Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, see our mental health web guide which can point you to expert advice.

Fear of success

(7 Posts)
ScottOfTheArseAntics Thu 03-Jan-13 12:28:12

Sorry to hear about your sister and that she blamed you for her problems - which was neither a fair nor rational thing to do but understandable I suppose. None of it was your fault and I would hope that deep down your sister knew that.

Counselling can be useful in identifying those issues and beliefs and that hold us back but it sounds like you have the root of the problem sussed already, now it's just a matter of breaking the ingrained fears and patterns so that you can be true to yourself and enjoy the rewards that your abilities and efforts deserve without feeling guilty. I think that you could achieve this without counselling.

For me it happened organically through work and through having no choice but to take on tasks and responsibilities that I had always thought were way beyond me. It was a case of feel the fear and do it anyway. It has taken about two years to get to the point where I feel that I have redefined myself and can basically disregard all the 'programming' of my childhood and adolescence.

mumincov Thu 03-Jan-13 07:59:11

And I'm sorry you got it too. Parents can be really stupid to be honest.

mumincov Thu 03-Jan-13 07:59:10

And I'm sorry you got it too. Parents can be really stupid to be honest.

mumincov Thu 03-Jan-13 07:57:26

Thanks for the replies. I know my sister resented me because she at times openly blamed me for her problems. Unfortunately she died 4 years ago so there's not much I can do to attempt a reconciliation.

I had CBT a few years ago but unfortunately don't have that kind of time or money any more. However just getting this out in the open is really helpful thanks.

ScottOfTheArseAntics Wed 02-Jan-13 14:11:50

I agree that counselling may help you. I feel for you because I recognize some of what you say. My mother used to run revision sessions with my sister and myself twice a year ahead of our biannual school exams. God it was excruciating. Like you my sister was exceedingly academic and clever whilst I was terrible at retaining information and regurgitating it in revision sessions and indeed exams. I well remember my mother's frustration. She would routinely knock me on the head with her fist and tell me I was as 'thick as two short planks'. It took me years to believe I wasn't stupid and I can well see how the situation might happen in reverse (sort of) for you. What I would say though is that I never, ever resented my sister for being bright. In fact I remember mostly feeling relieved that at least one of us was pleasing my mum. I have always been very proud of my sister's achievements and love to see her succeed. I am sure your friends and colleagues would feel exactly the same for you. You just need to let yourself feel proud of your own abilities. Good luck with it.

jessjessjess Wed 02-Jan-13 09:18:37

I honestly think you might benefit from some sort of counselling or CBT as you need to undo a lifetime's habits. Knowing you need or want to change perspective and doing it are two different things, as your neural pathways will have developed in a specific way over time and you can't just magically unlearn that conditioning as much as you want to.

mumincov Wed 02-Jan-13 00:28:53

I wasn't sure if this was the right place but here goes - might be better in AIBU!!

I have a bit of a problem in that I get frightened off from improving myself or my situation in case it hurts other people. Mostly these days it's only a problem in work, because if I find myself in any kind of direct competition or look like I'm going to stand out, then I choke. However I've noticed it when playing sport too (not that I do much sport at all really).

I know where a lot of the anxiety comes from as my childhood was quite difficult. I was pretty bright as a kid, my younger sisters were more average. My dad used to tutor me with my nearest younger sister, and would scream/shout/whack you if you got something wrong or couldn't answer. I was two years ahead in school and naturally good at maths. I got stuff right, she didn't. I was too much of a wuss to fluff so that I got some of it, so just had to sit feeling sick willing her to match up to me, which she mostly couldn't. To be honest, it was one of the only times I got respite, but it didn't stop me feeling incredibly guilty.

I also got picked on/left out at school for being the nerdy teachers pet, prize for this or that etc etc. I even used to get hate mail in secondary school, and though I'm not sure exactly who it was I suspected a friend.

The difficulty is I'm very driven, and I am still fairly bright. So I end up in this really unhappy sticking point where I'm asked to deliver and/or have pushed myself forward, but can't because I instinctively pull back and choke. It's OK if I'm working alongside people and can let them take the credit, but not if it looks like I might upstage someone I work with.

Yes I know I'm not all that and probably nowhere near as good as I think but somehow it's still a problem.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now