Home Anxiety Why Am I Unable to Enjoy Things I Look Forward to?

Why Am I Unable to Enjoy Things I Look Forward to?

by Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

From a teen in the U.S.: I only ever have a desire to do something. I never want to actually do it.When I am looking forward to anything from eating food to watching TV to being with friends, I have this thing where I desire it up until the point where I can get it at which point I don’t want it at all.

Here is an example. I’ll look forward to my favorite show all week waiting for a new episode. I’ll be super excited but on the day of release I will be lackluster and not even wanting to watch it. The day after I’ll be bummed that I didn’t watch it because now I really want to. This happens with everything as I said but TV is a good example. It’s just a really annoying thing my mind does and I kind of want to know if there is a fix for it that could help because it impacts some very important parts of my life.

It’s possible that you have created a way to never be disappointed. By never following through, you can’t be let down. Of course, you can’t be delighted by a positive experience either but, apparently, that’s a sacrifice you are willing to make to avoid being disappointed.

So I wonder: Why is disappointment so toxic to you? I’m sure your rational self knows that disappointment is a big part of life. Sometimes it’s because we have unrealistic expectations about people or an experience or an activity. Sometimes other people aren’t able to live up to what they promise or what we expect. Sometimes we aren’t able to pull off what we thought we could.

When thought about carefully, disappointment is a very important learning opportunity. We learn what we need to learn. We learn whether someone else is really friend or lover material or someone to keep at a distance. We learn what we like and don’t like.

If you keep avoiding things that just might not be all they are cracked up to be, you will deprive yourself of that important self-education.

Do your best to force yourself to follow through on what you want to do. Watch how you react to what happens. If you find that you are so anxious you can’t stand the idea of doing it again, it would probably be helpful to consider seeing a therapist for a few sessions to get to the bottom of what is so frightening to you.

I hope you will take steps to resolve this issue so you can enjoy life to the fullest.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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