I’m a Real Life Failure to Launch

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Ism 23 years old a female still live with my mom and currently no job and have never had my license I always say I’ll get it but i never have and I can’t explain why til yesterday… Iam terrified. Yesterday I was on my way to a very promising interview and was so scared I can’t explain it I was panicking inside but we got lost on the way there and I crazily enough was happy because I didn’t have to face what was so scary, I’m still not sure what it was that had me so scared. I have tried getting my license and failed twice and each time it’s hard to deal with I hate failing so I guess I have allowed myself to stop trying. I have self esteem issues because of these things I avoid my friends cause I’m embarrassed by this that I’m still where I was when I was in high school I want to change I do I just don’t know how to stop myself from sabotaging myself! I know the problem is me so why can’t I make it stop? My mom is fed up with this behavior and I hate disappointing her please help!

A. Fear and anxiety seem to be your biggest issues. They are holding you back in life. When your anxiety level spikes, you flee the situation. Every time you flee a high-anxiety situation, you inadvertently make your anxiety worse. That is the progressive nature of anxiety. Without intervention, it tends to become worse.

You describe your behavior as being self-sabotaging. I take that expression to mean that you are not forcing yourself to do difficult things because of your fears. In that regard, it is self-sabotage because running away from difficult or anxiety-producing situations only reinforces and strengthens your fears.

Anxiety is treatable. There are effective interventions that could help you. I would highly recommend counseling. Cognitive behavioral therapy is quite effective, as are other types of treatments. Medication might also help to reduce your anxiety. Many people find that the combination of medication and psychotherapy works best for anxiety problems.

The best way to overcome one’s fears is to face them. In everyday practice, that would mean consistently enduring and tolerating anxiety-producing situations rather than fleeing them. But there’s no reason to do this alone. Professional help can expedite the intervention process and provide support that will help you to overcome your fears.

At 23, you are still very young. You are not that far away from where you want to be. Based on what you wrote, your goals are to get your driver’s license and get a job. With treatment, those are very achievable goals. It might only take a few counseling sessions for you to begin to get your anxiety under control. At that point, you might feel ready to do the things that you have been wanting to do. I wish you the best of luck. Please take care. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 23 May 2014

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2014). I’m a Real Life Failure to Launch. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 21, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2014/05/23/im-a-real-life-failure-to-launch/