Are you your own worse critic? Do you beat yourself up about things that you perceive were failures? I hear this all the time from speakers, performers, entrepreneurs, and job seekers and even from young creatives. They do a very critical self-evaluation of their talk, performance, artwork, or interview skills.
The perfectionism and comparison trap is hard to escape. The trick is to keep things in perspective. We all progress at different rates. Sometimes things click. Sometimes they don’t. Look at what worked, what didn’t, and learn from it. Whacking on a drum also helps calm you down and stay focused. Here’s how:
What you don’t see
We often focus on our mistakes or things that didn’t go as planned. We’re just looking at one snapshot in time, or one frame of the entire film. What we often don’t see are the little incremental improvements. I often have to remind clients of these things, so they can see how far they’ve come. Sometimes, people have to remind me as well.
For example, I was ranting to a fellow coach and mentor about opportunities that didn’t materialize and she reminded me of something.
“Where were you 2 years ago,” she asked.
“Ummm….I was in extreme pain because of the accident and was fighting with doctors and the insurance company,” I replied.
“Right,” she said, “Do you remember when you had to take a cushion with you everywhere to sit on because your back hurt so much and you wore Ace bandages on your knee and ankle? I don’t see failures. I see someone who refuses to quit,” she exclaimed.
Dang! She was right. That stupid red chair cushion came with me everywhere. Now, I can haul my drums and stand or sit for long periods of time without pain. Those are major accomplishments! I’m still here! That’s another accomplishment!
– If you keep a journal, look back. What prayers were answered?
– If you don’t keep a journal, now’s the time to start one. Make sure you date the pages.
– What are some things that you’ve learned or have accomplished recently?
– What obstacles have you overcome?
– What opportunities or people have come your way just when you needed them?
Sometimes we’re so busy focusing on the future (or the past) that we forget about The Now. Don’t take the little things for granted. God sees you and He has plans for you. Hang in there and keep the faith!
Dori Staehle, MBA lives in the Raleigh, NC area and is the Chief Encouragement Officer and Rhythm Maker at Rock the Next Stage. She is an inspirational and Christian speaker, coach, therapeutic drumming facilitator, and drum therapist who specializes in creative types of all ages, especially those with ADD/ADHD traits. Dori is also the best-selling author of Find Your Divine Rhythm: A Creative’s Success Formula. For more information or to book Dori, click here.