Foreword: For all those people who are doing things they care about, and who are human, like me, so they are probably being their own worst critic right now.
My my, aren’t we really good at putting ourselves down? Talking ourselves out of it? Creating misery for ourselves?
You are your own worst critic
I’ll do it later – the procrastinator
I didn’t want ____ anyway – the denier
What if it goes wrong? what if they hate it? what will they think of me? – the worrier
You’ve got to do better, no time for rest, only the best is good enough otherwise I’m not worthy – the perfectionist/hyper achiever
La la la la la hmm what? – the avoider
All of this stress, the energy used, and nothing has actually happened. The disaster hasn’t happened yet. This is all anticipation.
It’s anticipation of:
- Something that might never happen
- Something that, even if it did happen, wouldn’t actually be all that bad
Imagine you’re giving a talk and you mess up a few words. In the whole scheme of life, so what? In the whole scheme of the talk, so what?
Will people remember that your grammar was flawless? No. They’ll be remembering how you made them feel, the main point of your talk etc.
What if you f*ck up majorly? Really? Is that actually likely? What are the actual odds?
The secret of all success is this: you get to choose what you think about.
You can choose to focus on all the possible disasters. you can also choose to focus on the joy you want to have, the information you want to share, the people you will be talking to etc.
It is as simple as that.
And yes it requires a couple of things for you to do it easily. I’ve put it into a straight forward process for you.
So the tip for when you are criticising yourself?
- Acknowledge it – Oh I’m criticising myself
- 5 Senses – shift your attention to a physical sensation: touch, hearing, sight, breathing. e.g. just put all your attention on your breathing – just notice it. Or listen intently to all the sounds you can hear.
- Choose a new perspective – pick a value you want to embody, get curious, find the gifts in the situation etc
While writing this post, this quote popped into my head and it’s so relevant.
“To err is human, to forgive divine” – Alexander Pope
So if you’re going to aim for the lofty heights of divinity, don’t aim for it in all your actions and in being the perfect human. Instead, do it in the arena of forgiveness – for yourself and others.
This post is part of my special Coaching Tips Series. This series was inspired by my clients and the core themes in their challenges. When we can apply these tips, we bring a lot of ease into our lives and step into our leadership. Let’s connect.
p.s. Be amazing at forgiveness, you can’t go wrong. Because if you make a mistake, you’ll just need to forgive yourself so you’ll always be divine ;0)