When Anxiety Makes You Feel Like a Failure
A part of being chronically anxious includes constant worry about what might happen in the future. But what I've also experienced is that along with this is not just the worry, but the fear of not being good enough, of feeling like you don't meet up to certain standards, and feeling like a failure.
And then, what I've found is that I will constantly overanalyze situations to the point where I convince myself that anything I have done does not meet these unreachable standards I have set for myself. We all know what it's like to hear that voice in our head, that internal dialog that, unfortunately, very often tells us things we don't want to hear. With anxiety, that internal dialog is often the voice that identifies mistakes, weaknesses, areas of inferiority, and inadequacy.
Why Anxiety Can Make You Feel Like a Failure
In my experience, I've found that my anxiety makes me feel like I've failed because I always try to attribute the fear and worry that I've felt to something. So, as a result, many times, I've convinced myself that I feel these feelings of fear, worry, and accompanying physical symptoms of anxiety because I've failed at something. Then, I try to analyze the situation and circumstances around me for what I've failed at. It's almost as though I look for something to attribute the intrusive thoughts to.
Unfortunately, what I've found is that the more I beat myself up about what I think I've done wrong, the more I start to believe that what I'm trying to convince myself of is actually true. Once I've convinced myself of this, I dwell on it and think about it more and more. As a matter of fact, the more I think about it, the more I reinforce these thoughts, and they multiply, which can become even more harmful to my self-confidence.
How to Overcome When Anxiety Makes You Feel Like a Failure
Even though I know that, logically, these thoughts are irrational, it doesn't mean that I can just turn them off and simply stop thinking them. Instead, there are strategies that are helpful:
- Acknowledge that these intrusive thoughts exist. I've always tried to fight against these types of thoughts, but what I've found is actually more helpful is acknowledging that these thoughts, in fact, exist. Trying to stop thinking these thoughts only makes them louder. Acknowledging they exist allows me to work on dealing with them.
- Remind yourself that you are in control of your own perspective. You have control over how you see things; your anxiety doesn't have control over you. I have found it extremely helpful to remind myself of this. This simple reminder can allow you to feel more in control instead of the feeling of being out of control that can often accompany anxiety.
- Practice self-compassion. Be patient with yourself. When you know that you have these thoughts of feeling like a failure, you have a tendency to beat yourself up over mistakes, and you experience overthinking and over-worrying. Don't feel as though you need to change these things overnight. Recognize that you are human and that working on breaking down these thoughts, improving your resilience, and boosting your confidence takes time, intention, and self-care.
If anxiety makes you feel like a failure, and there are strategies you use to help you, please share them in the comments below.
Bermio-Gonzalez, R. (2022, June 7). When Anxiety Makes You Feel Like a Failure, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, September 21 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/treatinganxiety/2022/6/when-anxiety-makes-you-feel-like-a-failure