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Am I Really that Bad?

I don’t know if this is an intentional feature of the Challenging Negative Self-Talk exercise or more a side effect of living by committee. (I swear that’s how my life feels.) Or a little of both, but I have found myself doubting some of the answers I wrote to the prompts back in June when I was cramming to make up for misremembering when my certification deadline. Yes, you read that right; I am doubting my self-doubt.

Back in June, when answering the prompt about what the odds were I actually was a serial f*ck up,  I thought the odds were around 75% that it was true. I believed that only 25% of the time I could keep my sh*t together. I can’t stop thinking about that. “Am  I really that bad? Do I actually fail 75% of the time? Am I giving more weight to my failures than I do my successes?”

Finally! A positive use for those thought loops I so often lose myself in! Usually they serve the unhealthy purpose of reinforcing the belief that I truly am a serial f*ck up. This time, however, the thought loops started playing back how consistently I have succeeded.

Even when I have made really poor choices, I have been able to implement corrective actions that have rescued me and got me back on track. That’s not to say I haven’t had consequences or emotional wounds to heal as a result, but the fact is, I am more resilient than I tend to acknowledge.

The more I circled around these new thought loops, the more I realized two things. First, I need to adjust how I evaluate my failures, and second, I definitely need to keep better track of my successes.

John Maxwell once said, “I want you to learn how to confidently look the prospect of failure in the eye and move forward anyway. Because in life, the question is not if you will have problems, but how you are going to deal with your problems.”

When I think about it in terms of how well I rebounded from the set back, I find I am far more successful than I give myself credit for.

When I evaluate my performance, I am learning to step back from judging the outcome and look for lessons. How did I respond to whatever Murphy’s Law dropped in my life? Did I refuse to face the situation? And if I did, was there a point where I finally opened my eyes and started dealing with the situation at hand?

Even in this most recent flub, I implemented corrective actions and earned the required certification. It was incredibly stressful and in the midst of the stress, I found I could be positive and happy. I continued fine tuning my approach to studying when I noticed something not working as well as it could have.

Even if it hadn’t worked out, during the course of the month, I realized losing my job wouldn’t have been the end of the world. There were plenty of options open to me.

I’m curious, are you more successful than you realize? How do you remind yourself of your personal triumphs?

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