Help me believe in myself
March 10, 2008 8:09 PM Subscribe
I lack faith in myself and am convinced that if I undertake anything but the most menial tasks I will screw things up. As a result, I screw things up and give myself even more
proof that I will always screw things up. How do I stop the cycle?
posted by anonymous to health & fitness (25 answers total) 42 users marked this as a favorite
Due to a variety of issues, from depression and ADHD to procrastination and low willpower, I have generally failed at most complex projects I've tried up until now, especially if they require a long period of commitment and/or changing my habits. This includes homework, learning musical instruments, eating more healthfully, keeping in touch with friends, and on and on. This has led me to believe that no matter what I will always fail at everything.
Now, I've gotten over most of the insecurity issues that had me convinced I was simply too ugly and stupid and socially incapable to succeed at anything. I now know that's not true, and I do have the talents and skills to succeed at many things if I put my mind to it. But whenever I try something, there's a voice inside my head that yells "You're going to fuck it up!" I'll procrastinate, trip and drop something, slip into bad habits, some way, somehow, I become convinced I'm going to mess my latest undertaking up. And so, not surprisingly, 99% of the time I mess things up. For instance, in a class, if I find myself procrastinating instead of studying, instead of saying "Whoops, I better not mess this up!" and getting back on track, I say "Oh look, here I am, messing it up again" and resign myself to failure.
And the more I fail, the more I become convinced I'll always fail. I have no confidence in myself, and have no reason to have confidence in myself. There's nothing I can look back on as proof of my ability to succeed. There's only a long stretch of failures in the past. Adding to this is that in a couple of weeks I will be in a position where I have to take a huge amount of responsibility on myself as part of a class. And I'm terrified I'm going to fuck it up--and as this situation is literally life-or-death, I really can't afford to fuck it up. I'm on the verge of dropping the class just so I don't risk messing it up.
So what do I do? How do I start believing myself again? My constant failures have left me in a low-paying job with no benefits, so therapy is not an option (and it's never helped in the past, anyway).