I was having a bit of a crisis the other day about how much I had committed to and whether I would do a decent job at any of it to two friends and colleagues.
They gave me a bit of a pep talk. And then set me a challenge – to stop beating myself up about being unqualified, overwhelmed, and insufficiently productive. In fact, they challenged me not to think any negative thoughts about myself, for the rest of the day.
The sheer volume of negative thoughts about myself that I beat myself up with on a daily basis is… ridiculous. And I had grown so used to this barrage of criticism I stopped noticing I was doing it.
The way I’m tackling this is – negative thought pops into my head. I register it, and decide on a positive action that addresses it. This is having a positive effect on my productivity, not just my mental health. I’m trying to stick at it.
I’m also being more forgiving. Small meltdown earlier when I wailed “why are there only 24 hours in the day?!” – but then I just decided that something was not going to happen, emailed apologizing for my lateness on something else, and went for a workout.
It has become normal for me to berate myself in a way that I would never, ever, dream of doing to another person. And then I’m surprised that I’m not as productive as I theoretically could be? I don’t respond to constant criticism, complaining and disparagement? Not really that shocking. This has to change.
I’m working on it. Meanwhile, are you being kind to yourself?