This is the conversation I had with my client who is struggling with the amount of job she is demanded to do as a manager. She feels tested pretty much every day and she is pretty exhausted, but she has a strong growth mindset that keeps her going.
Here is the comment she shared with me followed by my response below:
Hi Yuzuru, thanks so much for your message, I read it over and over again as that’s what I need it! Especially I tend to push myself too hard sometimes, then I was really down. I think one of the reasons is I wanna prove to others that I can do a good job, so when my colleague tried to help me, I would think he helped me is that because I’m not good enough( I know that’s very negative of me lol), and I regretted that I was being grumpy at my colleague so apologised to him later on.
And my response:
As for your tendency, I think it is great that you at least are aware of your tendency and you understand yourself better than before as you started to perceive and analyse your reaction after it is done, which is a great step I believe so that you can at least try not to do the same thing^^
But also, I believe you have grown so much because of that tendency that you have a strong desire to prove to others you can do a good job, which motivates you to push yourself so hard.
You wouldn’t be who you are if you didn’t have that strong desire and tendency I suppose so this tendency itself is nothing wrong I believe.
Rather, you might want to get a hang of it, and keep it under your control.
It is like driving a car, the car can go 300km, but you would crush if you don’t know how to drive like a pro racer right?
As you know, I have a tendency very similar to yours. I perform way better when my performance directly affects other people because I don’t want to disappoint other people.
On the contrary, I have tried many times before that I promised myself to perform well for myself, but this did not work. I realised that I need to invite someone in my circle to be involved in my delivery so that my switch will turn on.
So once I recognise this tendency, I now know how I can keep my performance high because I know what keeps me going and working hard.
At the same time, it can be very exhausting when I have been working so long that I do feel not much mental energy left in my container but I just keep working hard just because I don’t want to disappoint others which creates huge mental stress that gets me really exhausted.
I still go through that phase from time to time, but I come to create space by meditation like you do so that I can gain wisdom to recognise where I am at, and what I should do to manage the situation better, and the courage to take action on what I think is the best thing to do for the situation.
I became clear in my head after that and I feel more intentional about what I do instead of my life being controlled by external circumstances.
Maybe I might get told off by some other people, but I kind of gave up on changing my tendency, but rather I decided to manage them, use them for my own growth.
What I mean by that is to stop trying to eradicate it, and get rid of it. I surrender to the wish I used to have that I don’t have to face it forever. I have attempted many times so hard and failed so hard that I now accept and decided to embody that tendency that is built in the part of my being.
And since this tendency creates a strong force that pushes you to take action, why don’t we use it even though it has a potentially negative impact on your life?
Maybe, you might want to find a way to control your action when especially you are under stress due to being pushed to the limit by yourself so that you might see different consequences even though you might be thinking the same inside but doesn’t need to put it out right?
I normally try to be as quiet as possible when I am not in the best shape because I know I will say something unnecessary which creates traction. I learn it hard way many times and suffered a lot so those experiences changed my awareness and are enough for me to know that I need to pause and interrupt my flow.
As I am getting older lol, and have more experience, I am getting better at it, but it is still a daily struggle especially when my work is getting busy that I am exposed to go reactive state.
Anyway again, long shot as usual lol, but I 100% am confident that you can be better at controlling it since you are always going to back to your blank space to just reflect and digest everything happened and process through it^^ Let’s work together.