Why do I feel like a failure?
I’m a successful professional working for a good company. I understand in my head that I’ve done really well and have reached an important level in my career, but in spite of this I still feel like a failure.
I have no objective reason to feel this way, but I just can’t shake the feeling. I’m afraid to make mistakes, even though I realise it’s natural for people to make mistakes sometimes. And I don’t make mistakes often at all. I feel that people don’t really like me, even though my colleagues often praise me and invite me to their homes.
Why am I like this?
Everything points to me being successful in life, when you look at the situation objectively, yet I feel like a failure.
I’ve felt this way since childhood. What can I do about it?
- Baren, email
Dr Louise’s advice
We’re indeed confronted with two realities all the time – the objective or factual reality and our individual, subjective reality. There’s a saying that we see things not as they are but as we are, and it’s true. No matter the objective facts, if your experience tells you something else, it’s powerful enough to become your “reality”. And your subjective reality is telling you that you’re a failure.
The reason for this is most likely that the message that you’re a failure has been encoded somewhere in your subconscious mind. It may have happened in early childhood. The result is that regardless of objective evidence to the contrary, your subconscious mind clings to the wrong message.
The only way to rectify this is with therapy – more specifically hypnotherapy. Consult with a psychologist trained in hypnotherapy, which accesses the subconscious mind, so that they can find out at which stage of your life this message became imprinted and can then rectify it.
This will help bring your subjective reality more in line with the objective reality.
Hubby wants me to take a lover
My husband has a problem with his prostate gland which has resulted in him struggling to get an erection. He has suggested I take a lover, but also says that if I do he wants to watch us make love as it would turn him on and help him to achieve an erection.
He’s always been rather jealous so I was very surprised to hear him make this suggestion. We’re very good friends and have had a happy marriage so far, and I’m afraid that if I go along with what he’s suggesting it will have a negative effect on our relationship.
What do you think?
- Greta, email
Dr Louise’s advice
Problems with the prostate gland don’t necessarily lead to problems with getting or maintaining an erection. Your husband should get a second opinion from a urologist and once he has a proper diagnosis the problem can hopefully be resolved.
There are many possible reasons for erection problems, including hyper tension (high blood pressure), problems with the thyroid gland, the use of certain medications and neurological reasons. It can also stem from psychological or emotional problems.
If you do what your husband suggests and take a lover, and this involves him watching the two of you make love, it’s likely to exacerbate the problem rather than resolve it.
It’s quite possible that your husband will end up feeling inadequate and this could cause conflict or serious emotional problems between the two of you.
His suggestion is not a good solution – not for him, you or your relationship.
My dog can’t stand my girlfriend
I’ve always been an animal- lover so have always had dogs or cats. I’m now involved with someone and she hates my dog. My dog is house-trained and extremely well behaved and usually loves people but he bristles when she comes near him. I don’t understand his behaviour as he quickly took to all my friends and welcomes them into my home.
I asked her to stay at my place to look after him one weekend when I was away on business and something might have happened then. But of course he’s unable to tell me if that’s the case.
What should I do? I love my dog to bits and there’s no question of getting rid of him or giving him away. Luckily my girlfriend and I don’t live together but she visits at weekends and it’s very difficult. Please help.
- Mark, email
Dr Louise’s advice
In my experience, animals are an excellent judge of character. In general, human beings show their true nature to animals when they think other humans aren’t looking. If it’s not in your dog’s nature to be aggressive towards people coming into your home, something is definitely amiss.
It might be a good idea to heed the advice your animal friend is giving you and to try to be more observant when it comes to their interaction with each other.
Animals can be very forgiving – even if she treated him badly once but now treats him well, he’s likely to forgive her.
If you really want to get to the bottom of this, it might be a good idea to install security cameras in your home (without telling her) so you can observe them alone together. It may tell you a story your pet is unable to share with you.