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JanG

[HEALTH] Fear of Failure?

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Hey guys.

I recently got the idea that i might suffer from a pretty big fear of failure. I think im a perfectionist, but not in a good way, i worry too much about everything i do, and every assignment. To the point were it's hurting my ability to even start on projects.

 

Have any of you felt this way, and/or do you know a good way to work on it?

Edited by Regular Robert
Changed the title - Robert
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Hmmmm,

One possible way to overcome this fear would be to break a project down into as tiny portions as possible so you don't worry about the WHOLE project but start small.

And in the long term the more often you confront this fear (and prove it wrong) by just starting and completing projects despite your fear your mind will maybe realize that it shouldn't worry so much.

Disclaimer: I'm by no means an expert - that just stuff I read when trying to overcome social fear - good luck

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This is one of my biggest fears, especially imagining that I will look back on m life and feel like I've accomplished nothing. To me that's like failing at life? Idk. But yeah, also a perfectionist, and I find it easy to become so immobilized by the fear that I don't even try to begin with. I think the only reason I was able to give the 90 Day detox a go was because 1. I knew I had to do something.
2. I felt really confident I could do it. 

This really effects my stress levels at work, especially since my manager is such a perfectionist as well, even on the days I am able to be more compassionate to myself, she often isn't quite so kind, and her harsh words make me feel even worse, and even more fearful of my failings. 

But yeah, what I find really helps is self-compassion. Just recognizing that you are only human, that perfection doesn't exist, or if it does, it is found as a result of changing our perspective towards it, if that makes sense. I was actually thinking a lot about the concept of perfection on the bus this morning. I think 'only human' is a great thing to remember. We're not super heroes. 

There was actually something I heard on the Game Quitters podcast, I forget which episode, about how we often become discouraged when we aren't good at things, but we have to remember that it takes time to improve our abilities, and the only way to do that is to keep going through the hard parts. 

Anyway, I hope that helped. It's reassuring for me to know I'm not the only one at least.

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10 hours ago, Cam Adair said:

Great book to read is Mindset by Carol Dweck. Study the difference between a growth mindset and a fixed mindset.

Thanks for the tip.

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Yep this resonates with me as a perfectionist. The best answer I can give you is to check out "When Perfect Isn't Good Enough" by Martin M. Anthony and Richard P. Swinson.

I read the entirety of this book without doing the exercises within the book because of my perfectionism haha. It's the most direct method of tackling the Perfectionism subject I've come closest to.

Here are some juicy Chapter names to get you hunting after this book:

Perfectionism and Behaviour, Measuring Perfectionism, Developing a Plan for change, Changing Perfectionist Thoughts and Behaviours, Accepting Imperfection, Perfectionism and Depression, Perfectionism and Social Anxiety and Preventing Perfectionism from Returning.

I was given this book by a counsellor. If I recall correctly, the main way to change Perfectionism is through Cognitive Behavioural methods. So these include noting down the facts of the matter and seeing things objectively.

One must SLOWLY challenge their perfectionist thoughts and behaviours with actions and note how those actions made them feel against what they thought. This is recorded over a period of time charting the days, weeks with scales from 1-10 about how anxious you were when you did what you were scared of.

Eventually the point is to align your over panicking mind to a more rational mindset more in line with reality allowing you to act without obsessing over perfectionism.

And now, here I am writing a 20 minute perfectionist reply instead of logging my Journal, because I love this site :D

 

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