My name is Sam Vaknin, and I am the author of Malignant Self-Love, Narcissism Revisited.
We all try to replicate and reenact our successes. We feel comfortable and confident doing what we do best and what we do most often. We enshrine our oft-repeated tasks and our cumulative experiences as habits.
When we are asked to adopt new skills and confront unprecedented tasks, we recoil, procrastinate or delegate, in other words, pass the buck.
Performance anxiety is common, but mostly so among narcissists.
Narcissists need to defend their grandiosity, they are hypervigilant, they expect the world to be hostile, they expect attacks on their claims for magnificence, unificence, perfection and brilliance. They feel like frauds, and they suspect that they can pull the wool over most people's eyes most of the time, but not all the time, so they are constantly anxious to be found out.
But there is a deeper issue at stake.
Someone who keeps failing, as most narcissists do, is rendered very good at it. He becomes adept at the art of floundering, an expert on fissile and blunder and artist of the sleep.
The more dismal the defeats, the more familiar the terrain of losses and botched attempts.
Failure is the loser's comfort zone, and most narcissists are losers.
The narcissist uses projective identification to coerce people around him to help him revert to form, to fail. Such a loser will aim to recreate time and again his only accomplishment, his spectacular downfalls, his thwarted skins, and his harebrained strategists.
A slave to a repetition compulsion, the narcissistic loser finds the terror incognito of success intimidating. He raps his precious aborted flops in a mantle of an ideology.
Narcissist is likely to say that success is an evil, and that all successful people are crooks or the beneficiaries of some quirky fortune.
Of the narcissistic loser, his miscarriages and deterioration are a warm blanket, underneath which he hides himself from a hostile world.
Fear is a powerful and addictive organizing principle, which imbues life itself with meaning and predictability, and allows the loser to make sense of his personal history.
Being a loser is an identity, and losers are proud of it as they recount with honor their mishaps with fortune and with institutes.