The lies you tell yourself can have a greater effect on your everyday life than the lies you may hear from others. Women experience a great amount of societal pressure — whether it be at work, at home, on social media or elsewhere. We are more than just hard on ourselves: we hold ourselves to unrealistic expectations and then are disappointed when we don’t achieve them.
But self sabotaging is out. These days, we are working to eliminate those little lies we tell ourselves, and replacing them with words of self-positivity. But in order to eliminate these lies from our inventory, we must first be able to identify them. Here are six common lies we need to stop telling ourselves to become more proficient professionals:
1. "This was not my fault."
Accepting blame for something that didn’t go the way you wanted it to is difficult, but it’s necessary. In order to move on and learn from a negative situation, we must first accept that it was our fault. While this step is important, it is also important to not dwell on the blame. Accept that you caused the negative situation, apologize if necessary, and then get to work on A) fixing it and B) learning how to prevent it from happening in the future.
2. "X needs to be perfect."
As cliche as this sounds: absolutely nothing is perfect (and you know that.) Thinking every task or project needs to be absolutely perfect is the absolute perfect way to set yourself up for failure. Rather than focusing on and aiming toward perfection, focus on simply trying your best. Not slacking off. Asking for help when necessary. Giving a task your undivided attention. And it will be as perfect as you could possibly make it.
3. "I’ll do that tomorrow."
Well, you probably won’t. Procrastination can be our biggest enemy. Whether “X” refers to a task at work, starting an exercise plan, or apologizing to a loved one, you’re more likely to actually do it, if you choose to do it today. Choose to live in the now.
4. "I’ll get to X when I have time."
Similar to above, you probably won’t. As women, we are constantly busy. I can’t think of the last time I wasn’t. If we waited until we “had time,” we would never accomplish anything. This excuse is more likely a way to convince yourself you’re not procrastinating. Set a date and time in which you will complete a goal, and don’t let any distractions prevent you from doing so.
5. "It’s too hard; I’ll most likely fail."
If every person thought this way when approaching a difficult task, nothing would ever get accomplished. It’s OK to have these thoughts — they’re natural. But you need to combat them with positivity. Be confident in yourself and your capabilities. And never let the fear of failure prevent you from trying. Also, if you’re unsure on how to approach an intimidating task, ask for help!
6. "I’m too old to do X."
You’re only as old as you truly believe you are. Deidre Larkin, an 87-year-old woman in South Africa, completed 65 races in the year 2017 alone, even after being diagnosed with osteoporosis at the age of 69. And Man Kaur, a 102-year-old woman who didn’t start running until she was 93, has since won 20 medals from races around the world and won a gold medal in the 100 meter race at the World Masters Games in New Zealand in 2017.