March 16, 2009

Fear of the unknown — or of the loss of contentment?

Should be doing instead of blogging: Shredding receipts, maybe? I'm good with sitting here right now.

So it's been a while since my last post. Life has been pretty crazy lately, and every time I think of blogging, I get sidetracked with one thing or another.

I made a connection that has been floating around on the edge of my consciousness, but I couldn't focus in on it until today. It started when my friend linked me to an article on perfectionism — a weakness we both suffer from. Over the past couple of years, I've thought that I've been doing really well taming my perfectionistic inner monster. However, I've noticed that I've either regressed or just still need a great deal of improvement. I think I just need improvement. One thing that doesn't help, though: I'm a self-declared pessimist.

It works like this: I'm working on something, talking about something, or just making a passing comment, and suddenly I'm being told that I shouldn't be so hard on myself. It's something I don't even realise I'm doing. So I start thinking about what I've said, and what I think about myself, and the response I'm getting, and it's a bit depressing. While I am always reading about and looking for ways to improve myself, not only does my perfectionism get in the way, making me feel like I'm not good enough for A, B, or C, but my pessimism convinces me that I'm simply not going to be good enough for anything, either.

When I got to one of my standby wifi spots tonight, I googled "perfectionism and pessimism" to see the connection between them. I found this article that showed me that my pessimism was contributing to my perfectionist's fears. It was interesting to see because I don't usually make the connection. It also let me know that my fears are what hold me back, and that my perfectionism sprouts from the fears rather than the other way around, which is what I thought before.

I think my fears are why I've stayed so clear of things like relationships and huge, risky career decisions like starting my own business. Although I know I'm smart, cute, capable, interesting, have very good instincts, etc., I find myself thinking that I'm nowhere up to the level I need to be to pursue a successful relationship/career/any important personal decision. I've never been the type of person who just jumps into a big decision and hopes for the best — I'm sometimes almost terrified of finding myself in something good but short-lived, because the fear of loss and the hurt from that is something I don't want to face. And this makes me not take the chances I know I should take.

Now I need to go study another article tonight, on overcoming fears.

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