While at work the other day I made a stupid little mistake that messed up a lot of the stats I was working on. I really hate making stupid mistakes, so immediately cursed myself under my breath “you stupid bloody tw*t”.
My colleague overheard, and was a bit shocked at how hard on myself I am.
It’s true though. Not only am I my biggest critic, but I also expect more from myself than I do from anyone else.
If anyone else messes up it’s annoying, of course, but I make allowances and work around it. I come out with things like “it’s ok, you can’t be perfect all the time”. Yet in my mind everything I do SHOULD be perfect.
It’s not that I think I’m better than everyone else. Far from it. I just know I enjoy working and take pride in doing my job well. I go in early, work through lunch, often leave late, and work my ass off the whole time I’m there, and all for barely more than minimum wage. But the point is I’m happy to put the effort in. It’s an enjoyable job and I want to do it perfectly. So yes, it does really annoy me when I don’t.
If any of my friends spoke to me like I speak to myself I’m sure we would have fallen out many years ago. Likewise, if I spoke to any of my friends like that over something so stupid I would expect (and deserve) a good hard slap. So why do I feel it’s ok to do it to myself?
Surely I must be undermining my own self-esteem. Is it becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy? Is it a circle I can break?
I didn’t really know I was doing it until my colleague commented on it, so it’s not a conscious decision to insult myself. Finger’s crossed I can break the habit.