Today I am returning to my usual blog and hope you are all feeling relief and some form of freedom is returning to us to raise our spirits. There may be a negative aftermath to this, but some counselling will help erate that. I had been discussing fear of failure, a debilitating fear that prevents us for fulfilling our dreams. Using your gut helps you to avoid mistakes in what direction you should take in different circumstances, but it does not give you an insight into the extent of your fear of failure. One of the best ways to get an overall view of this is to keep a fear and avoidance diary. This should be as comprehensive as necessary, recording your thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. Let us take a brief example of how this might look in the context of the lecturing job I once avoided.
That would be a very attractive job. It is highly paid and I need the money badly now, with a large family and a big mortgage. I like history and lecturing does not carry a big workload. I’m also well qualified and am a good writer. I could easily write plenty of articles and a few books, perhaps. But, I would have to give up my profession which I really love. I would have to say good bye to that. I would have to move and sell the nice house I built. I like where I’m living. I like the countryside. I like the voluntary work I am doing. Worse still, I would have to leave all my friends. What would I do if I made a mess of this? After all some of these third-level students will be more intelligent than me. I might be a laughing stock.
I feel a bit uneasy about this. I can feel this in the pit of my stomach. I feel worried that something will go wrong and I can feel some element of shame in my body. I am afraid, because I think this is too much. I feel angry that I am so stuck, because this would be a good opportunity for me career-wise. I feel angry that I am like this. What makes me like this? I feel like a child.
I can’t let this opportunity go. I’ll apply for the job, but I’ll outline the difficulties in my way. I’ll tell them that I want the job but I want to remain on here for another year to finish out my Leaving Certificate class.
I would clearly have seen from this diary how I sabotaged my future in the lecturing field. My initial thinking was positive, but then I buried it beneath a morass of negative and irrational thinking. The feelings coming from this thinking are clear – fear, anger and shame. The behaviour is one of subconscious avoidance, one of the most prominent saboteurs attached to fear. I would not have seen this at the time. Fear clouds clear thinking. Writing it down makes for clarity and good judgement.
Extract from my recent book – Understanding and Healing the Hurts of Childhood.
THERAPISTS IN TIPPERARY
PSYCHOTHERAPISTS IN TIPPERARY
DEATH OF A CHILD
ABUSE AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
I am the author of six books
When a Child Dies. Footsteps of a Grieving Family
Abuse. Domestic Violence, Workplace and School Bullying
Understanding and Healing the Hurts of Childhood.
I’ll Meet You at the Roundy O
Priest, Politics and Society in Post Famine Ireland 1850-1891
Prince of Swindlers. John Sadleir MP 1813-1856
I am currently writing a major work on DID (Multiple Personality Disorder)