Paralysed by Fear

In my head I know all the right steps to take, but I am paralysed by fear. Fear of rejection, fear of failure, fear of not being good enough. I know I shouldn’t care because what could be the worse that could happen – fail again? Be insulted and told I am no good. Feel dejected and have my low self esteem plummet even further. Perhaps I should rid myself of ego. Without an ego you wouldn’t fear failure as much.

It’s easy to motivate yourself reading certain quotes or watching videos by Tony Robbins, but that motivation doesn’t blast away your fears permanently. I am still stuck in a rut. Especially in the dark night as I lay restless in bed I berate myself at having wasted another day. The terror I feel at a bleak future is insurmountable. But when morning comes I feel a sense of hope again.

I am being evasive in this post (to protect myself as I still feel a great amount of shame of not achieving what I always took for granted I would at a younger age). I have never done anything morally wrong in my life (the one thing I feel proud of) so it’s absurd that I feel this kind of shame. I think it’s the society we live in, especially in Singapore, that puts so much emphasis on material success and status that comes from vocations or work titles. It’s quite a toxic environment and the key reason why people are unhappy about even more people squeezing together and our government making this competitive place (long working hours) even more competitive (I feel this translates to lower pay for more hours especially for those in the lower rungs). We are like rats running on the wheel and never getting anywhere.

In terms of Maslow’s hierarchy it is hard to achieve self actualization when the basic needs are not met. For instance things like healthcare. We have medisave and for that I am grateful but I worry about not being able to pay medical insurance premiums. I worry about falling sick in old age and in a way hope I don’t live too long (is that horrible or what?). The worse thing to me is to be dependent. I know people who have been devastated by huge medical bills for chronic illnessess. But the insurance premiums too keep inching up with age – just when you can’t afford to pay them.

I write this for myself and for anyone out there who is feeling that same. I am sure many of us can relate to failing and then not wanting to try again due to the devastating feeling of loss and how it’s hurt our self esteem.

I can be remarkably happy at times. Times when I forget and loose myself in the moment (live for just that day), but to be honest, my self-esteem is often at rock bottom.

I just need to find a way out of this rut.

Perhaps slow and steady like the tortise. (I’m at a slightly better place this year than last)

Inch by inch.

About bookjunkie

Blogging about life in Singapore helps me survive the mid-life crisis
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10 Responses to Paralysed by Fear

  1. Kirsten says:

    I read somewhere that, contrary to popular belief, feelings can actually FOLLOW actions. For example, if you ACT confident, you will gradually begin to feel more confident. I wasn’t aware of this at the time but looking back I think I have done this, and it has worked.

  2. Mel says:

    I am a worry wart myself, i think i can relate to some of what you are going through. Keep your mind occupied and stay strong. 😉

  3. verena says:

    in Singapore, and I believe many other cities in the world today, it’s always a toss-up between needs and wants. i too wished i could take things a little slower, quit my job and perhaps lead a simpler life but the realities of life creep in, bills and of course the need to have a roof over my head, etc. not to mention what you said about how people seem to measure “success” in a certain yardstick.

    that said… i hope you will continue to strive on with what you have planned to do, and i’m sure the right doors will open for you soon! all the best!! 🙂

  4. Katrijn says:

    There are all these great quotes about how you’re stuck with you so you might as well like yourself and all that. It’s all true. And then there’s the sleepless night, the horror story about a friend of a friend who’s just like you, the old school mate who has achieved the things you once thought you wanted too, and, poof, there goes all your rationally, carefully built-up self esteem out the door again. At least, that’s how it works for me.

    Be like the tortoise. Built up that self-esteem, a brick at a time. And when the poof goes, hide as many bricks as you can inside your strong, hardy shell. And those quotes – they are true, after all. You will spend the rest of your life with you – you might as well enjoy it. 🙂

    • bookjunkie says:

      That’s how it is for me too. It’s rather hard to built up the self-esteem. I really do have to think of it – one brick at a time.

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