Man undermines good things in his life with self-sabotage


DEAR MIKE: I am so angry at myself that I don’t know what to do any longer. Here’s my problem: When things are going well, I always seem to manage to mess them up.

For instance, things at my workplace were not going well for me about a year ago. In fact, my bosses called me in and told me if my attendance and attitude did not improve, in short order that I would be looking for a job. I took this advice very seriously and started making sure I came to work and was on time, changed my attitude and started paying attention to my assignments. Things were looking good and there was even a rumor they were going to promote me to team leader.

Then, the other day while on break, I started messing around with one of my friends, giving him a ride on the forklift. Well, I crashed it and he got hurt. My boss has suspended me pending an investigation and, from what I hear, I will be lucky if I do not get fired.

This has always been my problem. I married my high-school sweetheart and after six months of marriage she caught me fooling around with her best friend. .

I am not sure what to do. Some of my friends tell me I should just face the fact that I am a screw-up and things will never change, but I want to change. I just don’t know how to do it. Do you have any suggestions? — Carl

DEAR CARL: First, you need to disregard your so-called friends’ advice. Anyone who really wants to change can change.

The biggest thing about change is that you must change for yourself, not someone or something else — because if you do and something happens with that person or thing you will be right back to square one.

It seems that you are sabotaging yourself for some reason. Somewhere or somehow, you came to the conclusion that you are not good enough to succeed at something. I would suggest that you get into therapy to find out why you think this way and work on change.

The other suggestion I would make is to start a journal of your life. Keep track of the good things you do and keep reviewing them and try and stay focused.

And when you do something good or accomplish a goal, take time to enjoy it and give yourself credit. Too many times, we are in such a hurry to get on to the next goal that we disregard the good we have done. This will help your self-esteem.

This will go a long way with helping you improve your self-esteem. Good luck. — Mike

Michael Hayden is a certified anger management counselor who runs Bay State Anger Management and Counseling in Chelmsford. Contact him at or 978-606-3955.