When working on my own, how do I set goals? I often encounter failure.
Maybe you are not realizing that even if you do not complete the goal you have done something. Many phobia sufferers are perfectionists. They feel that if they don’t complete the whole task perfectly it is a total failure. The only failure is in not trying at all. Each small step can be a success. For instance, if you are working on shopping in a store, first drive there and park. The next time get out of the car and look in the windows. Then enter the store but don’t try to purchase anything. The next time buy just a few items, and so on. Gradually enter the store until it becomes comfortable and routine.
Plan what to do if your anxiety begins to rise-accepting the feelings and doing something realistic and manageable in the present. Also remember it is very important to compliment yourself for having done something, however small you may consider it to be. Some days will be better than others. Even if you feel depressed, try to do something and give yourself credit for having done it. After all, you could have stayed at home and not tried at all.
Is it common for phobic people to have thoughts of losing control?
Yes, this is very common with people who suffer with phobias. They fear they will “lose control,” embarrass themselves, or act in an irrational manner (e.g. screaming, running away).
The phobic person doesn’t usually carry out any of these thoughts. It is alright to have these thoughts. It is what you do and how you react to them that matters. Try to accept them as just thoughts-let them come and then let them go. Try to remember the many times you have had these thoughts and haven’t lost control.
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