I Think I Am Afraid Of Becoming What I Can Become

I see a pattern in my behavior: as soon as I start doing things right I find a way to undermine my efforts and stop myself in the tracks. I am either afraid of my own potential 'greatness', or just feel a stupid duty to fulfill the low expectations of my father for me.

He used to laugh at me and tell me I'm mediocre. I always hated to think of myself as mediocre - even one step lower would be better than mediocre. I always hated to recieve 7's (I think it's sort of a C) in school, because he would always tell me that's mediocre. I wouldn't get so upset at receiving a 6 as I would if I got a 7. He used to call me stupid and ugly. He used to tell me he could hardly wait for me to get married so he can be rid of me. He used to tell me to stop school and just get married.

I didn't stop school, but I was mediocre at it. Even in college, I would start exams with good grades and then just start to sink lower and lower. Now, every time I see some improvement in my weight loss plan, I do something stupid to stop me in my tracks. Every time I learn something new I could apply at my job, I just 'forget' about it and stay put.

There are a lot of things I do to undermine myself... Question is... why?
Mapping Mapping
26-30, F
1 Response Dec 3, 2012

I'm not sure why. Maybe it's something you do subconsciously. Or maybe you're just seeing a pattern emerging where there is none. Either way, it's something buried deep in your psyche. And that is something you can only beat if you face it head on. <br />
You asked if you were, in some way, afraid of your own potential for greatness - and the answer is probably 'yes'. It's not just you, everybody has that innate fear of success, because we fear that we won't measure up, or even if we do, we fear that, like Icarus, we too will plummet out of the heavens in our moment of glory. And deep inside, everybody has that one treacherous thought - that it's better not to try at all, then try and be disappointed.<br />
But you have to understand this. So listen. There is nothing mediocre about you! You are smart. You are brave. You are strong. And your father is a proven monster - a pathetic, witless, stupid monster. His words have no weight. And all his morals, ethics, and ideals? He killed all those years ago when he first dared to harm you. Nothing he said deserves even a second of your consideration.<br />
You are not mediocre. You are not inadequate. You are powerful beyond measure. And all you have to do, is see that. :)

I kind of doubt I have the strength to face anything head on right now, though I know you are right about it being the only way. I have felt thereprecussions of running away from things many times. Still, there are times when I just can't. I guess I just need a break. A break from being a victim, from nightmares and intrusive thoughts, from fearing myself. Easier said than done, though..

It has become a cliche of a joke, when a general orders a tactical retreat, but in reality means "let's run away". But in reality, that seems to be exactly what you need - to pull back, catch your breath, and make a counterstrike. Everybody needs a breather every now and then. Have you considered going on a holiday? It might do you good, to spend time away from everything.
When it comes to intrusive thoughts, I have some experience there (but very little). Basically, those thoughts are just quirks of our subconsciousness and never carry any meaning at all. You can dismiss what ever comes to you as nonsense and something totally irrelevant. They don't indicate anything about you - those are not the things you really want to do... ugh, I'm very bad at explaining this. I read it all in an article some half a year ago, and it really helped me sort myself out back then. I'll try and find it again. Maybe it can do the same for you, if you want.

That's probably it: I might just need a vacation. I've been putting a lot of pressure on myself lately and I might just be cracking down under it.. And although I hate holidays, this year I can hardly wait for them to come, because it means I'll get some me time.
I'm always interested in reading articles that explain how we and our mind works, so feel free to share with me anytime, it will be appreciated. Don't fret if you can't find that particular article though, it's okay. The way my therapist explained intrusive thoughts to me is a bit different so you sparked my curiosity..
Thank you for you words and just.. being here :)

Okay, so I did a little bit digging online, and I think I found the original article (I also found out that I explained it completely wrong, sorry for that). It's not long, and it's called "How To Overcome Intrusive Thoughts". It's written in a very layman language, so I didn't need a college degree just to figure out what the writer was saying. Like I said before, it helped me a lot when I first read it, because it showed me a side of myself I never suspected I even had.
Here's the link:
I hope it does for you what it did for me. :)

That was very interesting, and indeed easy enough to follow. Still, I did not find myself in it, because the intrusive thoughts I experience don't have to do with OCD. At least, not to my knowledge. The thoughts I experience are mostly memories that won't let go of me. Or me of them...

Oh... Sorry. What the article showed me when I first read it was that all those thoughts I feared the most, that I would lose control and act out on my rage, where not an indicator that it was something that I wanted to do, but something I would NEVER do. It showed me that I was a man who never would. And that's an inspiring thought.
I'm sorry it couldn't help you. Still, I'm here for you, if you ever need to talk.

Thanks. Don't worry about it, the article did help, though not in the way intended. It helped to understand more about OCD. People talk about it without even knowing what it is about...

4 More Responses