I've always been quite a confident person with a good amount of self esteem. I wouldn't go so far as to say that I never get intimidated by people, but all in all I've always been mostly happy with myself.

This year however I've felt my self esteem dwindle away quite considerably. To most people I look like someone succeeding quite well in life. I'm an educated women and my career is on a steady upward path. People who I meet are often impressed with my qualifications and I guess they see me as being an intelligent young woman with a wide range of opportunities.

I too am quite happy with my acheivements on this level but when it comes to the personal side of my life I feel like I am failing miserably. Apart from the usual insecurities that occur around adolescence, I've always been quite happy with my friendships and the role I've played in them. Now I find myself expecting more and more from my relationships and rather than placing the blame on my friends if they can't live up to their side of the bargain I've found myself blaming myself more and more often. In the past if a friend treated me badly I got cross but put it down to them being selfish. Now I get cross but put it down to there being something wrong with me.

This is a scary and unhealthy place to be in. It means that instead of walking away from friendships that aren't working I find myself more and more obsessed with making them work. After all, if they are failing because of me then I can obviously fix it, and if I can fix it then I'll feel better about myself. But then half way through trying to fix it I realise that I'm the only one doing all the work so I get hurt again, this time wondering why the whole thing has fallen apart and again blaming myself.

I guess this is the vicious cycle that low self esteem creates. Thankfully my self esteem in general is quite good and hopefully this is just a phase that I will eventually be able to control before it takes over the other parts of my life.

I now have much more sympathy for those who are always insecure.

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