So many thoughts on repeat.March 5, 2013
Last week i went into work and found out i had my annual performance review. This is on top of the review i do each month with my supervisor. i get anxious enough as it is for the monthly review but the annual one is all official and entered into the computer so just the thought of it made my heart start pounding and i could feel the hives starting up my neck.
And here’s the thing, i’m pretty good at my job. i make mistakes but overall i know what i’m doing and i work hard. But the idea of being evaluated always makes me nervous. The idea of being evaluated by someone i respect the opinion of makes it even harder. i’m always scared of disappointing people. i know i should be more concerned with disappointing myself and i am concerned with that but too often i worry about what other people are thinking.
So i glanced at the review and then went over it with my supervisor and do you know what he said? A lot of really good stuff. And then. . . he talked about how i’m too hard on myself. How i need to remember that when i set my own standards so much higher than what is expected of me i shouldn’t fall apart when i don’t meet that goal. And how if i’m already exceeding at something i can’t expect my growth to be the same as other people’s.
So i was sitting there listening to all of this and having a debate in my head about which was worse: thinking about how disappointed i was with myself for being this way and how much of a disappointment i must be to my supervisor (keep in mind i understand that i’m not, in fact, a disappointment to my supervisor but i was feeling it in that moment) and listening to good things about myself.
Crazy right? There are so many times when the world is so crazy and heavy that we long for someone to say something good about us and i couldn’t figure out whether it was worse to hear those things or to hear about my faults. i sort of said this out loud and we talked about it a little. My supervisor is a pretty great supervisor but i’ll maintain forever that he’s an even better person. He might give me looks letting me know i’m a weirdo but then he will genuinely ask what he can do to make it better. i haven’t had a supervisor who actually cares about their team in a long time.
So i’ve been trying to remember all sorts of positive mantras on repeat so that i can not be so hard on myself but also so when i get a compliment i can just say thank you or feel all warm and fuzzy about it instead of trying to overanalyze it into some sort of doublespeak way of saying i suck. i want to go into work this week and start on a good note. The following are some of my favorite quotations that i use when i need a dose of “i am okay the way i am” or “people are not out to get you” or “stop getting in your own way” or just plain old “you’re a beast.”
This first one is from my favorite book, She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb, i have it tattooed on my back because not only do i want that book with me forever and always but there is something about this particular part has spoken so true to me since the first moment i read it when i was about 13. (If you’ve never read this book don’t base your opinion on the fact that it was an Oprah’s book club pick- unless you’ll do anything Oprah recommends in which case, why are you waiting?) “Accept what people offer. Drink their milkshakes. Take their love.”
“We accept the love we think we deserve.” The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
“If you want to be loved, be a loveable. It’s a good place to start.” Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan
“The wishes might not come true the way you think they will, not everything will be perfect, but love will come because it always does, because why else would it exist and it will make everything hurt a little less. You just have to believe in yourself.” Dangerous Angels by Francesca Lia Block
“People are screwed up in this world. I’d rather be with someone screwed up and open about it than somebody perfect and ready to explode.” It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini
And this one because sometimes i forget how much writing means to me and how much it helps me: “That’s what I love about writing. Once you get the words down on paper, in print, they start to make sense. It’s like you don’t know what you think until it dribbles from your brain down your arm and into your hand and out through your fingers and shows up on the computer screen, and you read it and realize: That’s really true; I believe that.” Hard Love by Ellen Wittlinger
i also try to listen to music that i can sing along to because unconsciously jamming out is one of the best things ever but those songs will have to wait for another day.
What about you? Where do you look to find those words of wisdom that you just need to hear over and over and over again sometimes?