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I have a fear of failure

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Old 08-17-2010, 01:15 PM   #1
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I have a fear of failure

Hey everyone, I have a few things I need some advice on.

I've had some form of anxiety since I was about 14 (I'm 20 now), and I don't see any way to relieve it. About a year ago I had a few sessions with a community mental health nurse, which helped to a degree, but I moved away about 8 weeks after I started those sessions, so I couldn't make much progress.

I've tried speaking to my parents about it a few times, with varying success. When I first started experiencing panic attacks when I was 14, they were pretty supportive but couldn't really do anything to help. However, now it seems like they don't want to admit that I have problems with anxiety. When I mentioned to them last year that I was going to see someone about it they seemed completely against it for some reason. I remember them both saying, "That's fine, but if you go and see someone you won't be able to get a job anywhere, ever." ??? I don't understand how they could have come to that conclusion. They're totally supportive with every other aspect of my life, and they mean the world to me but I wish they would actually acknowledge these issues I have.

But anyway, to the issues! I suppose I get the typical anxiety; hypochondria, dizziness, difficulty sleeping, OCD-type symptoms, easily startled etc. I've looked at the list of symptoms on here and I seem to experience a lot of them on a regular basis (several times a day or week). Also, it's becoming harder to tell what I have dreamed and what I haven't. I still know that I dreamed about something and it didn't actually happen, but it's taking longer for me to realise it when a though pops into my head, and it's really worrying me a lot.

The most worrying one for me at the moment though is that I have a fear of failure. I feel like I'm never going to be successful at anything. I'm studying music at university at the moment, which is something I really enjoy, and would definitely like a career in in some capacity, but I feel like it's never going to happen. A lot of my friends are older than me and have just graduated and are landing really cool sounding placements/jobs etc. but I don't feel like I'll ever be able to get a job like that. (I'm specialising in music performance; where do you get a placement for that?)

As a result of this I feel very disheartened with things, almost constantly. I play bass, and I don't practice nearly enough because I feel like I'm not progressing, and there are a lot of areas of music that I find incredibly difficult and feel like I'll never be good at. I don't know what to do really, nothing I seem to try regarding music seems to actually lead to me making any progress. I feel like I'm going to be stuck in this rut forever, and that I'll never make anything of myself.

I know that sounds fairly ridiculous since I'm still very young, but I can't picture myself doing anything at all in five or ten years, I'm getting to the stage where I'm thinking, why bother trying anything? I'll never be successful. I can't get out of this way of thinking!

Any advice anyone has would be great. I'm sorry that this post is a bit rambling and dull!

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Old 08-17-2010, 05:18 PM   #2
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Re: I have a fear of failure

Hey! Well, not sure how much advice I can offer since I have really similar feelings. My circumstances are different than yours but I'm scared of failing as well. I've actually dropped out of college a couple times because of my extreme fear of public speaking and paper writing anxiety. I've recently been diagnosed with social anxiety disorder which really prevents me from leading the life I want. I'm 26 years old now, working at a job which the pay is lousy and there is no chance for advancement. I'm actually trying to go back to college, going to take one class in the fall semester, but I'm so scared. I'm afraid of failing and not being able to handle things - but, I'm equally afraid of things going well and not knowing what to do from there. My grades have alway been good just the anxiety really holds me back.

What I would advise you to do is find a counelor or psychologist to talk to. He or she may be able to help you sort through your feelings and help you figure things out. It can really be beneficial to talk to someone who doesn't know you and, therefore, doesn't have any preconceived notions about you. You can just really open up and talk freely about what's on your mind with no judgment. My mom seemed to have an issue with me talking to someone but I did it anyway. I think her problem, and this might be the same with your parents, is that she felt like a failure as a parent that I wasn't happy. They could also feel like they've let you down or maybe you are going to speak negatively about them. Don't worry about what they think, you have to do what is best for you. You are the one that has to struggle with the anxiety and you know how it impacts your life. Don't give up on your hopes and dreams. Hang in there, things will get better. Sorry I couldn't be of more help. Hopefully someone else will be able to offer some support. I wish you all the best! If you need to talk, I'm here. Take care!

Last edited by ms_mod; 08-17-2010 at 05:39 PM. Reason: Removed unnecessary quote. Ms_Mod

Old 08-21-2010, 04:06 AM   #3
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Join Date: Aug 2009
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Re: I have a fear of failure

hi there, what we are all suffering from is the 'All or Nothing' syndrome. If we can't excel at it, might as well not do it. There is a saying that sounds like this "Fear of failure must never be a reason not to try something"... or to continue with something.

I know this is a pretty short reply, im sorry. I am a tad bit depressed to go write about what ive been through because i was scared to do certain things from fear of failing. Missed out on a lot of things in life. A LOT. Very upsetting. Hugs.

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