Hello dear readers, and welcome to the beginning of the work week. For me this one is dreary. We have clouds and rain, and I want nothing more than to get back into bed where I can be cozy and warm. The day must begin whether I am ready to begin with it or not, and it would be better to accept it. Let’s do our best to meet the demands of the world with enthusiasm and motivation, to the best of our ability of course.
This week that is harder for me than usual. I am going through one of those periods where I feel inadequate to handle the expectations my bosses have for me. I feel like I have been and will continue to make mistakes and blunders until all of them see me as the failure I am and choose to fire me.
Deep down I think this is why I hate Mondays. Over the weekend, I am free from the demands and criticisms of the world. At home, in bed, I can make no mistakes and let no one down. At home, I am free to be who I want without the restrictions of workplace etiquette and rules. At home, I am not afraid to do things because there no one can tell me I am wrong, and no one can make me feel angry at myself/
“When you slip up and let yourself back into old, toxic patterns of thinking, forgive yourself before you try to fix yourself.”
// Vironika Tugaleva
I know, I know, I shouldn’t be thinking that way. Many of the people close to me, mostly my girlfriend, hate to hear me talk about myself as if I can’t do anything right as if I am inherently bad and capable of nothing but mistakes. They would tell me I am smart and that I do many things right, and when I am rational I believe them, but it only takes one tiny mistake to make me forget it again.
Last week I made a mistake and brought home keys from work that were needed there. My boss had to text me to ask where they were, and I reached into my pocket and felt them there. I always try so hard not to forget to turn the keys back in but this particular day I had had two sets in my pocket and being used to only having to turn in one I never checked my pockets again for the other.
I immediately felt that I had messed everything up for everyone else. People were not going to be able to do their jobs because I had forgotten to check my damn pockets. I was sure everyone was angry with me and frustrated by the situation. I thought they all must be sitting around saying bad things about me, and I began to say those things to myself too.
It was a small mistake, but it crushed my view of myself. At that moment, I believed I was just the worst!
This morning I came in hanging my head and apologizing as I turned the keys back into my boss. She looked like it didn’t even matter, she told me everything was fine. It was just keys and anyway, there were spares, duh! It wasn’t a big deal at all and I had been hard on myself for no reason.
I should have been easier on myself.
“Man is the only creature who refuses to be what he is.”
// Albert Camus
If one of my friends or loved ones had made that same mistake, I would have told them it was no big deal at all and reassured them that no one thought badly of them for such a small thing. I would have encouraged them not to worry about it further. I might even have laughed and thought it was funny. So, why isn’t that I can’t do that for myself? Why are all my mistakes a matter of life and death? Why do my mistakes mean that I am a bad person?
The answer is because I cannot accept that I will make mistakes just like everyone else does, and I can’t allow myself the forgiveness I afford others. I should, though. We all should. People are just people, and we can’t help fumbling and fucking up sometimes. It is a part of who we are and the occasional blunder can lead to unexpected results. Sometimes things turn out better than if we had done them “right” and sometimes we really learn something. And even if neither happens it reminds us to be humble and never to let our egos get ahead of us.
We are flawed, there is no perfection, in any of us. Wherever you think you see it is nothing but an illusion and even that will fail someday.
So, go easy on yourself. You are doing your best and deserve the same patience, understanding, and forgiveness you would give every other person in the world.