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How did I end up here?

Community Member

Hey everyone,


I’ve made a real mess of things over the last few years and I feel like I’m sinking further into the mess every day.


I came out of covid working in a job I absolutely loved and could see myself doing for the next 10 years. I’d nailed WFH life and excelled during the lockdowns and came out the other side with a promotion and thought I was kicking goals.


Until a new manager was added to the company directly above me, and started taking away the decision making and position of leadership I’d worked so hard to get to. Unfortunately, I handled the whole thing wrong and turned on him, refusing to share information, keeping things to myself and generally made the working relationship difficult at first, and eventually untenable. 

The more I fought against it, the worse I felt about myself. I lost my confidence, my work quality started to decline and instead of taking responsibility for it, I blamed him and other factors.


My solution was to find a new job and run away, but I took a job I knew I wasn’t suited to, and only a few days after I started there I knew I’d made a big mistake. The culture didn’t suit me at all, the job I was told about and actually asked to do we’re totally different, and after 9 months of hating every day, I was let go. Which was actually a relief.


But…I’m now working contract roles, taking casual hours and have lost all confidence in myself. 

My brain is spinning, in fact it never stops, but I can’t turn all the thoughts and ideas into anything of substance on paper. I know my current contract role will end soon because I’m not delivering what I know I’m capable of, and they’ll let me go thinking I can’t be successful in this role, although I know I could smash it in the right head space.


I just feel so beaten down, like I can’t succeed anymore. I can’t look anyone in the eye and know I’m not even close to what I can and should be doing. 

I’ve lost all confidence in myself and doubt every thought I have. It’s hard to be productive when you spend the day replaying every conversation or interaction over and over in your head, worry about what the other person thought of me.


This feeling just makes me so miserable, that I can’t find the motivation to try and drag myself forward, so it’s a cycle of failure I seem certain to keep repeating.

How can I get myself back on track and show people I’m actually a dependable and hard working employee, when I can’t even get myself to focus or complete the most basic tasks?



5 Replies 5

Community Member

Hello Adam_83,

Sorry to hear you've been having trouble with work lately. I can certainly relate to fear of judgement and struggling to feel motivated. However, we have to remind ourselves that no one is perfect and we will all make mistakes- it's how we learn and improve. And often our harshest critics are ourselves, so try to be kind to yourself. I wish I had some better advice for you, but nevertheless I'm rooting for you and hope things look up for you soon! Take care 

Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi Adam_83,

Welcome to the forums and thank you for reaching out.

From what you have said, you appear to be in a downward spiral and I'm sorry you are feeling low at present.

There are few things that stand out for me in what you have said.

First, that you felt really good about yourself when you got the promotion. 

Second, that when management changed and you began to lose some important parts of your position, rather than talk to the new manager about how this was affecting you, you instead became hostile. I believe that you now see the error in that approach and have learned something from it.

Third, you have learned that taking on a job that is wrong for you will only make you miserable.

I think the problem is that we are conditioned from a young age to believe that failure is a bad thing, even a punishable thing, when in reality it is just an opportunity to learn what not to do the next time we encounter a similar situation.

I think you have come to see yourself as a failure, instead of seeing that you made a mistake in how you dealt with a particular situation. There is a big difference in the two, it is all a matter of perspective.

It seems to me that you are waiting for the other shoe to drop in your current contracting role because you have convinced yourself that you will just fail again.

But is that really true?

Have you actually learned from your previous experiences?

Is there any reason why you could not go to your current manager and talk about what is holding you back from doing your best work?

My suggestion would be to see your GP and arrange a mental health plan, so you can get some counselling to help you reframe the way you are seeing things. I believe a change in perspective will make a big difference in how you see yourself.

I hope this helps a little and will be happy to continue this conversation if you wish.


Community Member

Hi indigo22 and thank you so much for the reply. 

I definitely agree with much of what you have said - i’m seeing things as a failure rather than just a mistake that I can learn from.


in terms of my current role, I think i’m lacking so much confidence in myself and what I can do, that I’m not sharing the best version of myself which is hard.


I am over thinking every thought and idea I have, and end up doing just the basic or easy parts of a task because I know I can’t stuff them up.


I have an appointment booked for a few weeks time with my psychologist but she’s fully booked until then.


Thank you again for reaching out

Community Champion
Community Champion

You are most welcome and I am glad you have an appointment lined up. In the meantime, make use of the helplines that are available at Beyond Blue and elsewhere as they may be able to give you some tools to work with while you are waiting for your appointment. You can also continue this post for some extra support any time you wish.

I also think some meditation could help to quiet the thoughts that are circling. A tool I have not used myself, but am advised can be helpful is an app called Smiling Mind. From what I am told, you use the app for a while and when the mind becomes quieter, you dive into what you are trying to do with a clearer mind. It couldn't hurt to give it a go.

Take care,


Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Position of leadership you enjoy, subservience you do not.
In life there are leaders and followers and when we get the roles wrong this can lead to friction.
So you have lots of ideas and the correct mindset to think outside the box in your chosen field?
Not sure what line of work you are in, but it appears you could do well for yourself going independent/freelance (which is sort of what you are doing now with contract work).
If you believe in yourself (and I think you still do despite the ailing self confidence), grab the bull by the horns and set up your own business - at some point everyone you worked for has done the same.
The hard work and long hours will surely build self esteem in a job well done.