When Pam* and I started working together she was miserable at her job. She was putting in extra hours and taking her stress home. As we worked through the demands of her job, patterns started to emerge.
Pam believed that her boss didn’t like her. So she would work late or take on extra projects to try and prove herself. When that didn’t work, the way she talked to herself was horrible. She would tell herself that her job was on the line, no matter what she did the boss would never like or appreciate her, this was as good as it gets for her and she was stuck.
This is what the inner critic sounds like. It plays over and over in the back of our minds, so much so that most of us don’t even notice that it’s there.
But, don’t think that lessens the impact! Feeling less than drives us to overachieve, over give, bite our tongue and leaves us feeling lousy.
Pam was brave and looked at the terrible ways she was talking to herself.
No wonder she felt resentful and irritated. And those feelings didn’t stay at the office, they came home into her marriage and personal time.
Once she could see how hard she was trying to prove herself, she flipped the script. Her new focus was on producing work that she could be proud of. She also began speaking up more and stopped taking on extra work. And when her work was done, she went home.
She improved her relationship with herself AND with her boss.
Can you relate to Pam’s struggles? Would you be willing to really look at your self talk and shift it? What could happen if you did?
If Pam had kept up the smack talk she would’ve stayed miserable and continued to blame her boss for it. Instead she took control of herself, the situation and how she is showing up.
*Not her real name