Hi I’m Jessie, and I am extremely hard on myself. If I had to name one trait of mine that is my biggest strength and my biggest weakness, this would probably be it. Because I am hard on myself, I am incredibly determined. Giving up is not an option (I honestly don’t even really understand what that means). When I set out to do something (fully), I accomplish it. Because I am hard on myself, when I don’t do my best, I don’t let it go. When something doesn’t work out the way I want it to, I tend to take it personally. When people don’t respond or show up how I would, I get upset.
In Landmark (a program I did a few years ago), they call it a “strong suit”. It’s a trait that you learn from a young age that has helped you get far in life, AND sometimes holds you back. (What’s yours? You probably have a few!)
Yesterday I had a weird day. A day of somewhat random self-doubt, annoyance/frustration, and feeling not good enough all over the place. I say random because - there’s no specific incidence that triggered it, no one said anything mean, I’m not failing at anything big…just kind of random. Or perhaps an accumulation of little things. And through the process of being a little off balance, I learned some things.
1) I have a natural ability or instinct to be tough on myself, and push myself. That is something I can either protest, or accept.
2) This “hard on myself” trait does not define me. As in, it is not ME, it is simply a trait that I have. It comes up from time to time, and occasionally takes over and makes me upset, but ultimately, I get to decide how I look at this trait. It can be awful, or it can be useful. Through this, I found gratitude.
3) If I weren’t so hard on myself, I would not be the teacher and facilitator I am today, and forever growing. There is no way I would be able to break things down so specifically, and care deeply about how people are understanding it. If I weren’t so hard on myself, I would not be so hard on my students and they would experience less growth. This trait is incredibly useful.
Today, it hurt me. But I love it no less. And what’s more so, is I love myself no less.
If it weren’t for my fears, my insecurities, my breakdowns, I wouldn’t have nearly as much to share with you all. I wouldn’t be able to speak authentically, and from experience. I have lots more to go, but today, I am grateful for these moments of self-doubt, self-disgust even, so that I can step through them and encourage others to do the same.
And tomorrow, is a new day. I get to give myself grace, and trust that I will continue growing (because trust me, I will).
How do you handle those feisty characteristics?