How To Know If You’re Being Too Hard On Yourself

Know Youre Being Too Hard On Yourself

2. Identify what true “success” means to you, authentically, then revise your behavior to enable that type of success

So many people are slaves to a particular concept of success that was unconsciously formed earlier in life and no longer makes them happy. In my book The Most Powerful You that explores the 7 most damaging power gaps that professional women face, Kendra shares her real-life story of how she became a workaholic from childhood trauma that shaped her, and how it became a cycle that destroyed her health and well-being. She shares this:

“I had carried the workaholic mindset with me into every single position as I entered the same cycle:

–  I must work 40, 50, 60 + hours to prove my value and get promoted. My mindset was: if you work less than 40 hours/week you’re just average or seen as not doing your job.

–  Get promoted, get a big salary bump.

–  Work to the point of burnout

–  Get accolades from the boss, yet feel dead inside

–  Feel terrible because I’m ignoring my husband, gaining weight, not doing anything else but working, becoming one dimensional as a result

– Decide it must not be the right company/industry/product for me; find a different company/industry/product that I could “be proud of” or “gives me a sense of purpose”

–  Switch jobs

– Repeat every 18 mos – 5 years 

After a breakdown experience that led to a breakthrough, Kendra transformed her mindset and her life. She committed to releasing this unrelenting adherence to a type of success that was destroying her happiness.

Related: 7 Science-Backed Reasons Why Spending Time Alone Makes You More Successful

In her words:  

“I realized then that I needed to think more about the possibility and to let go of my negative thinking and start to embrace optimism. It has been a challenge, but simply shifting this mindset has truly expanded my thinking. It allowed me to open myself to learning who I am and shifting my priorities. I no longer want to let life happen, but rather, make life happen.

It is this mindshift that is helping me examine where I am out of sync with my current career and living inauthentically. I realize that I’ve checked the box on the big house and the nice car, but at my core I am not a materialistic person. It’s my scarcity mindset that drives my need to excel fiscally in my career. When my co-workers are bragging about their stay at the Ritz and their $150 omikase lunches, I’m internally rolling my eyes wishing I could be hiking and camping in the woods with my dog, eating a campfire meal. The fact that my current career keeps me in the company of these people and values causes friction with the fabric of my being.”

3. Finally, strengthen yourself

To build a joyful, rewarding life and career, we need strong boundaries and a secure sense of self. 

Daring To Set Boundaries Is About Having The Courage To Love
How To Know If You’re Being Too Hard On Yourself

We must learn how to say “Yes” to what we want, and “No” to what is no longer tolerable or acceptable. And we need to separate ourselves from people and messages that squash our authentic dreams and drain us of our life’s energy and time, that tell us we don’t deserve the thrilling lives and careers we long for.  

Related: Impulse Test That Will Reveal Your Greatest Inner Strength: Quiz

In the end, we need to consciously identify what matters most to us, then access the bravery and power to defend those priorities like our lives depended on them, because they do.


Written by: Kathy Caprino
Originally appeared on: Forbes.com
To build more authentic success and happiness in your career, read Kathy Caprino’s new book The Most Powerful You: 7 Bravery-Boosting Paths to Career Bliss.
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How To Know If You’re Being Too Hard On Yourself
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