For the First Time, I’m Afraid to Fail

I can’t remember a time when I feared failure. If I wanted to do something I just did it, and pushed ahead until it didn’t work out and I learned something, or it did work and…yay.

I fear failure now, and I have no idea what to do about it.

I meditated on it for a while this evening, because something has really been bothering me for a few days and I couldn’t identify what. I no longer have unidentifiable anxiety, it comes from somewhere, and with enough time and attention on it I can figure it out.

If you’re early on in the process of learning to manage PTSD or if you are recently aware that you may experience PTSD, this is where seeing a therapist or counselor can be really beneficial. They can help you identify what you’re experiencing and how to deal with it. They can also help you learn tools so that you can tolerate facing and processing causes of anxiety that may be linked to trauma.

This time, it turns, out I’m afraid to fail, and when I dig a little deeper, it is a lot about boundaries at work. I spent enough years in abusive work situations in which I was constantly pushed over my professional abilities and stress tolerance that I now have a really hard time with boundaries at work. I don’t like to say no, I can’t do something. I don’t like not having an immediate and helpful answer. I’ve been stretching myself over the limit again because those boundaries can be so hard to reestablish post-trauma.

So I’m afraid to fail, and by failing I mean failing clients, but maybe I really mean failing myself. I’m afraid to fail myself by not setting boundaries and by not maintaining my progress in establishing a healthier lifestyle that protects my well-being. And it’s terrifying to me…all coming from not trusting myself.

Trusting yourself post-trauma can be one of the hardest things you learn (or re-learn) to do, but it is part of managing PTSD successfully and it is part of getting you back. It’s part of getting me back, and a part that I am still working on.

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