Because I got a lot of praise from my parents when I was a kid when I did things well and saw their disappointment when I didn't, I internalised the idea that I must always do well or people wouldn't like me.
The fact that my parents continued to like me even when I did screw up somehow escaped my notice!
I also burdened myself with a whole load of unnecessary emotional weight, which I might talk about at some point, but I want to keep this short so I'll skip it for now.
Somehow, through the years, this feeling that I should always perform to the best of my ability morphed into: "If I do things badly, I'm useless and no good to anyone." Of course this all or nothing thinking made me afraid of doing things badly for fear of the consequences. At best I procrastinated until the very last minute so that I could say, "Oh, I had to do it in a rush. If it's not very good, it's because I didn't have enough time," thus absolving myself of any blame. At worst, I became afraid to try anything new for fear of doing it wrong and looking stupid.
Anyway, as a result of working through Feeling Good and reconciling the things the book says with thoughts I'd been having previously, I have identified a lot of distorted thinking processes that I need to unravel and a few completely unnecessary emotional burdens that I need to dispose of. I have more or less finished the first read of the book, but I'm going to go back to the beginning and go through again more slowly, pulling out the bits that will work for me to I can concentrate on them.
In other news, the weather here is gorgeous, thus helping my mood and encouraging me to exercise, which in turn helps my mood. Virtuous circle! Hurrah!
It's also a new month, so I have a new theme for my 365 photo-a-day project. For March I'll be doing "black and white".