Sunday, January 28, 2007


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Early in January, I made public my "New Year's Resolution" to conquer fear: my fear of making mistakes, of being embarrassed, of making people mad at me, etc.

I want to share a couple insights I've had.

Number one:
It's a contol issue. I want to be in control of people's reactions to me. If I can execute some kind of flawless performance, I can keep people from reacting negatively to me or to anything I do. This is a way of protecting myself from disapproval or any kind of retribution.

One of the fear-related things I do is to put myself down. I tell people ahead of time, before I can screw up, that I screw things up. And when I do make some kind of mistake, I call myself names like "stupid," "incompetent," "airhead," "senile," "blonde." And I've discovered that the reason I do this is, if I say it first, it keeps someone else from saying it.

Number two:
It's a result of perfectionism. Being upset at mistakes means, I should be able to do it perfectly. Not knowing something -- I should know everything. Forgetting something -- I should remember everything. Being wrong -- I should be right. Mentally shutting down when I don't know, or don't remember, or messed up --- if I can't do it perfectly, I'm going to cease to function.

Like..... do I think I'm God?????


Downhillnut said...

Very well put, and I SO identify with you on it!

I'm going to think about this one and hopefully learn stuff from it. Thank you!

Flo said...

Very good insights!! It's hard sometimes to see what's going on within ourselves so this is really, really good.

Vickie said...

Maybe a different approach would be to keep a positive attitude about your abilities and accomplishments and see if that counters the negative you feel. I'm not criticizing, just making the point that when YOU cease to give a negative reaction to things you do or might do, then more often than not the positive happens. And realize that since no one is perfect that no one has a right to judge. I get into that rut a lot of times too, but once I actually stopped acknowledging it as a negative, I started seeing a different side to things. And a different attitude emerged.

Fe-lady said...

I think even God makes mistakes sometimes...and forgets about some things... :-)

I think most of us do these things every once in awhile if not frequently.
You are NOT alone here! :-)

momo said...

oh, i can so relate to your post! its so easy to see, but so hard to fix, isn't it?? if you find the answer, let me know!