A real estate agent friend of mine said to me, “If my boss is being an asshole, I only have myself to blame.”
I laughed and nodded, because being a freelance web designer also puts me in the position of being my own boss. I have to say, my boss is not always nice to me and can be a downright Mean Girl.
There is no one as cruel and harsh to me as I am to myself. I imagine a shadow-me with stormy eyes and wild hair, constantly spewing forth a litany of abuse:
What makes you think you can accomplish all of that?
Seriously, you should go back to school and learn some basic grammar.
That looks like someone took a child’s drawing and ran it through the wash.
Are you joking? Put that code away, you’ll hurt yourself.
People actually hire you to work on their stuff and you haven’t been sued yet?
There’s something about working for myself (or maybe just my personality) that sometimes leads to weird fits of worry and self-recrimination. I truly am my own worst enemy when it comes to self-analysis. I spend some bit of time every single day thinking about my actions, but too much thought starts leading down the Mean Girl Shenoa path and then the rest of my day goes to hell.
This was somewhat tempered by being amongst a group of others at Room to Think. Coworking provided me with a little needed perspective. It’s really hard to be an asshole to yourself when you’re surrounded by an atmosphere of positivity and productivity. Others are stoked about what you’re creating and you’re encouraged by seeing their successes.
That’s not to say that I’ve completely put the Mean Girl to bed. In the dark of the night, she still comes around to harass me. I think I’m better equipped to handle her these days, but now that I’ve moved to Seattle and surrounded by newness, I feel I need to be extra vigilant that her snide ways don’t drag me down. For she IS me, and the part of me that uses self-critique to learn and grow needs to know my weaknesses. The challenge is to find the truth behind the cruelty and let go of the insanely stupid habit of self-meanness.
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