I’m a perfectionist. And like any other perfectionist, I always feel like there’s more to be done, like I’m never quite there, I’m never good enough. Especially if I’m in the shower and suddenly, (while going over the day’s highlights) I find the perfect reply to the annoying argument I had at work or over the phone.
Did it ever happen to you? Did you ever think, some hours later, “Man, I should have said that?!”
It’s the first sign you feel under pressure to be the alpha, to say the right thing at the right moment and get faster than anyone else to some power pillar you dream of. And the moment you hear about an old colleague that has made it further than you – well, that’s just a hit below the belt for your ego.
The source of all this envy and anger at yourself is, paradoxically, the lack of confidence in your abilities. The not believing that everyone has a piece of treasure on this Earth.
I realized that this week, when I was forced, yes, FORCED to recognize my achievements.
[ I know it’ll seem weird, but I always feel embarrassed to talk about myself (you see, I hate to talk in public about how I am, what I’ve done – I’d rather let other people describe me or better yet, let my deeds do all the talking]
Like I said, I had to tell the class, at the University, who am I in a few words.
I wasn’t the first to speak – thank God (for various reasons)! Actually, I had the time to listen to other students’ lives, comprised in the length of a tweet – what did they study, if they’re working or not, where and what do they hope to achieve by attending the respective course.
I had my discourse all set up in a sentence about my current job position and other interests, blog included. While I was waiting in line to recite my neat, one-line poem, all I could hear was – “I’m looking for a job”, “have no job”, “still searching”, “hate where I’m working”. With some few exceptions, everyone else was unemployed or caught in a dead-end job.
And then it was my turn: “I studied journalism, I’m a Content Manager at X lifestyle site, I have a blog and I…etc”. Told you I wanted to be quick… since I was afraid people would think I’m bragging.
Stop right there. “People would think I’m bragging” – this feeling, so precisely voiced, shocked me. It dawned on me that I had things to brag about. I suddenly realized that if that was my fear, then I must have done something good in my life, that I had achieved something more.
That was the moment I made the crucial realization that, while I’m behind some people, I’m not at all a failure and I do have things to be proud of: I started working at 20 years old, I adapted myself to new, different tasks for various sites, people trust me. I’m juggling multiple projects and I can say that I’ve evolved in these last four years.
The BEST PART? I can feel good about myself and I can enjoy the present. It’s so relieving to know that I have things to celebrate, that my life is on the right track, that I mean something to myself and others. This week I got for the first time in a long time a breather, to acknowledge who I am instead of constantly fighting for what I have to become.
I advise you to do the same: realize, objectively, what you’ve done so far and take a minute to admire and love yourself like others already do. It’s this boost of confidence that will help you become the best version of yourself, not the constant guilt, shame and stubbornness to be impeccable.