What fuels my fear of not being good enough?
As some of you are aware, I have been developing Bearapy – bear therapy to help those with depression and anxiety issues. This is a project I have been working on in Beijing, and the first step was to start a Support Group for those who have gone through depression, and for those stressed out and needed a safe haven to vent and voice out their concerns. I had hoped to experiment with play therapy techniques, using psychological projection onto objects, to help others find their comfortable boundaries through which they could tackle their vulnerabilities.
Last week, CCTV News International broadcasted an interview with yours truly on how I was developing Bearapy to help with depression.
Initially I was thrilled. Yet, after watching the 3 minute clip, all I could think of was how my face was too fat, how I said “umm” too many times, how I was not concise or eloquent in answering the reporter’s questions… I did nothing but criticize myself for not having done a good enough job!
Within a few hours of my sharing this broadcast clip on my social media channels, I got a flood of encouraging response from my friends. I had not expected but some of them forwarded on the link to their network. Even more astonishing for me, was that I received a few friends who I had known for a while opened up and told me their experience in depression. Moreover, I received messages from strangers who had seen the clip.
So if I had touched one person, raised some awareness towards the issue of depression, that should be enough, right? Then why this diffidence? Why could I not simply pat myself on the back, and congratulate myself for taking another baby step to progress my project? Why could I not be happy that I had helped someone – which was the ultimate goal of anything I was doing?
This fear of not being good enough drove me to overachieve obscenely in the past. The last few year’s introspection has led me to understand why I force myself to achieve – arrogance, dread of disappointing others and myself, search for independence to make my own decisions away from my parents and the education system in which I was brought up…
All summed up, all these above fears were because of I felt I was never good enough. However, what drives this fear of not being good enough?
Now that I have identified this fear, what should I do? How do I go about alleviating myself from the pressure I exert on myself, or to manage the fear?
Treat yourself better. Stop talking to yourself the way you do. Break the pattern.
If it wasn’t you in the screen, would you judge the person the way you’re judging yourself? No. You would probably admire that person because they’re dedicating their time to helping others. Unconsciously you would be asking yourself “What’s great about that person?”, you wouldn’t ask “How will others look at that person, what will they think about him or her?”.
What I want to bring with that is 2 important actionable habits that hopefully might help you: what you focus on, and the questions you ask yourself.
How brain is very funny. When you focus on something, you only see that around you. And when you’re asking a question, it will come with an answer. It’s that simple.
So it’s very important to CHOOSE wisely (yes, it’s a choice, you have to make the decision) what you want to focus on (I’ve written an article on that on my blog) and the questions you ask yourself (a article will be coming on that).
How many times you’ve been blocked on something and you’re asking yourself how will you solve the issue, and something pops up under the shower or when you wake up? Probably many times. That’s your brain at work. Use it correctly.
If you keep asking why you can’t be happy even if you help people, your brain will find references. If you ask yourself why you CAN be happy while you’re helping people, you brain will find references. It’s just a matter of asking the right questions.
Also, something I find useful to break the patterns before it starts to snowball. I picture the memory in my head in an outrageous way. For example let’s say someone has been rude to me and the scene starts repeating in my head. I deliberately dress everyone as clowns, with big red noses and big shoes, and I make the voices sounds like cartoons. It makes me laugh and smile. And the pattern is broken. The memory associated to the event is now recorded in my brain as something funny and doesn’t bother me anymore. Maybe in your case you can make your head so fat that it’s just a big balloon floating in the air, on top of the buildings, flying with birds. Find whatever breaks the pattern and make you record the event as something enjoyable and not a trauma.
My 2 usual cents!
I couldn’t see the video earlier, something like it’s not available in my country. But I’ve found it on youtube. It’s great! I watched it once and thought it was great. Then I watched a second time to try to notice what you’ve describing and that you didn’t like, and I couldn’t see it. So…
Got both your comments and thanks. Good food for thought. And yes we usually judge ourselves much harsher than others. It’s time to break the pattern!
As expressed on your SM page, the CCTV short clip was remarkable. Remarkable as it was frankly looking at a situation that so many are experiencing and for this alone it is remarkable.
Now, the subject of your blog here triggers me to mention a book I have read lately which is about our egoic mind. This book titled ‘’from stress to Stillness’’ from the author Gina Lake, is recommendable in a sense that it explains, in a very clear and succinct way, where this too easily accepted muddled Ego mind notion comes from. This book presents where the Ego is ”located” in our brain and how it behaves and why it does behave the way it does and thus the way we do… The subject of this book is right on what you are expressing here…
The book is available electronically at Amazon as a Kindle book.
Rest assure that in the view of many, your ‘’performance’’ during this CCTV show was healthful and outstanding. You have sowed many seeds that will now grow and eventually flourish…
Thank you for being natural…
Thanks for the encouragement. I have yet to look up the book but have marked it down in my to-do list. It sounds interesting, especially as I’m studying psychology of decisions in my course too and how it affects our decisions in the corporate world too!!!
I hope what I do will continue to inspire a few others out there. thanks for always being a loyal reader and friend
Are you doing better Noch? Don’t go too long between posts.
yup much better… just posted a new one a few days ago. thanks for checking in Jim 🙂
Do you think it was fear of not being good enough that got to Robin Williams?
Not sure – I don’t know much about Robin Williams to comment…
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