I’ve had an uptick recently in the number of clients who feel like they’re failing … failing at work, failing at being a parent, failing at keeping it together with their spouse. Not being all they want to be. Not doing all they want to do.
It’s affecting their sense of self-worth.
If that sounds like you, let me grab you … virtually … by the shoulders, give you a little shake, look you straight in the eyes and say, in my most no-nonsense, but loving way …
Give yourself a break!
Look, I completely understand the feeling that you’re coming up short.
But all that tells me is you’re someone who values personal integrity. You want to always give it your all and produce consistently great results. Those are very positive qualities.
And yet, I think we have to acknowledge that the challenges and stresses these days are off the charts. You may not be living in a war zone or a refugee camp, but this ain’t easy. You can give it your all, and still, it often either isn’t enough … or it feels as if it isn’t enough.
For those who have school age kids … yikes … that’s the case in spades.
It’s hard to work remotely when young kids are at home … no day care, no school. You have to fit in work before they’re up and after they go to bed at night.
Even then, you blame yourself because the kids are getting too much screen time, because you’re busy juggling priorities.
And just when you put the kids to bed and should be able to settle in for some quality time with your one and only, you have to finish that &*#! project.
Not that it’s easy peasy if you don’t have kids.
It’s hard for everybody.
Clients get upset because turnaround time is slower than they would like.
Managers get aggravated when they can’t always reach you, because you’re busy, trying frantically to keep the plates spinning.
And yeah, production and quality are liable to suffer when routines are disrupted … not to mention delivery times.
Plus, layer on top of this how radically our world has changed in the blink of an eye. It has people scared, anxious, frustrated, and grieving over the loss of our familiar way of life. We counted on having, being, and doing certain things, and all that’s in limbo.
It’s a lot to deal with. Think that affects performance? Of course it does.
So, what’s my message to you? It’s twofold.
Give yourself grace. Go easy on yourself. Forgive yourself for any perceived shortcomings.
And whenever you find yourself evaluating yourself and your performance harshly, STOP IT … and then, turn it around.
Right then and there, acknowledge yourself for the capable and caring person you are and the things you’ve done that you can be proud of.
Negative chatter not allowed! It just drags you down and makes you think things are broken.
If someone would look at your situation objectively, I’ll bet they’d say you’re not only doing okay, you’re doing better than okay. That negative chatter is just the perfectionist in you squawking. Tell him or her to shut up. Nobody’s perfect.
You’ll start to see and feel how capable and praise-worthy you are if you’ll focus on what you do have and what you have done you can be proud of vs. dwelling on where you think you’ve come up short.
This is a time to boost yourself up. Self-doubt and self-criticism only weakens us, stealing our power to be as resilient as we need to be in the face of everything we’re dealing with. So, start boosting.
One last thought:
Do your best to look for the positives in our current state of affairs. There’s always a silver lining somewhere. And envision the time when all the wonderful things we enjoyed in our lives come back to us.
Until that day, chin up. You’re doing great!