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TherapistMarryAnn
TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5839
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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I have 2 problems which I've been struggling with for a very

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I have 2 problems which I've been struggling with for a very long time.
1. Every time I think of something good to do for myself (develop friendships, improve my career, go on vacation somewhere), I somehow procrastinate or don't do it at all. Later, I get very angry with myself and depressed for not doing it.
2. I'm afraid to make friends because I think they will reject me. I also think that they will get angry with me if I have good things in my life, buy a home, go on a nice vacation, etc.
Can you please help me with these 2 issues? Thanks

Hello, I'd like to help you with your questions.

It sounds like both of your issues are related. The first issue, not being able to follow through doing something good for yourself, is usually related to the fear of failure. You think of a great idea and become interested in doing it. Then as you think about taking steps to make it work, you begin to doubt that you can achieve it. Even if it is something that seems relatively easy, the fear of failure can be strong. Because to fail means that you are not worthy or good enough. This is linked to a low self esteem.

The second issue is like the first. Making friends with others is a risk. Anyone who makes friends opens themselves up to potential hurt. There is no way to predict if the person is going to say or do something that might hurt you. If your self esteem is relatively healthy, this is not so much an issue. But if you feel low about yourself, you are going to look for anything about yourself or your life that another person may see and criticize. Once you think of that, then making friends seems too risky.

What can help you with both issues is to take a look at your esteem. How do you feel about yourself? How did you develop low self esteem? Then seek out ways to improve how you see yourself. Here are some resources to help you get started:

http://psychcentral.com/lib/2011/self-esteem-struggles-and-strategies-that-can-help/

http://psychcentral.com/lib/2006/how-to-raise-your-self-esteem/

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/self-esteem/MH00129

Self-Esteem: A Proven Program of Cognitive Techniques for Assessing, Improving, and Maintaining Your Self-Esteem by Matthew McKay and Patrick Fanning

The Self-Esteem Workbook by Glenn R. Schiraldi

The Self-Esteem Companion: Simple Exercises to Help You Challenge Your Inner Critic and Celebrate Your Personal Strengths by Matthew McKay Ph.D., Patrick Fanning, Carole Honeychurch and Catharine Sutker

You can find these books on Amazon.com or your local library may have them for you.

Also, if you feel you want to talk about this issue, consider seeing a therapist. A therapist can help you see where this issue may have developed in your life and how you can address it. To find a therapist, talk to your doctor about a referral. Or you can search on line at http://therapists.psychologytoday.com/rms/.

I hope this has helped you,
Kate

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