Sometimes we act against our own best interests.
We can do this both knowingly and unknowingly.
We are driven by twin desires:
1/ to keep that which we have
2/ to attain that which we have not
Our problems occur when these two things are mutually exclusive.
ie. I am playing in an online tournament against strong players
6 of the 10 games will go the same way.
I will fall over my shoelaces trying to create space whilst defending my pieces.
After about 15 moves (avg. all games), I noticed this pattern and decided to combat it. I went all out in the most open remaining games.
In one of the games it was like instant karma. As soon as I decided not to defend material at the expense of space my opponent resigned. Whereas when I decided to try and control both space and material against another my opponent tore me to pieces. it was a very good leason.