liars, but nine times out of ten, I find myself over-analyzing a simple statement of truth.
The Checklist is the #1 inhibitor of daily success.
The Checklist is social media.
The Checklist is a clothing brand.
The Checklist is a makeup ad.
The Checklist is imaginary.
The Checklist is anything that undermines the truth.
The truth is that...
I don't need a Snapchat streak to prove someone cares about me.
nobody can tell that I bought my favorite sweater from a thrift store and not a Ralph Lauren outlet.
boys worth considering don't stop talking to you because you stop wearing makeup.
my worst-case-scenario explanation has never actually been the reason.
Define The Checklist in your life. Call it out when it attempts to engulf you. The Checklist is a dimension of the subconscious. Make yourself conscious of it and you are well on your way to taking the power from it.