We are often times our own worst enemy, letting our inner villain reign supreme in our world of thoughts.
I am in a tug-of-war match with self-compassion and perfection, and I know in a weeks time I have only just begun this struggle, this may take months or even years. Even today as I type this, I’ve started and erased at least five times, both out of frustration on how to articulate what happened this week and because my inner villain won’t surrender so easily.
At work I have shared responsibility for case management of about 75 people, so there are both monthly goals and completion goals to keep track off. I have two spreadsheets (that I created to keep my sanity) that I update and reference up to ten times a day to monitor the attendance and status of each of the 75 individuals. I also receive and send dozens of emails and faxes each week as situations change or issues come up, so I am never really sitting still. I have to remain organized and on top of things in order to keep things flowing smoothly and everyone satisfied.
So when my name comes up on a report for case management notes being overdue or errors in information and dates entered into the tracking program, my inner villain cackles and says ‘you created those spreadsheets to prevent this from happening and yet it happened anyway, why did you let it?‘ The perfectionist side of me agrees that I wasn’t living up to my own standards and now I have to admit that I failed (even on the tiniest level that is a blow to the ego) and go make corrections. Then for the next several days, I double and triple check my notes and dates so it doesn’t happen again but sure enough it does happen again every 3 to 6 months. I feel like if I ask for help, I am showing my weakness and inability to do my job correctly.
This vicious circle can only stop with self-compassion and self-love. I told myself on Monday when my name was on the overdue list and then again on Thursday when my name was on the data error list that I did the best I could and that everyone makes mistakes and if I only made two in the past three months that should make me proud. My spreadsheets are keeping me from making dozens of errors so I make the corrections and move on. Letting it go and simply move on, is a lot harder than it sounds because my inner villain won’t sit down and shut up, not yet anyway but if I keep working at it I hope to one day vanquish her completely with my positive words.
“We have to learn to be our own best friend because we fall too easily into the trap of being our own worst enemies.” – Roderick Thorp