What’s it Like Being a Twin?

Life as a twin is one of the coolest things. You’re born with a natural best friend and you get to grow up and experience life together. I’m so thankful to be a twin. Life was much easier in many ways for me, and although I’ve never really thought about the advantages and disadvantages until now, I’m still very grateful.

My story

I am the oldest of a set of fraternal twins, born on March 28th. I am five minutes older than my brother, who will tell you that doesn’t count.

We both were born with drastically different features. On the outside, we have different hair color, eye color, and skin tones. On the inside, we’re two completely different people with polar opposite minds.

Just a side note, being twins at birth, doesn’t mean that they’re similar in everything. Twins are just as different as siblings born years apart.

Naturally, we had different interests and hobbies. These differences have carried on into our adult lives, as we both have pursued completely different career paths. I’m a white-collar worker and he is a blue-collar worker.

I think the hardest thing for many people to understand about twins is their differences. Growing up, my brother and I were looked at as the same from many people, and that was always aggravating to the both of us. Although we share this unique bond, we are still two individual people.

Afraid to be different

Twins are compared to each other all throughout their life.

We wore the same outfits, had the same haircuts, and maybe that’s just out of practicality for our parents sake, but it was damaging to live up to the comparison.

Always having a friend

 

Social Anxiety

noun

Medical Definition of social anxiety

: a form of anxiety that is brought about by social situations (such as meeting strangers, dating, or public speaking) in which embarrassment or a negative judgment by others may occur

We’ve all been there before. The uneasy feeling you get when you step into a social setting. You become hot unexpectedly, a sweat starts from your brow, and you feel like you could puke at any moment.

Technology has partially attributed to the birth of social anxiety. Currently, we live in the dawn of an age, where sitting behind our screens creates an environment where we don’t have to be face to face for social occasions.

How Social Anxiety has affected me

For much of my life, I’ve suffered from social anxiety. The oldest memory that I can associate with it would be in primary school. Primary school introduced me to the idea of girls and dating. I wasn’t very social, and when girls approached me, I’d run away.

During high school and college, I came to a major crossroads. I needed to either overcome it or keep making up excuses. Occasionally there were times where I did overcome it, but more often than not, I ran away from it. Making excuses to leave class early so I wouldn’t have to participate in group projects became normal for me. I went as far as avoiding classes that I knew would force me into those situations.

After college, I believed that phase was over, because like every other person says, “it’ll go away eventually, don’t worry.” But I’ll tell you right now, it’s not that easy and it doesn’t just go away.

At work, meetings are a nightmare for me. I dread them, and I think sometimes my peers know that. From the moment I walk into the conference room, I have to calm myself down and act like someone that I’m not. Someone who is a social butterfly and participates well in a group setting. It’s extremely hard for me to do.

I perceive social anxiety not only being the feeling that one would experience when they’re in a social setting, but also the feeling of watching people in that setting socialize. You can start to analyze their every movement and their speech patterns to the point where it makes you cringe. “Turning off” your ears becomes the only obvious thing that you can do, but people start to notice you.

Above all, I think, social anxiety could be related to a place of belonging. I’ve never felt like I belonged in various social settings, with work being the most obvious one.

Where do you go from here

So how do I combat my social anxiety? By a very slow process of putting myself in uncomfortable situations. Sounds counterproductive right? But it’s the only way to ease my nerves about it. By volunteering to be social rather than be forced to, I’ve made significant progress in moving past the social anxiety that I’ve experienced much of my life.

Basically, in some cases, social anxiety can become a lot my manageable if you want it to be. In the process, you discover a confidence that you never knew you could have, and find people who understand how you feel.

If I’m to give any advice, it would be patience and trust. Be patient with others who have social anxiety and trust that others aren’t out to embarrass you. Although siblings and family will always do just that.

Let’s Talk About How You Can Accomplish More

Eliminate Distractions

I think the easiest way to accomplish more, is to start by eliminating distractions. This could be your cell phone, social media, and/or people. Notifications on your cell phone are extremely tempting, and with the “phantom vibration” phenomenon, it only adds to that temptation. Focus on the bigger picture. Your goals are something you want to accomplish for a reason. Only hard work without distractions can get you there.

Block out dedicated time

Blocking out a section of the day where you strictly work on projects is important. Turn on some mood setting music, pour so nice tea and find a comfortable place to work. Just make sure when you’re in your niche, that nothing interrupts it. Focus on what’s in front of you, not what’s around you. I accomplish so much more when I block out a regular period of time to write, read, or research. It’s refreshing and I look forward to it with great excitement.

Set direct goals

Having a goal may seem like a lot, but when it’s broken down into smaller, much more manageable goals, it becomes much easier to achieve. Have a plan. If your goal is to write a book, start with 1,000 words a day. (That’s 36,500 words a year). If you can write more, do so. If you can’t write that many, write less. Just make sure you stick to achieving some kind of goal related to the bigger picture. It’s easier to take small steps up a grand staircase, then it is to scale the side with a rope.

Find an ideal support system

One of the things that’s most important, is to find others who encourage your goals. You can achieve more, when others encourage and support you. The feeling of someone journeying with you to the end result is a lot better than traveling the road alone. I know it isn’t always possible to have a great support system, but only one person is truly needed for this principle to help you.

Understand that all good things take time

Nothing happens overnight, all good things take time. Famous authors, actors, etc weren’t successful in a day. They struggled and they were rejected. Keep your eyes on the horizon. All the stressful nights of no sleep, hard work, and painfully trying to pull something out of your brain will pay off eventually. Just never give up. View any kind of rejection or disapproval as a learning experience to get better. People are honest, and sometimes that honesty hurts. But you’d rather someone let you early that your works terrible, then when it’s too late.

Keep rejection as the fuel to your fire. It will burn much hotter, and the train will eventually move quicker.