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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
Lionheart Offline
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Fear of failure - September 13th 2017, 08:42 PM

I have to hand in these papers and logicaly I know it's like impossible to get a perfect mark as its the first time I'm writing a term paper. And it isn't a big deal if I just get 70% or something. For my first paper thats awesome.
But I'm so scared of failing, thus I'm sabotaging myself again.
It's like when I try to write my paper I just freez and do something else. Procrastination and stuff. Because somewhere in the back o my mind its like, if I write everything last minute I can be proud of myself for passing. If I put in lots of work and don't get a good mark it means I'm stupid and just can't do any better. If I get a bad mark (or even fail) with little work it mean I could do better and don't need to feel bad about it.
I know this is stupid, but I can't get past it.
I'm so scared of not being good enough, of not being able to pass eventhough I gave my best, that I'd rather fail and not even try to give my best, than fail trying. I'm a quitter.
I rather give up than try if I don't know I will make it. Rather believe I could have done it than get proofen wrong.
I'm like this in nearly all aspects of my life but it doesn't cause problems often. right now though it's ruining my term paper and my mood (and slowly my life).
I NEED to get better at this. I need to stop this fear, but I have no clue how to do it, so I was wondering if anyone has any advice?
I'm really getting desperate here, I'm runing out of time and it won't be long, till I won't be able to somehow pass anymore...

It's ok to give in to an urge or make a mistake. You are only human and we all have our flaws. We all have our weak moments and we all make mistakes. Thats what makes us human.
Thats what makes us unique and beautiful

Courage isn't always a loud roar. Sometimes it is a quiet whisper at the end of a day saying: Tomorrow I will try it again!

  (#2 (permalink)) Old
del677 Offline
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Re: Fear of failure - September 14th 2017, 07:09 AM

I remember being that way!

I so much enjoy not being graded anymore now that I graduated.

I did realize I have the "NT Rational" personality type, so I base my self-esteem on "being competent."

I did realize however, that my endless quest to be the best, to be the most competent person, was an unwinnable game. A trap with no way out. If I wasn't the best, then I could do better, so I'm not good enough yet. On the other hand, if I am the best, if I'm the smartest person in the world, then that's a very difficult position to maintain.

It's like I want to be at the top of the mountain. If I'm not at the top, then I'm not good enough yet, and I could do better. If I am at the top, then that's a precarious position to maintain, as there's only one direction I can go -- down!

Either way I lose!

I lose if I'm not at the top. I lose if I am at the top. It's a game I can't win!

Took me a while to figure out what the secret was to winning the unwinnable game.

The only way to win the unwinnable game -- is not to play the game.

So I walked away from the mountain. I stopped caring how smart I was, how good I was, what my grades where. As long as I passed that was good enough for me. I stopped comparing myself to others. I just walked away from that unwinnable game.

I also made a rule that I will never accept an award. I don't want to jump through hoops to win an award. That's the wrong reason to do things. Because I might not get that award. Then I would be very depressed and unhappy. I can avoid all that by simply refusing to pursue any awards.

(Really jilted my supervisor when he said I could get a bonus if I achieved something within the year. I immediately said I wasn't interested in the bonus and wouldn't accept it. I would of course continue to pursue my career and learn stuff. I just wasn't going to chase any carrots. I just flatly refused, said I wasn't interested.

He was taken aback. Probably never encountered someone like me before. Surprisingly, at the end of the year he gave me the bonus anyway! I bet it was in the budget and he was planning on giving it anyway. He just wanted to use it as a carrot. I felt better because I wasn't pursuing false goals. I only pursue real goals, like I want to learn stuff, so I learn stuff because I want to, not because I want a bonus.)

So yea, I remember being that way!

Just walk away from the mountain and stop playing the unwinnable game. It's an unwinnable game. Refuse to play, then you win.
  (#3 (permalink)) Old
Lionheart Offline
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Re: Fear of failure - September 14th 2017, 01:55 PM

I tried to wrap my head around what you said. Like, what if I stoped carring if I get a good mark or not? In the end the only thing that matters is that I pass well enought to be allowed in the masters programm later.
But I can't. I mean, I can understand how it doesn't matter as much and how I should stop carring but if I don't care about getting a good mark I kind of loose my sense of purpose.
Its like, I don't even know whats the point anymore.
I don't need to be the best, I don't need to be on top of the mountain, but somewhere close to the top. I can't stand the thpought of people looking down on me.
I guess because of my experiences in middle school my self worth is kind of tied to my performance. Because this is the only good quality I have. Writing good marks, being close to the top. No matter what anyone said, noone ever called me stupid. Noone ever looked down on my for my performance. I have always been among the best. I've never been on top but always close.
It's what I'm good at. It's the thing I do best. I've always gotten respect for this even from the people who hated me and its the once thing that has gotten me positiv attention.
If I'm not close to the top anymore, where the hell would that leave me?
I know I have other qualities as well and I haven't been called ugly for some years, but thats not something anyone does notice. It's not something I can be proud of.

Sorry if this turned into a rant, but I think the thought of not carring anymore is just as scary as failing. Maybe even worse. If I fail I always have a chance of doing better next time. If I stop carring I don't know where that leaves me. I don't even know what the hell I should do with my life anymore, if I didn't try to get good marks....
Actually that just now sounds pretty pathetic... I really don't know what I should do and how to feel if it wasn't about good marks

It's ok to give in to an urge or make a mistake. You are only human and we all have our flaws. We all have our weak moments and we all make mistakes. Thats what makes us human.
Thats what makes us unique and beautiful

Courage isn't always a loud roar. Sometimes it is a quiet whisper at the end of a day saying: Tomorrow I will try it again!

  (#4 (permalink)) Old
Celyn Offline
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Jeez, get a life!
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Re: Fear of failure - September 15th 2017, 12:56 PM

Perhaps instead of thinking about not caring, it might help to think about the worst case scenario- what if you put the work in but failed? Of course that would be horrible, and you may feel very negative about yourself and your abilities, and may even feel ashamed if friends and family found out. But it doesn't mean that you suddenly aren't good enough. Instead, it can be a learning curve in that you can learn from the feedback you are given (very much like the idea that if you did last minute work and failed, you would learn to take more time to get better grades). And in general, if you have been keeping up with work and have a decent understanding, it's unlikely you would totally fail (even getting a low mark is better than not even passing, right?)

Equally, say you didn't put the effort in and failed, how likely is it that you would put the effort in next time? While the fear of failure can motivate you, it can also be paralysing in that you may be in the same position next time, worrying about putting effort in and failing, but also realising that not putting the effort in can also lead to failure.

I understand how you feel in that I was never at the top either, but close enough. And it feels like there is a lot of pressure to continue to keep that 'position'. But sometimes others may not care so much in who had better grades than who, and even if you, or anyone else 'slipped' then it's unlikely that it would change much in terms of how others see you. We're all human after all, and we all make mistakes and slip up every now and then. What matters is that if this happens, you learn from it and move on. And if you do fail, there's nothing stopping you from doing better in the next assignment. One low grade doesn't condemn you to further low grades etc.

I understand that it may feel very much like your self-worth is tied up to your performance, but it's not. I'm sure that you have other qualities that give you a sense of self-worth, even if it doesn't feel this way for you right now.

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