too good to be true; a lie my anxiety tells me
“Nothing is ever ‘too good to be true.’ If it came into your life it means you have earned it. Simply enjoy it.”
Hi friends! We’ve all heard the expression, “if it’s too good to be true, that means it probably is”. My whole life I have believed this mantra to the tee, but it has been much worse the last few months. Anytime something exciting is planned, my anxiety starts to rise making me feel like it will fall through somehow and sometimes gets worse as the anticipated event gets closer. It’s almost like expecting to be disappointed was easier than getting my hopes up about anything. It sounds like a sad way to live doesn’t it?
As you can imagine, having this negative way of thinking can creep into different aspects of your life without you even noticing. Lately, I have been more on edge than normal with my health anxiety by worrying constantly that something is going to happen. When I was talking with someone about this, I explained that I really wanted to get my anxieties under control because I have a new adventure starting in a couple months that I am really excited about, and I didn’t want that to be something that would ruin it. We started talking more about this topic and as I kept talking, I realized that my anxiety was probably higher lately because my biggest fear right now is that this new adventure will fall through somehow. Once I had that realization, I started crying realizing how scared I was about it falling through. To me, it honestly feels “too good to be true”.
How sad is it to admit that you can have something really good about to happen in your life, but somehow let your anxiety make you believe it won’t happen? Because I am always afraid to get excited about anything or I expect disappointment, I have put a negative emotion on positive things. That doesn’t make sense though does it? When good things happen, we are told to enjoy them, that we deserve them, and that we earned it. But when we are more nervous or tend to have a negative outlook on things, it can be easy to think, “yes this is great, but when is the other shoe going to drop?” or “wow this is so exciting. Something bad is definitely going to happen.” It seems easy to try and be positive and think, “I deserve this” or “this is happening because I earned it”, but sometimes those are the hardest phrases to say.
The other day when I was talking to someone close to me about this new adventure, I got caught up in the excitement and without even thinking, I said, “this seems too good to be true”. Right away, he said, “Wait, what do you mean ‘too good to be true’?” And I realized how negative that sounded, so I backtracked right away and made some excuse about what I actually meant to say. But I didn’t forget about that, because I realized how easy it is for me to believe that something good can’t happen to me without something else happening along with it.
There are many reasons that people can feel this way. Maybe they got excited about something once and something bad happened that prevented them from having it, so they start associating that excited feeling with that bad experience. Maybe they truly don’t think they deserve good things to happen to them, so they self-punish themselves by not letting themselves get excited. Or maybe they just don’t know how to embrace the good feeling they are experiencing, such as excitement or joy. To be honest, I know my reasoning that things may be ‘too good to be true’ is all of the reasons I just listed above.
“it’s easier to be negative
to expect things to fall through
because then you can’t be disappointed.
being happy can be scary
because then you have hope
that can easily be taken”
a lie our mind tells us
The phrase, “if it’s too good to be true, that means it probably is”, is not accurate. It is a lie that our anxiety likes to tell. If something seems too good to be true, it means it came into your life for a reason and you earned it, like the quote from Akin Olukun shows above. I was given a challenge by my therapist that I have to pursue daily and that is to simply say ten positive things a day to myself, such as, “I deserve this opportunity I have at work” or “I am excited about this new adventure”. That seems like such a simple task, but for someone who is always afraid of the other shoe being dropped, it can be more of a challenge than you would think. It’s almost a superstition to me where I feel like I am jinxing myself by saying something positive. Doing this exercise is something I want to do in order to have a more positive mindset and not let my anxiety get the better of me.
If anyone reads this and has felt this way, just know that it’s okay to be excited or happy about things, even if we are worried about it falling through. It seems silly that it can be hard to be positive, but for some reason, sometimes are minds are just wired that way. It takes effort to become more positive, but it’s a challenge that can have great outcomes. If anyone has any advice on how to have a more positive mindset, I am always happy to listen. Thank you, friends, for continuing on this journey with me. Stay tuned.