Posted by: lola | 2008/06/20

panic, panic, panic...

Pls help I am being confronted with two situations I have run from for years. One is greater responsibility at work. I have always preferred to do easier jobs so I don't make mistakes and an utter fool of myself. The idea of failing on an important project and not meeting ppl's expectations terrifies me. But I've now been asked to do some very important stuff for the CEO and I am so panicky my mouth goes dry when I think of it. Pls pls advise how I shd cope. I keep hearing a very loud voice in my head saying I can't do the job and this just makes things worse.

Secondly I've not been in a relationship for 6 years, broken heart issues and lack of trust in men. But now a very handsome guy is interested in me. I am very panicky. He wants to see me every day whereas I would have preferred once a week just for coffee. We have gone on four dates but not kissed yet because I always back away when he comes close. We've hugged tho and that felt nice.
I am very nervous I will disappoint him somehow and so am trying not to get too close to him. Either my body will not be as nice as he thinks it is or I won't have the interesting mind he thinks I do. It doesn't help that he is so good looking I just falter when I see him and wonder why he isn't chatting up a woman whose looks at least match his.

how do I deal with these two situations. Its like two spotlights are being shone on me and I feel very exposed and vulnerable. My heart rate literally goes up and my mouth goes dry when i think of how i must deal with these issues.

help appreciated


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Our expert says:
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Sounds rather like a variety of social anxiety disorder, where the anxiety, though related to low self-esteem, relates mainly to being observed or scrutinized by others, and asuming that your work won't be good enough ( and of course, you wouldn't be given such important work unless your work was reliably good and they knew you could do it well ).
And the second problem, when you think about it, is really very similar --- based on low self-esteem and expectation of failure.
CBT and possibly also some medication, could probably help this a great deal --- both ways it is showing itself.
And what lovely, kindly and helpful responses from everyone else ! Thanks, folks !

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

Our users say:
Posted by: Rihanna | 2008/06/20

Dear Lola,

I understand exactly what you're going through.

I have also been fearful of challenges in my life and not succeeding. My very first fear was that of driving. Such a simple thing to so many, but I panicked. I learnt to drive automatic and now am faced with driving manual. I also changed jobs this year and took one that is far more chalenging than my admin position that I was in for years. You can't believe how scared I was of failing and making even small mistakes. It's so hard for me to make decisions sometimes, because I am too afraid that I will mess up. I have made a few mistakes now, but am actually learning from them, and realize that I am human and will make mistakes sometimes.

Lola, take one day at a time. Believe in yourself and tell yourself you can do it. I remind myself every day and have even put up motivational stuff in my office.

As for your relationship, be open and speak to the guy. Tell him you would like to take things a little slower and get to know him better. If he is genuine, he will understand. If you're comfortable talking to him, tell him about a bit of your anxieties, so that he gets a better understanding of how you feel.

Lola, my husband and I are worlds apart. He is good looking and people often compliment him. I on the other hand am short, over weight and still have acne. People always tell me that our children are beautiful and look just like their father. My husband always tells me that there is nothing wrong with me. He tells me I look beautiful and sexy. I don't think this of myself. When I complain of my body and the fat and stretch marks, he tells me to be proud as it is a mark of a woman who has had children.

Don't feel intimidated by this man. He sees something wonderful in you. Get to know him. You're probably very beautiful but don't see it yourself.

Good luck dear.

Reply to Rihanna
Posted by: Lin | 2008/06/20

Lola, I think you suffer from terrible low self esteem. Why don't you make an appointment with a counsellor/psychologist and work through your issues? Soon you'll see yourself for the wonderful capable person others seem to.

Reply to Lin
Posted by: Tanilani | 2008/06/20

Dear Lola

Obviously your seniors think that you are capable of handling the task they gave you, and must trust you. If they feel you can do it, then I am positive you will be able to, because they look at you and your abilities objectively and measure it against tasks you have performed in the past. To me it seems as if you have passed the test, and you must therefore put the same amount of trust in yourself as they have done. Just take it one step at a time, do not hesitate to ask if you are not sure about something, and before you know it, voila! job done sucsesfully!!
Same with the new relationship. This guy has definitely seen some qualities in you that he likes, and that he is interested in. He is interested in YOU and not in other ladies, so my dear, enjoy the attention! Take it slowly, and when he gives you compliments, believe them!

Reply to Tanilani
Posted by: Just Me | 2008/06/20

Taking things at your own pace is good...except if it is holding you back, and seriously limiting your daily ability to function 'normally'. You're clearly not happy with yourself right now. Your anxiety levels, and apparent low self esteem, are not doing you the slightest good.
I would suggest that you get yourself off to a Therapist asap, and do some work on yourself. This fine looking Fellow is probably just what the 'Doctor' ordered. Don't allow yourself to mess this one up...why would you want that for yourself? Yes, I know you probably can't 'see' all of this right now, being overwhelmed with anxiety etc. There is help for all of just need to accept that, and hand yourself over.
Getting the help you need will be the best 'investment' you ever make.
The bottom line here is this...your 'so called' problems will never just melt and go away if you don't address them. In fact they normally multiply, and get somewhat worse. Take the gap now, and get rid of the'll be soooo happy when your life starts turning around.
Hope this helps.

Reply to Just Me

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