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Skewed Perceptions of Self and Accomplishment

I looked at the clock and thought, “11:17!! Already? I haven’t gotten anything  done today!”

But when I tried to pick out just what it was I thought I should have done already, my mind was a blank. The idea of what I hadn’t accomplished was just a kind of hazy cloud, an overcast. Ill defined and vaporous, yet substantial enough to cast a shadow across my mind. 

All this as I dried my hands from washing dishes. Hmm.

So I asked myself, “what have  I done today?” I clicked them off in my head:
washed a load of clothes
cooked  2 pounds of bacon
made 2 pitchers of tea
emptied the dishwasher
took a conference call for work
texted back and forth with my boss
read my emails
cleaned the kitchen
made breakfast
hand washed a bunch of dishes
cleaned the kitty litter…

I guess I did do some things. And yet I had stood there, downcast and self-condemning, in the shadow of a cloud of my own making.

Why do we do that to ourselves? I know it’s not just me.

Why are we so hard on ourselves?


17 Comments Post a comment
  1. It’s definitely human nature and what we expect of ourselves. I experience it all the time, constantly beating myself up over something that really shouldn’t be such a big deal. As I grew older, I figured that this mentality was greatly affected by my decision to make it a “big deal” when it really didn’t have to be. I tended to inflate the importance of something, when it probably isn’t as severe or important as I make it out to be. Since I’m usually so convinced that something has to be so darn important, I deprecate myself for ‘not doing good enough’ without realising that it’s not the worst thing that could happen…oh well

    February 10, 2014
    • I most often don’t think these things through, I just go through the day feeling one way or anther without analysis. But I’m trying to put more thought into how I feel and act, so that I can stop some of this silly thinking. I totally do what you’re talking about too – inflate things in my head into much bigger deals than they need to be. It’s stress we cause ourselves for no good reason.

      February 12, 2014
  2. I do the same thing because we are creatively driven people. Please pass the bacon!

    February 10, 2014
    • That’s an interesting idea there! I can see how that would definitely make a difference in the way our brains work. I know I was getting frustrated at work the other day because we were putting up bags of candy just where ever there was space. It killed me that it wasn’t organized by price or size or style or SOMETHING! There was no magic in it at all. Just random stuff. I looked at the entire display today and the whole thing is like that. I know it’s just drug store candy and tchotchke, but it just isn’t right!! The items should flow and follow a theme! It could be so much better. So, yeah, that’s a mental and emotional burden I put on myself due to creative brain. Interesting!

      February 12, 2014
  3. I ask myself the same question….we need to be nicer to ourselves!

    February 10, 2014
    • I totally agree! Yesterday I was off and I did my cooking again and some podcast work, etc. But this time when I looked at the clock, I was thinking purposefully about the things I had done since I got up. It did help me feel much better about myself, just being purposeful with my thoughts and making the observations positive. I’m going to keep practicing that!

      February 12, 2014
  4. Boots,
    I’ve got a bit of an Antichrist complex so . . . I do see myself as sorta horrible at times.

    February 10, 2014
    • Well, I know your brain works in mysterious ways! 🙂 I often can’t keep up with the way your mind works, for real. You go in directions that I don’t know how to follow. But I have never seen you as horrible at all! Unusual and unique, but never horrible. I think you’re a nice guy, actually. Although, I wonder if you think that’s a compliment, haha.

      February 12, 2014
  5. What did you do with all that bacon?

    February 10, 2014
    • I ate it!

      February 12, 2014
      • You are my hero. My two pounds of bacon-eating hero.

        February 12, 2014
        • Haha! I didn’t do it at one sitting though. I hope you’re not disappointed. 🙂

          February 12, 2014
  6. It gets even worse if you’re somewhat athletic. I’ve seen friends beat themselves to the ground over a bad race, when the only person they were competing against was themselves. Like you, the day never seems long enough to get everything done–until I step back and realize I’ve actually accomplished more than I thought. So hard to be human!

    February 11, 2014
    • Oh I bet athletes are the worst for beating themselves up! I know I do it most on things like diet and exercise and all the ways I want to better myself. But if you have so much of your energy and effort and time focused on a particular activity, then that must make it so much harder when things don’t go well in that area. You’re right, it is hard to be human!

      February 12, 2014
  7. I do the same thing and funny thing is that we would be a lot kinder to anyone else. But I think the checking off what we have done is a great idea 🙂 Btw I got distracted by the bacon on your list and thinking mmmm …. maybe I should get myself some bacon too 😀

    February 11, 2014
    • Absolutely! We’d be telling them how great they are and seeing all the good in them!

      I got more bacon this week and cooked it all yesterday – Yum! I ate some hot and put some in a quiche and have some left to eat all week. So good.

      February 12, 2014

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