I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this before on the blog or not, but I play softball once a week or so after work. When I left my job last year, they asked me to come back and play so I said, why not? It’s been so much fun and a great way to unwind after work, not to mention that it keeps me in touch with friends from that office and keeps my name out there. Let’s call it unofficial networking :). Anyway, we had a game last night in the sweltering heat and, though we had a lot of fun and started the game out strong, in the end we lost. It was pretty disappointing, especially because I’m the pitcher and I walked two people during a crucial inning.

I’m the type of person that beats myself up inside when I make errors both at work and outside of work, as you all probably know by now! So, of course, last night I dwelt on my particularly bad inning with gusto, but then it dawned on me: this is not the end of the world! I know, shocking, right? I came to that conclusion all on my own, when usually I depend on a close friend or family member to say the words to me a few times before I believe them. I take that as a good sign! I’m improving.

I know I can be overly hard on myself, as I’m sure many people are (“You’re your own worst critic” and all that…), and it can sometimes be a while before I pull myself out of a funk. To me, my actions both at work and in my personal life are a direct reflection on me and my self-confidence. I want to be a person of integrity and I do believe I already am that person, but when I fail to deliver what I think I should, I go over and over that action in my mind to examine all the ways I went wrong. This can be a good thing because in some ways this makes me more introspective and it strengthens my self-image; in other ways, it can be a little destructive if my thoughts turn negative.

There is always room for self-review and self-criticism. I think it has made me wiser and overall a better person because it forces me to think about my choices and my reasons for making them. It’s when those thoughts start to drown out any positive outcomes that I need to take a step back and re-evaluate my thinking.