Psychotherapy | Corinne Raskind

Anxiety, Depression, and the Fantasy of Success

We live in a country that prides itself on achievement. We live in the most powerful place in the world with the biggest cars and the biggest houses. We drive on big open roads and we are taught in school that you must achieve. We have to achieve, and keep achieving, or else we will perish. We grow up watching Disney movies of people, just like us, lost and searching for their identity. They work hard and triumph over struggle leading them to who they are. 

So we go to school, we try to figure out the world, and we do our best. Hoping and praying that we will make it. We want that big house and that big car, driving on our open roads- showing off our success. Because success means that we are good enough. But what if you have never felt good enough? What if you have hoped and prayed your whole life that you were good enough.  You set out to prove to yourself and others that you are worthy of love and happiness, but you find that achievements and successes were never enough to fill that doubt inside of you. 

So you keep searching for more. More achievements and more successes. We consume more, too. More food, more media, more technology, and more substances. We look for more likes and better images, but we are never fulfilled.  

We then feel lost because nobody taught us how to deal with life when the Disney movie ended. Nobody taught us how to hold onto our identity and good enoughness when more hurdles come our way. We make an achievement and that holds us temporarily, but then life happens. We become depressed because we cannot find what we are searching for. We are anxious because we do not know if it exists. 

So we look to our relationships to pull us out of our depression and make us feel happy, but of course that is a trap within itself. One person cannot hold up to the impossible task that we put them up to. The task of making us believe that we are good enough. We have to see it and believe it for ourselves to know that it can come from others. 

We try to do more to ease our anxiety of not believing we are worthy. We hope that accomplishing our “lists” will fulfill this, but the list is never done, thus never ending is our doubt. 

Success and achievement is a fantasy that we use to tell ourselves that we are good enough. The question is why were we never good enough in the first place? This is the starting point of reflection so that we can start to heal. So that we do not break ourselves trying to be the best only to find it was never what we really needed. So that we do not rely on the fallibility of others and can come to appreciate our own inadequacies. We have to reflect within ourselves so that we can actually enjoy our success and find fulfillment for what and who we have in front of us.

Don't Be Afraid To Reach Out