Self-objectivity is an important trait. To think of yourself as awesome when you are not can lead to professional and personal disaster. Thinking you are horrible when you are great…you probably suffer from depression. We are the ones that beat ourselves up about everything.
My personal favorite time to beat myself up is when I find out I have missed an important detail in an otherwise productive workday. Of course, I usually find out a week or so later when the effect from my mistake comes to fruition. I usually freeze when I am confronted with the details of my faux pas. When stressed, the part of my brain that allows access to memory temporally shuts off. You know, dear-in-the-headlights.
I feel stupid and small standing in the spotlight of the person asking the question. There is no blame to put on the asker. My boss deserves an answer. Yet, I stand there bumbling as I try to access the memory.
This triggers my depression: why do I freak out when confronted? Why can’t I just answer? What’s wrong with me? I’m an idiot. I’m stupid.
None of the internal monologue is correct. The truth is, I do not handle direct confrontation well at all. I do not have the tools to stand there in the limelight and answer eloquently. Hopefully someday I will. Through therapy, I now know it is perfectly acceptable to request some time to remember when happened and let the asker know that you will get back to him/her shortly. I have also found it helpful to let people know before hand that I may need to do this from time to time.
I am learning to forgive myself for these mistakes. We all want our bosses to think we are good at our job. Life is not a slippery slope, though it feels that way sometimes.