“Where do you think you are hard on yourself?”

“Where do you think you are hard on yourself?”

This was a question posed to me by my therapist in one of our very first meetings. My answer at the time was, “I don’t think I’m hard on myself at all.”

I further explained that I didn’t expect a perfect GPA from myself. I didn’t expect a certain weight when I step on a scale. I also said that I understood that I am human and humans are not perfect, so I would never expect myself to be that.

Fast forward 2 months later and my answer to the question above is very different. I have come to realize that the standards I have for myself are unrealistic and quite ridiculous, frankly. I may not strive for perfection, but I sure am striving for whatever is right underneath it.

I didn’t realize that I was much more forgiving towards other people than I was myself. I allowed other people to make mistakes, but if I made one, I would think about it for weeks and make sure that I would never forget the feeling of disappointment I felt within myself because of that mistake. Other people could be late. Other people could back out of already made plans. Other people could spell a word wrong. Other people could take the average time it took to finish whatever task they’re doing.

When I hear ,”you made a mistake”, I actually hear, “you failed to do the right thing”.

“You failed.”

I don’t know where this fear of failure came from, but it’s something I’m working on. It’s a lot of pressure to put on myself and I know that.