I recently made a mistake at work. I was sick to my stomach for days wondering if I was gonna get in trouble. So far I was told to not worry about and not let it bother me. I can’t help to be worried something else will happen again. I’m worried I’m gonna mess up again and people will think I’m a screw up. I’m so worried about what people think about me and I’m scared for what mistakes the future might bring. I get scared everytime I look at my phone because I’m afraid it’s gonna be somone telling me I screwed up again. Anyone have any advice for me? I wanna enjoy life but it’s hard with all this paranoia.
This is so relatable. I have anxiety about failing all the time…I actually have nightmares about it…nightmares that I’ll totally forget I was supposed to do something and realize whenever it was supposed to have been done that I didn’t even remember I was supposed to do it…I fear what my boss will say if he were to see what I do, fear what my coworkers would think if I don’t produce…it’s a very real anxiety that you’re experiencing, and you’re not alone in it.
To fear that you’re literally skating on razor thin ice…that one wrong move is going to send you plunging into the icy water and keep you frozen in your failure…that you’ll never recover from it…worst case scenarios constantly run through your mind, and you are bracing yourself for impact all the time…every text, every time you interact with a coworker or boss, every time you open an email or a message, it feels like – omg here it comes.
One of the things that a friend ( @HexAmbrosius ) told me that helped me a lot was to literally name out loud my worst case scenario…my work fear is as follows:
I’m going to completely and embarrassingly fail. My boss is going to mock me and indict me publicly. I’m going to have to profess to every one of my friends and family members who I’ve ever talked to about HeartSupport that I had a massive moral and performative failure and to tell them how terrible of a human I am. They’ll all believe me. I’ll lose every friend and family member. I’ll lose my wife and my kids. I might even go to jail! I’ll be found out. I’ll lose everything. And the world will only see me as the absolute failure that I am. I’ll be mocked anytime I walk into public. I’ll be pursued by cyber bullies and attacks. I won’t be able to be online at all without being harassed. And I’ll be blocked from every job in the world, forever left to be a beggar whom no one will take pity on. I’ll starve because no one will offer me money or food, and I’ll die on the streets, completely alone.
I know that sounds so ridiculous that it’s almost funny, but that’s like the worst case fear that silently runs in the back of my mind, and bringing it to life allows me to see it for what it is: that’s really silly. And there’s almost no way that would every happen EVER. For the entire world to turn its back on me? That’s just silly, lol. And there’s a million points in there that I could mitigate and keep from falling all the way down the spiral. By naming my fear and seeing it, I can work through it.
Try it out!