Hi! I'll be glad to be of help with this issue.
First, let me say I can imagine how confusing and distressing this situation must be for you. Things don't seem to be working out for you like you would want them to; there is a very real sense, though, from what you write of your acting in self defeating ways that contribute to the disappointments. This is most often the case when someone has a low sense of self worth. But on the other hand you have not only made a life for yourself, you have made a full life, with struggles, successes, setbacks, picking yourself up, moving forward, etc. That is a tremendous measure of the worthiness within you.
And this is actually the key to my answer to you that you need to consider and think about. Clearly, you are a worthwhile person. But perhaps not enough in your own eyes. Your video of life in your mind is perhaps dominated by feelings that are negative, failure, hopeless, etc. Is this reality? No, you've coped with problems and have achieved successes. That's the definition of a worthwhile life. Now it sounds as though it's time to move forward. The problem may be in your view of yourself. The solution, then, would be in your view of yourself. And when it comes to ATTITUDE, the self help world is fantastic at it!
I want you to commit yourself to apply the principles in the following videos and books to your worries and fears. So that you can be yourself with more confidence. Coach yourself. Be your own life coach! I want you to get really into motivational videos and books. In other words, accept your past fears, accept your past worries and hurts and traumas. Accept them and focus on becoming who you WANT to be now. Here's a simple YouTube search I put together on "motivational speakers":
Some like Tony Robbins are the classic big guys. Some are newer. They're mostly Americans, but so what? Watch them all. Get inspired. Buy a book or two. Here are some possibilities, but they are only suggestions as there are so many good ones.
The first book is the father of all these type of books. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. There are classes in these books now! It was written in the 1930s and still has something to say to us today that is very worthwhile.
I think very highly of the second book on my list, which is a real classic: The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. It is the book that has helped more people than probably any other.
The third book is by Anthony Robbins. He's one of those speakers who fills up huge auditoriums. For a reason. He's a terrific speaker and writer. The particular book (if you like it, try his others): Awaken the Giant Within. I really like this book.
So the only thing separating you from your sense of positive value in yourself might very well be your running mind video about your failure and shortcomings. Throw those out and replace them with motivation and commitment to your future.
If you feel that low self-worth is a long term problem that is keeping you from success and you need more help than self-help tools, counseling is a good choice. The opportunity here is to gain a greater insight yourself toward yourself, who you are inside, and how you might want to project it toward others. Let me give you two directories to look at that are good. You should focus on finding a psychologist or psychotherapist in your area who practices in a psychodynamic orientation along with CBT for practical skills.
Here is an online therapist finder for Australia that I like because you can see a picture of the person and read about them a bit. So put in for the therapist either psychologist or a psychotherapist and psychodynamic for the technique.
The Australian Psychological Society has a search. Scroll down and put in self-esteem in the search window.
Okay, I wish you the very best!
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