Today’s topic is part 2 of the deviation from working on others to working on the G.O.A.T… you!
Last week we spoke about your frustration and what might be causing you to feel like you’re just not winning. Today, let’s tackle another issue: unfounded unkindness to yourself.
The old saying goes “we’re our own biggest critic”. Yes… and more on that later. But for now, the question I’d ask you is: When was the last time you told yourself you’re doing a good job?
1 week, 1 month, a few years?!?! Let’s talk about that… and give you some tips to fix it.
Why am I so mean?
One of the areas I often come across in coaching is the inevitable accumulation of self-slights. The comments will often range from: “I could have done that better” to “I’m terrible at this and don’t know why anyone should listen to me”. That’s not good, my friend. So how do you know if you’re being too unkind to yourself?
- “I’m not good at this” – you feel like you just can’t do a good job for some reason. Whether it’s flagging issues with staff or managing your time, you always seem to struggle (in your mind).
- “I should have done better” – after something happens (difficult convo, meeting, etc) you always think you could have done better and are unable to let that go.
- “I’m never going to be like X leader” – you sometimes wonder why you were chosen for the job (pro tip, you weren’t! You earned it!) and think that you’re failing your team because you don’t walk on water and inspire them every single day.
You’re a WIP Bad@ss
It’ll take some time and focussed tools to turn you back into your own greatest fan again BUT for now I want to give you some tactics to start that journey:
- Be objective – In all likelihood, your criticisms of yourself are out of whack with what the reality of most situations are. YES some healthy criticism is key to reaching new performance levels BUT unbiased and destructive self-talk is NOT helpful. When you’re starting to beat yourself up, turn to the evidence. Look for third party facts and use those to better understand what was ACTUALLY a problem VS what you did well.
- Look at the wins – You’re reading this, which means you’re in a leadership role. That doesn’t just “happen” in most situations. You’re also likely smashing most of your goals, but when was the last time you took time to reflect/celebrate/bank the wins? I thought so… Go back through your progress against your quarterly plan and that should help you OBJECTIVELY assess your wins vs the few negative things you’re beating yourself up about.
- Make a plan instead of ruminating – Rumination (in the terms we’re talking about) can be incredibly destructive. Spending hours, days or weeks focussing on one unsubstantiated thing that you think you’re not doing perfectly is a quick path to disdain and self-doubt. Try this instead: if you feel that the item you’re not great at (speaking up in meetings, having difficult conversations, etc) is substantiated and something you need to improve then make a plan. Have a list of actions, deadlines and debrief tactics to keep you moving forward. Without this, you’ll get stuck beating yourself up.
Now stop being unkind to yourself. It’s your time to return to being the badass you were always meant to be.