If you’re reading this, it’s probably because you’re seeking answers. You should know that it’s okay that you’re not feeling okay. We all have to face rock bottom at some point in our life. I will let you in on a secret. I’m writing this, while seeking the same answers, in hopes that I can help others explain their own self-sabotage patterns.

My name is Breanna. I’m 27 years old, from Roanoke, Virginia. This is my first, of what I hope to be many entries on this topic. As I said before, this is my way of offering help to those who are stuck of the hamster wheel of self-destruction. In each entry, I want to give examples of these behaviors while also giving solutions to dealing with them. It’s not easy to confront ourselves when I comes to our faults, but once the walls are down, all there is left to do is soar!

In this post, I want to explain the difference between dealing with toxic people and being fooled by our own self doubt. This applies to all relationships whether it’s a friendship, business relationship or a romantic partner. In this particular example, I’m going to share a story about a business relationship that went down hill. I will share my thought process as it was then, and how it really was.

After college graduation, I spent six months looking for a job in the medical field. I finally got a position in a plasma collection center. I was both excited and terrified about this job, but I went into it with an open mind. During the first months, of my time with the company, I showed my eagerness to learn and grow with the company, and it didn’t go unnoticed.

At that time I thought the world of my assistant manager. She was supportive and she had a plan to assure my growth with the company. It was refreshing to see my work ethic was already paying off, in a business that I was so new to. That feeling began to change and there came a time when the path I was offered wasn’t exactly what I wanted and I was no longer convinced of my manager’s willingness to help me succeed.

The more training I received, the more involved I became with all aspects of management. I was given, what felt like, weekly observations and I was constantly tested in all competencies of my job. This was frustrating because it seemed like I was the only one who needed to endure this testing, at this frequency. (The truth was, I had asked for a lot of responsibility at once and I was starting to feel the pressure of juggling it all).

During the first year, I felt as though all I had accomplished was mistake after mistake. (What was really happening, was that I didn’t want to accept that I wasn’t perfect at my job). My assistant manager saw something else entirely. In fact, during my 1-year evaluation, she had given my performance a high rank which came with more responsibility and a nice pay increase. Instead of feeling proud of my accomplishment, I felt like it was something that could be used against me when I messed up again.

I had allowed myself to only see what I did wrong, that I never believed, for myself, that I was actually doing well. This was the first time I was ever confronted about my self sabotaging. My assistant manager constantly told me about my patterns and what the result would be if I didn’t correct them. I took that as harsh criticism and it ultimately costed me what could have been an amazing career. It also costed me the loss of a person who truly wanted to see me succeed.

Unfortunately, this wasn’t the last time this happened and I have encountered other losses just like this one, professionally and in my personal life. In trying to grow from this, I’ve had to consider many things that need to change.

Number one is having more patience.

Next, I have realized that I need to be more thankful for the people who care about my growth. This is a difficult realization because no one wants to admit when they’ve taken advantage of someone, especially when the same has been done to them.

Lastly, I need to learn to trust myself more and accept my mistakes, so that I can trust those who want to help me improve.

The difference between this situation, and a truly toxic relationship, is that a toxic person wouldn’t have given me the amount of chances as that boss had. A toxic person would have shamed me or dismissed me. That’s simply the way it is and it’s important to know the difference.