Updated: Aug 31, 2021
This is a pattern I've seen quite often in my high-achieving, women clients.
It is exhausting. And you can change it.
Behaviors and thoughts that reflect this pattern might look like:
"I can't do this project perfectly, so I should wait until I have enough time." (There's never enough time). Worry for days about the impending project then pull an all-nighter to get it done the day it's due. Then beat one's self up about the quality of the work.
"I will end up obsessing over drafts of this paper, so I should wait until I'm up against a deadline to limit how much time I have to obsess about whether it's good enough."
"The last time I had a presentation, someone gave me negative feedback. I beat myself up about it for days. That won't happen again. I will work harder this time." Then work for hours and hours, with negative, racing thoughts: "Why are you such an idiot; why is this so hard for you; why aren't you better at this, etc." Avoid doing the work to avoid hearing these inner thoughts.
This suffering often happens in silence.
To change this dynamic, it takes:
Cultivating your inner confidence, inner knowing, and self-compassion;
Coming into a different relationship with your inner critic;
Understanding the mindsets that undergird this pattern;
Confronting the fear that failure will result if this pattern loosens;
Practicing incremental shifts that disrupt these patterns.
I’ve walked myself through this as well as numerous clients. Are you ready to change this pattern in favor of a more life-giving inner world? Reach out.