"I'm doing it wrong." This was the concern shared with me recently by a client during our coaching session.
As we continue to live in an extended period of uncertainty, many of us believe that we should be doing something differently than what we are doing. And it should come as no surprise that we project this thought onto others as we think that "They are doing it wrong".
"They" are our kids, our partner, our friends, our co-workers, our boss, random strangers...and on and on it goes.
Whether we are focused on what we've done wrong or what others have done wrong, "doing it wrong" presupposes that there is "a right way" to be doing it, with "it" referring to how we are showing up, behaving, choosing to live our life.
What we are often unaware of is that beneath the striving of doing it right is a need to "be right".
So, why the need to be right?
For me, as a child I got a lot of praise and attention for getting good grades. This became an identity I took on that led to the belief that "I'm smart", "I'm a good student", "I'm a good girl". What shapes our early identity may be different, but what we often have in common is a need to be right that is fueled by a desire to feel worthy.
What I'm appreciating more, as I continue to grow and gain the wisdom that comes with age, is that when I'm feeling unworthy it's because I'm thinking thoughts that are making me feel unworthy. Thoughts that end with not [blank] enough...filling in the blank with whatever seems most relevant at the moment.
So, why do we think these thoughts that make us feel so bad?
We're often not doing this consciously. We believe that these thoughts are true. It's our reality. We're unaware that we've made up these thoughts. We don't realize that we have a choice in the matter. We can keep thinking these same painful thoughts or we can simply decide to choose a different thought.
So, here's what I am offering you today. Consider the possibility that you're not doing it wrong...and neither are they. Maybe we're all just doing the best we can with the information we have right now. We're learning and growing while stretching outside of our comfort zone.
Start to notice when these thoughts are present. For many of us, this is a dominant thought pattern - the fear of getting it wrong/ the need to get it right. It often shows up for me when I have a deliverable due (striving for perfection can lead to missing deadlines) or in making decisions.
When you hear your inner critic telling you that you're doing it wrong, pause and label it as a thought. Imagine that it's a cloud in the sky and allow it to drift away, constantly being replaced by a new cloud with a new thought. Then with this awareness, make a decision about what you want to do with the thoughts: keep them, release them, or choose new, better feeling thoughts.
In what situations does this show up for you? Leave a comment below to let me know.
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