Social Anxiety Support Forum banner
1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In the self-help book I'm reading, I'm to the part where you need to establish your "core fear" so that it can be addressed. What are you *really* afraid of, deep down, at a core level?

The example used in the book was: a man had to take classes at work that involved group participation, which was much different from his job. He became pre-occupied with "messing up" when it was his turn to answer, or read aloud, etc. He saw a therapist about this because it was taking over his life and his ability to concentrate at work. The therapist wanted to establish what he was really afraid of, and it went like this:

messing up in class = terrible embarrassment = losing control of himself which may cause a scene = being reprimanded by superiors = losing his job = losing income = having to move back in with parents = feeling like a failure

As we can see that's not a very likely scenario but it's the real life example used in the book I'm reading. His fears of losing his job and feeling like a failure if he lost control of his emotions due to embarrassment were his core fears.

I'm trying to determine my own now, and having a bit of difficulty, so would appreciate hearing some of your core fears, if anyone knows what they are.
 

·
Fitting In Here & There
Joined
·
808 Posts
My core fear: Not being able to take care of myself via a career where I do some good in the world, which would mean I failed at life and should never have been born. :|

PS. What's the book you're reading?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
88 Posts
That's a tough one for me. I believe, for me, it's never amounting to anything because I can't handle being around other people. The anxiety is too much. I think it stems from the bad experiences I've had and now I just do not know how to deal with anything.

What book are you reading?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The book I'm reading is Painfully Shy by Barbara Markway, PhD and Gregory Markway, PhD - it happened to be the only SA book in my local library, but the general recommendation came from www.anxieties.com which is a website I'd highly recommend for anyone with GAD or panic attacks. The methods on that website have made me panic free for 4 years and counting!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
50 Posts
I think more core fear is that people won't like the "real me," so I hide behind a persona all day. So, at its base, I think I am afraid of other people's opinions and acceptance of me.

But I'm not really sure. This is a tough question that requires something thinking.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
428 Posts
I think I fear not being good enough, or perhaps have already convinced myself I'm not, and now avoid all situations possible where that will be apparent to the rest of the world.
 

·
Geese
Joined
·
20,768 Posts
It has taken me awhile to work it out but I'm pretty convinced my core fear is simply rejection from the opposite sex and of course anxiety grew and mutated around that. it certainly makes sense when I think back to when my SA really began and the situations where I have had bad episodes since.

Funny (well not really) thing is I recently had a gf, she started working with me, we chatted and connected and it was gong really well until it became serious and BOOM my anxiety just out of the blue went insane, even though my fear of rejection was no longer and issue as I actually had someone.

Think it was probably then due to the anxiety and fears I had created around that core fear which set it off again, but it's hard to really understand. Curse these complex minds of ours!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
105 Posts
my core fear is the fear of being ridiculed by others and therefore being seen as inferior to them. I realise this is unlikely in most situations but it's a hangover from school days. Back in high school some people thought it was so funny to ridicule my every word and purposely disagree with everything i said. I cant seem to shake this off, even though i know most people are not like this. I didn't use to have SA until this started hapenning and im determined not to let those people ruin the rest of my life.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
64 Posts
ive heard this be described as an anxiety hierarchy before and i would have many different ones for different social interactions...i guess my core fear is anything associated with a job eg. 1. thinking bout looking for a job. 2 looking for a job online. 3. going to a jobcentre to look for a job. 4. talking to someone bout looking for a job. 5. applying for a job over phone. 6. applying for a job in person 7. the worst...INTERVIEWS!! im panicking now!!

anyone else relate to this??
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
529 Posts
If I try new things/put myself out there = rejection/Looking &/or feeling like fool/Less than/Not being accepted/
A waste of space/Human garbage/no value/disposable/unwanted = Just good for being Used & abused & thrown away =
Being a failure = homicide/suicide = locked up/fast death


If I don't try = feel like a failure = slow death/insanity with Slow Ride by Foghat playing in my head

idk just a little bummed. definitely something to ponder on though. I'll have to read that book. good luck
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
165 Posts
It's better, for me anyway, to ask what DOESN'T scare me. :afr I seem to be afraid of just about anything. :afr Delveing into and listing all the things that I am afraid of is NOT the best way for me to start my day.

I'll just pass on this one. Good topic though. :yes
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,044 Posts
Cool idea. Probably easy to take it too far, though... everyone's fear can likely be reduced down to "I don't want to be a failure!". I know mine is basically that I'll never amount to anything and I'll still be too scared to kill myself.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Cool idea. Probably easy to take it too far, though... everyone's fear can likely be reduced down to "I don't want to be a failure!".
Perhaps, but not necessarily. See my post titled Core Fear Anxiety Hierarchy. I came up with 3 different core fears as related to 4 different situations.
Failure, as you stated - but also disappointing others and being different from others.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
289 Posts
Am i the only one that finds this silly? When my therapist did this with me it just seemed kinda dumb. Like a child saying "why? why? why?" endlessly...

When I get to that 'core fear' it seems far to simple for what I am actually feeling, and not all that accurate in the end.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Core fear...core fear...hmm, well, I'm pretty sure mine is rejection. I was always a very outgoing kiddo, and even into my teen years, I really didn't struggle much with anxiety problems. It all happened after I got married. My husband was very insecure and controling...he would degrade me every chance he got, and over a period of years, he was able to sort of brainwash me into thinking I was worthless and that no one else could ever love me. By the grace of God, I was able to gain the courage to divorce him. I thought my problems would be over, however; that certainly is not the case. I still deal with insecure feelings, and anxiety about how people see me. I haven't quite figured out how to move forward, and generally stay sad all the time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Am i the only one that finds this silly? When my therapist did this with me it just seemed kinda dumb. Like a child saying "why? why? why?" endlessly...

When I get to that 'core fear' it seems far to simple for what I am actually feeling, and not all that accurate in the end.
Ironically, asking "Why, why, why" is a great way to acquire new ideas. Yes it's similar to the technique employed by children when they are trying to attain information about the world around them and grasp understanding. It may be redundant and even "silly" to those that have a handle on their feelings surrounding SA; however, to those (such as myself) just starting to delve into WHY they are feeling this way - and just beginning to address the issue of SA its self it can be a great technique.

Before putting the spotlight on this problem I just kind of swept it under the rug for the past 10 years, didn't give it an ounce of thought, just avoided everything and everyone. I knew I was afraid "of people" but that information does not give me the tools I need to recover. Determining what is at the root of your fear gives you a great starting point - and that's exactly what some people need, a starting point.
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Top