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Beating Myself Up Doesn't Work!

Discussion in 'Accomplishments' started by hodge, Apr 8, 2007.

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  1. hodge

    hodge I'm a VIP Premium Member

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    Well, I had a gut realization today that felt like some progress to me. I hope it's appropriate for this section.

    A little background: I've always been good at being really hard on myself and putting a lot of pressure on myself. I understand better now than ever why this is. I know it has to do with always feeling I have to prove I'm okay and worthwhile, but for this section of the forum, I won't go into the experiences that caused me to be programmed this way.

    So, anyway, when I found out I was being laid off a few months ago, I got into a huge panic to the point where my life has been, basically, work; and when I'm not working, I'm frantically trying to figure out what I'm going to do next. Getting laid off has been a major security trigger for me. So in my spare time I'm checking job listings all over the internet, researching possibilities to change careers, trying to figure out what jobs are viable around here, etc. While this might sound good, I think it's been backfiring. Because now I've gotten myself to the point where I feel so overwhelmed, I can't even believe I'm the same person who achieved so much to dig myself out of where I came from in the first place; I simply don't feel capable of reinventing myself right now. I've been feeling like a failure because I don't have a good "plan B" worked out yet. And I struggle really hard every day just to do the work I have left.

    So, my realization today was: I have several more weeks of my job left. It's going to be hugely demanding on me. After that, I do have a financial cushion for a while, so why beat myself into the ground trying to figure out something so huge while I still have a lot of work to do that is going to require so much of me (including one project that I have found to be quite triggering in several ways)? I want to do the best job I can on the projects remaining, and suddenly today, I couldn't see how I can do that if, on all my down time, I'm constantly stressing about what I'm going to do next. It's not like I won't have some free time later on to work on this. So, I guess my gut insight today was, one step at a time: stop beating myself up because I don't know what I'm going to do yet. It's going to be hard to stick to, but it seems like the healthiest way to deal with my situation right now. I hope this all makes sense. It seemed like a pretty big, small thing to me.
     
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  3. juls

    juls Active Member

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    Sometimes your job is a big part of your life and what you identify with---it's who you are...especially if it's a meaningful occupation you enjoy. You're experiencing a significant loss. It sounds as though you've immersed yourself in your work, have been successful, and now you've been thrown a tremendous curve requiring a giant unanticipated step that involves extra time, planning, and decisions that will impact your future. I encourage you to get involved in something that you like, but have neglected because of your work ethics: exercise, music, art, photography, reading, etc. Continue your work endeavors, but try to balance your life with other things, as well. This will help you deal with all the stress.
     
  4. hodge

    hodge I'm a VIP Premium Member

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    Thanks for your advice, Juls. I think you're right. I have always so much identified with what I do and also used it to sort of justify my existence. Part of my challenge now is to either reconnect with, or find, new interests. I have always liked physical activities, such as yoga and walks, and one of my goals is to make more time for them every day. The weird thing for me is that I seemed to be so burned out on intellectual interests that have always held with me since I was a teenager. It's troubling, but I guess I have to accept that that's one of the aspects of what I'm going through right now. I also feel I need to try to cultivate some sense that it's okay to just be, that by virtue of our existence, we are valuable...not entirely what we do, but also who we are and the simple fact that we are. I get the sense that this is part of my challenge, and it's a tough one.
     
  5. batgirl

    batgirl I'm a VIP

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    Wow thats really good hodge, you have definitely inspired me because I have the same problem with work, or learning things, or working on myself and so on. I am obsessed and I constantly have to be doing something constructive or else I feel worthless. I will keep in mind what you have written here.
     
  6. Marlene

    Marlene I'm a VIP Premium Member

    hodge,

    Glad to hear that you're cutting yourself some slack. It seems to be the hardest thing we can do. But when we do it, the results can be amazing.
     
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