Overthinking vs. Reality

As somebody with anxiety and depression, overthinking is something I do on a daily basis. I will play scenarios over in my head wondering where I went wrong. I ask myself why I did whatever it was and why I can never seem to get things right.

Lately I’ve been feeling like I’m making mistake after mistake at work. It seems like no matter how hard I try to get it right, I mess up and probably disappoint my boss.

She had sought me out for this job almost a year ago. She created a new position for me because she wanted me on her staff. But I feel like now she is likely regretting doing so. I imagine her asking herself why she went out of her way to bring me on when I turned out to be a failure.

I have been worried for weeks that she wants to fire me. That all of my mistakes have piled up too high so it’s time to topple them down on top of me by letting me go. My other coworkers seem to have it all together, that none of them struggle with fucking up like I do.

We all know perfection isn’t attainable. Perfection is a goal that none of us can achieve. I’m fully aware of this but I still can’t help but kick myself for making mistakes. I still want to cry and hide under the covers of my bed when I make an error. I still want to shout at myself in the mirror, asking why I can’t be perfect.

I don’t think the fear of being fired, upsetting others and making mistakes will ever be something I overcome. They may seem silly on the outside but to me they are real, terrifying fears.

What makes all of this extra annoying is that it may all be in my head. Overthinking is my reality but it is not always what is real.

Do you struggle with wanting to be perfect? How do you work through making mistakes? How do you bring yourself back to Earth when you’re overthinking?

Also please leave a comment telling me one good thing that’s happened to you in 2020! ☺️

27 Replies to “Overthinking vs. Reality”

  1. I struggle with these same issues. It is paralyzing. I’m not sure how to overcome it. I also don’t know why i need perfection validation. And 2020 has been a crap shoot so nothing there

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    1. It is paralyzing!! That’s a perfect way to describe it. I recently read that striving for perfection can be a result of feeling inadequate. For me I think that is true. ☹️☹️ I hope something positive happens in these last few months for you. Even if it’s something small like eating your favorite meal

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  2. What you describe is exactly how I feel, and it creeps into my relationship with my boyfriend. I drive him mad i think! I try to use ‘ocean breath’ in the moment to ground me a little.
    2020 has been a shitty year for me too I’m afraid – a positive would be that I feel I’m coping better with mental health issues, even if it doesn’t feel like it all the time!

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    1. We are definitely riding in the same boat with that! I think my boyfriend also gets annoyed with the overthinking. They may not understand what we are experiencing which can make talking about it difficult. I’m happy to hear youve been coping better with your mental health!!! That’s a huge accomplishment!

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  3. Perfectionism is heavily rooted in feeling inadequate – in feeling like you’re not good enough. I too have suffered in a very similar way. Failure always hurts – even for those who don’t have low self esteem – I think the big difference is it doesn’t cripple them because they understand that failing is part of life – it doesn’t define you. We’ve been falling down from day 1 – we didn’t care as children – it’s only because we started to believe there is something fundamentally wrong with us that it started to hurt so much more. For me this understanding has been a big help. To not fear my feelings so much – to understand where they come from but do what I have to regardless. I believe this is what courage is. To stand up and do what you have, what you know is right regardless of how you feel. If you ask me what helps – I remind myself of why I’m doing what I do – I remind myself of the family I’m trying to support – the people I’m trying to help through my work – I keep the thoughts off me and about them.

    In answer to your other question – my wife and I are expecting another child – so thats the best news for me from 2020. The baby is due January 2021 – let’s hope that kicks off a much better year!

    Wishing you all the best, AP2 🙏

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    1. Thank you so much for your insight! I appreciate it!! Congratulations on the new baby!! I hope your wife and baby are staying healthy and everything goes well for you all

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  4. It may be Megan that is worrying about these issues rather than Megan’s boss. Megan’s boss is probably perfectly happy with your work. Have you discussed it?
    When people tell me I seem a calm and together sort of person I look round to see who they are talking about. But I am slowly and belatedly learning that I was always as good as everyone else, they were just better at believing in themselves. Which I guess is the same thing AP2 has said above.

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    1. The thought of talking to my boss about my performance makes me want to hide under my bed like a mouse. I like how you phrased that though. It is hard to see myself as equal to others sometimes. Thank you for commenting!

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  5. i think stepping back and taking some time out for yourself is important.
    Remember, there’s no such thing as perfectionism, its BS!
    I was in a situation like this in an office job years ago, i was so concerned with how others viewed my work that i couldn’t even work properly. I guess its a trap we fall into and takes some time to unravel. Take some time out!

    2020 actually hasn’t been so bad for myself despite everything! I’ve come to terms with a lot of things in regard to my illness.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s ridiculous how stifling overthinking and worrying can be. It can be hard to work when one’s mind is frantic. Stepping back sounds like a good idea, thank you. I’m glad to hear you’ve come to terms with your illness! That is a big accomplishment!

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    1. I’m sad to hear 2020 has been so rough for you. I hope at least one positive thing (even if it’s small) happens to you over the next couple months.

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  6. “Overthinking is my reality but it is not always what is real.” This is right on point! Overthinking is what I do best. When I get in a spiral of overthinking I try to distract myself, do grounding exercises or just try and tell myself the reasons why my worries are not realistic. Easier said than done of course.
    One good thing that’s happened in 2020 is my dog had surgery for a ruptured disc and was paralyzed but he has learned to walk again!!

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    1. It can be so hard to reason with myself when I’m overthinking. It distorts reality and I’m usually not sure what is real and what’s in my head. Grounding exercises sound helpful! Omg that’s great news about your dog!! I hope he continues to heal and he’s able to walk well again soon!

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  7. I know this all too well! I thought that leaving my office job (which was making me miserable and triggered my anxiety to come back stronger than it’s been in a while) would solve my brain but it obviously did not haha It was wishful thinking, trying to put the blame elsewhere…

    But yes, so I’ve been self-employed for a while now and trying to build my own small business. I have been struggling a lot with a quest for perfection when it comes to the art and the handmade products that I am making for my shop.

    How I’ve been dealing with it though is not by reminding myself that my art and myself are good enough (& even more than just that) but by reminding others. Spreading love can often help me feel better… Even on dark days if I can manage to at least make one person smile or encourage them to be who they are, it can help a lot even it’s not a remedy.
    I’ve been trying to write about it on my blogs as well, as advice to others to embrace their mistakes and not put so much pressure on themselves because they are already doing so good. But really it’s mostly for me to read and remember haha

    But yeah as an artist & a musician with anxiety, I am like my own worse enemy with such high standards & expectations, a tendency for perfectionism and a brain that looooves playing along and just tap dancing on the knives that I carefully place on my own brain. x)

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  8. This is so relatable. How often do I overthink something to the point of a panic attack only to find out that it was never a big deal in reality, only in my head? If only I could learn.

    One great thing about 2020: I bought a house 🙂

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  9. Hi Megan,
    My name is Andrea and I am also bipolar and struggle with depression and anxiety. Thank you for sharing your experience in this post. When I am feeling overwhelmed, over-anxious, or overly depressed, my number one thing to deal with it and feel better is meditation. Not only can I find the answers to my own questions in my own brain when I do this, I find it provides me spiritual and practical guidance. Being calm, focused, and quiet really has a way of opening up your heart and mind to your inner self. I usually learn something new every time. Plus, meditation has been scientifically proven to be of benefit to those of us with mental health issues and those without alike. It’s almost like prayer. Scientifically proven benefits in both situations, but it’s all in your head. This is just one idea I have. A little time for wellness and self-awareness.

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    1. I’m happy you enjoyed my post and that you found meditation as a positive way to calm your anxious mind. Meditation can be very relaxing when one takes the time to do it. Thank you for commenting!

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  10. I like the way you put down your thoughts. I’m experiencing recurring insomnia because I’m anxious from those things I see when I close my eyes. Fortunately, I have imagination to fall back on. When I can’t face my life, I’ll make a character and a world, so I can better explain reality through stories I made up in my head. And that’s the upside of 2020, I guess.
    The things that give me hope are things that aren’t real. The irony

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    1. Thank you, Seazy!! I love the idea of creating an entire world in your head. Sometimes fictions, fantasy and the stories in our head are what keep us sane☺️

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  11. That’s really bad feeling to keep thinking of what mistake happened and face it too. Mine is other way. I had been finding ways to get over overthinking too. As you said playing different scenarios , yes for me playing those different scenarios multiple times is something I want to get rid off. 😦 At times those scenarios are what makes me happy (laugh out loud) at the same time, these scenarios can never become reality which is the most disappointing thing too.

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