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Keep your Chin Up

Dear Sugar
I hope that you can help me or give me some hope. I should have a lot of things to be thankful for in my life. I am dating a wonderful and caring man that loves me, I have fantastic friends who always support me, I am not in any kind of financial distress and I things are going well with my job. It would never appear as thought I have any real problems.

However, I do feel under emotional distress. My problem is that deep down, I am so hard on myself it is taking a serious toll on my life. If I make a simple mistake or if I don't live up to my own standards, I come down really hard on myself. When I actually do something right, I'm surprised myself because I expect to fail even though I wish to succeed.

I've tried reading self help books, magazines, even therapy. It helps temporarily, but it's not a lasting solution. I feel like such a loser and I can't really talk to anyone about this because I'm afraid I'll seem pathetic so I hold it all inside and just get moody. Is there anything you can suggest. I'd really appreciate your advice. Hard on Myself Heidi

To see DEARSUGAR's answer

Dear Hard on Myself Heidi
I am sorry you are feeling this way. It sounds like you are being extra hard on yourself, and you are letting your inner critic get the best of you. Is there a specific act or behavior that gets you down? It is great to want to reach your goals, but why do you always expect so much out of yourself?

Your sense of self confidence is developed during adolescence and changes throughout life experiences. Did you have an experience growing up where someone made you feel inadequate? Suffering from low self esteem can create feelings of; depression, anxiety, stress, and loneliness. Instead of being so hard on yourself, try concentrating on all of the amazing things that your boyfriend and your friends love about you.

Keeping all of your feelings bottled up inside is never a good idea for anyone. Although you mentioned that you have tried undergoing psychotherapy, I suggest giving it another shot and sticking with it, as you are not going to see results overnight.

Anti-anxiety, or anti-depressant medication might also be an option to explore with a psychiatrist. Your feelings are far from pathetic so try confiding in your supportive system of friends and family. Finding ways to cope with our inner demons and insecurities is the first step to overcoming them.

Join The Conversation
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 10 years
Why don't you find a good volunteer opportunity that you are really passionate about? Maybe if you spend some time connecting with people who aren't as fortunate as you sound to be, you'll stop focusing so much attention on yourself. It does sound like you have low self-esteem, but it also sounds like you are self-absorbed. I don't mean that in a negative way - just that you spend a lot of time thinking about yourself and how you are feeling. I always say that the happiest people are the ones who have a lot more to think about than themselves...
lickety-split lickety-split 10 years
tell your doctor what you stated here and get a physical exam to rule out a physical reason for this. if nothing comes up ask for a referral to a mental health care professional or a prescription for one of the meds mentioned above. medication can be wonderful when used correctly.
grl-in-the-world grl-in-the-world 10 years
It does sound like this is something that probably started when you were a child. Did your parents have really high expectations for you at all times? Are you an only or oldest child? Dear is right, try to concentrate more on the enjoyment of activities and not always on being perfect or the best. Don't feel bad for being a perfectionist and expecting a lot from yourself, it's a very common personality trait and nothing to be ashamed of.
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