Jason’s fear of failure was utterly debilitating

If we examine the fear of failure that Jason, the case study in the book, harboured, you will see that his was paralysing. Unlike my fear, it was evident and palpable and clearly in his awareness as he prepared for two interviews in preparation for his professional training. He found a tutor who helped bolster his confidence and helped lower his fear of failure somewhat. This is how he described his psychological struggle, his negative thinking, his unhealthy, undermining behaviour and the positive impact of exposure, in dealing with fear.
I was extremely nervous going down to the first interview. It was a complete disaster. Anxiety consumed me and I didn’t understand many of the questions. Coming out of the interview I was drenched in sweat, bright red in the face and a feeling of sickness in the pit of my stomach. My heart was still racing as I drove home. The second interview went better. I felt the experience of the first one had helped and I wasn’t as nervous. I was quietly satisfied coming out of that interview. The results came a few weeks later, but doubt and fear came rushing back. Negative thoughts consumed me. I wasn’t good enough to get into the college, I was miles off the standard and I hadn’t a hope qualifying. I started comparing myself to others negatively. I was now back in work feeling very sorry for myself. I decided that I would do my usual thing and give up. I didn’t bother with the Irish study for a few weeks. As it was Christmas I consoled myself by going out with friends and consuming large amounts of alcohol. I fell back into a rut and was considering giving up the idea of becoming a professional. . After a few weeks, something clicked with me. I suppose through the encouragement from my family, in particular my mother, and from my Irish tutor, I came back around again. I decided that I would study hard for the next six weeks and see where that took me. I started to think more positively. By the time the interview came around I was more confident. My level of Irish had improved greatly and the experience of the 2 previous interviews had helped to ease my worry. The English part of the interview went extremely well. The Irish went ok and no more. I conversed well but didn’t understand one question he had asked. When I came out of the interview, I was drained. Again I concentrated on the negatives. Even though most of the interview had been a success, the Irish question I missed was all I could think of. I told my family that I didn’t think I would get in. A few weeks later, I got the news that I had been accepted. This was great but I wasn’t overjoyed. I took the view that they must have been finding the places hard to fill. Again I was running myself down. Even in a great moment for myself I found the negative.
Extract from my recent book – Understanding and Healing the Hurts of Childhood.

Posted in fear of failure