i talked to my therapist about two different situations that brought up strong emotions in me.
first, i talked to my therapist about this call i had a coworker right before. i had this call with a coworker where we disagreed on a project and i felt very stressed about that.
- from the talk, i realized my stress came from self blame that had a root in unrealistic expectations of myself.
- specifically, i had the attitude that i should be an incredible product manager that predicts disagreements from the team, and when there are disagreements, resolves them correctly immediately in the meeting itself. a product manager that communicates smoothly verbally, doesn't need help from his manager, and runs perfect meetings and focuses well even late in the day when tired and hungry from having skipped lunch.
- i discovered this attitude over the course of ten minutes where i kept trying to convince my therapist that the situation i was in, was a sign of my “could be better” abilities as a PM. i didn’t even realize i was doing it, it was that deeply rooted.
- even now i haven’t fully let go of these expectations. i understand i should, but my mind can't let them go. awareness is the first step though.
- we also talked about how self esteem plays into this. when you accept yourself as you are, so you don’t need to fuss over these unrealistic expectations for yourself.
- she also made the comment that a supportive healthy relationship can help a lot with self esteem 🤔
second, i talked to my therapist about this feeling i have that i find it harder to "be responsible" and stay on top of tasks like other people do. specifically, i had this chair i was supposed to sell for our household and... i never did.
- similar to the last one, i kept trying to convince my therapist that this was a terrible failing of mine (basically blaming myself), but i didn't succeed. it's crazy that the same self blame pattern played out in this topic too.
- i tried to explain how my roommates and people of certain personalities are more able to be on top of things, but i and also some other people struggle.
- she stopped me if i could see the self blame in what i had described.
- i was like huh, yeah, there's self blame in that i am comparing myself with others.
- she noted that i seem to do that a lot, like why. does it serve me?
- i thought about that a bit. it doesn’t serve me, it basically makes me stressed about the task and so i’m less likely to do it.
- i thought about it more. a lightbulb went off in my head. i realized i compare myself with others subconsciously to make sure “I’m doing OK”.
- she's like oh yeah. you want external assurances.
- AND I WAS LIKE OMG. YES! this drives so much of my behaviors. it's why i read all these self help books, read all these reviews for products, rely on experts so much. i need all these external assurances. i don't trust myself.
- we remembered i asked my therapist earlier about the pace of the relationship with a girl i'm seeing. she was like, why are you asking me... ask her! and now i'm like oh yeah, it's cuz i wanted that assurance from an "expert".
- my therapist asked me how often i rely on my feelings instead of like, external reviews and assurances.
- i was like lol, never. maybe a bit more cuz of the meditation, but not much. she encouraged me to check in with myself in my head more, instead of just jumping to external validation. i've resolved to do that more.