crippling fear of failure

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-04-2005
crippling fear of failure
Fri, 08-27-2010 - 11:42am

I wasn't sure if I should post here, to the depression board or the anxiety board, but here goes.

Have been away from the message boards here for about five years. Since then, I felt as though I really turned a corner. Therapy helped me make some real strides in accepting myself and my life as it was, and in turn, the new peace I'd achieved changed how I approached my day to day life. I'm sure it is what enabled me to enter and build the relationship that led to my marriage.

With that update aside, I've been struggling again, but this time it has to do with my professional life. Without going into too much detail, my current employment situation is neither happy nor sustainable for the long term (short term is okay) and I must go on the job market. I have been trying to improve my situation for the past three years and each year I have gotten close to landing a good job, but lost out to someone else. In my field, interviews are grueling and intense. As a fragile person, being on the spot, subject to aggressive questions, and having to sell myself are pretty much the worst kind of torture I have experienced. I've gone through these grueling interviews only to lose out at the end, and each time has been more and more crushing. I try to recall all the self-help books and therapy sessions that emphasize the importance perseverance and the adage "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger,"but the cycles of applying, interviewing, and getting rejected have really done a number on me. This year, I thought I could take a break from applying for jobs (my situation is okay for the next year) and take time to psyche myself up. But today I saw a new job ad that is pretty well tailored to what I do. Instead of being excited and motivated by this, I was overcome with dread. I felt sick to my stomach and became incredibly depressed. The reason why is because of my fear of failure and of getting on the emotional roller coaster of applying for jobs. I can't even imagine a positive outcome, which would of course make it all worthwhile. I worked so hard to keep a positive attitude, envision success, and put my all into my past efforts, only to come up short in the end. With each year of failure, I've gone from feeling defeated to bitter to hopeless. I know this is not rational, but I'm stuck in these negative self-defeating thoughts.

I'm going to just do it and try to push the thoughts away. But today I feel absolutely miserable. I'm scared and depressed about what may happen. Help!

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-10-2009
Fri, 08-27-2010 - 12:21pm

First......Welcome Back

I do understand fear and not doing things for fear of failure but not to he extent you seem to have it.