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4 Reasons to Stop Beating Yourself Up

4 Reasons to Stop Beating Yourself Up

We all get down on ourselves once in a while. It is a natural human instinct and can serve as a good motivation booster. Unfortunately, there are many who live daily with the notion that they will never be good enough. It is a crippling feeling that can affect any type of person from the most unsuccessful to the most successful. And why?

There are a million and one answers to that question and it varies from person to person. Much of the time, it is probably the way an individual learned to organize and filter their existence from a young age. It could have developed later after much failure and hardship. Who can say? It also doesn’t help that we live in a society that glorifies excessive beauty, wealth, and power. We are bombarded with a constant stream of media that tells us we need to be better in every way.

In the face of such powerful forces, it can be difficult to learn how to counteract the inevitable negativity those forces instigate. However, I think it is important not to view it as a struggle. Instead, we must examine why we feel such things. So without further ado, here are some things to think about when coping with negative self-worth.

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1. You are a super intelligent being

being intelligent is sexy

    Maybe some of you are thinking, “No that’s not me, I didn’t go to college, I didn’t even go to high school. I don’t know anything about anything.” Pish posh. Education is no measurement of intelligence. Even the most “unintelligent” (I use that word grudgingly) human being is smarter than any other creature on this planet. The point is that every person has the capacity to learn. Furthermore, it is not the things you learn, or even the things you are good at that make you intelligent. It is the ability to choose to do those things. It is human will. We all have it.

    So maybe you’ll never be an astro-physicist. My guess is there is something (or many things) that you enjoy; something that no one else can do quite the way you do. Maybe you don’t know what that is yet. So start looking, and don’t stop until you find that thing. Then, it is up to you to use that incredible gift of intelligence and make the choice to pursue your endeavors.

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    2. You are your own worst enemy

    own enemy

      Those of you who immediately doubted your own intelligence while reading number 1, this one’s for you. Who said you’re not intelligent? Who said you can’t do this or that? You did. Sure, somewhere down the road we’ve all been told by one person or another, whether by suggestion or actual words, that we are not good enough. So what? At the end of the day, you get to make that call, and only you.

      Too often, we forget that we are in charge of our existence. We let ourselves be swayed by the opinions and biases of our parents, friends, partners, and sometimes even strangers. Understand, I’m not endorsing delusional behavior. Sometimes we want to have or do something so badly, but for the wrong reasons. It is up to us to reflect upon and examine why we want the things we want, and why we do the things we do. Only then do we see that we can in fact be our own worst enemies by letting ourselves get pulled into what others want for us, rather than what we truly desire.

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      3. You’re all you’ve got

      Screen Shot 2013-08-05 at 11.20.33 AM

        Of course I don’t mean that you are alone in this life. We are all in this together. Yet, when it comes down to it, only you, the individual, have the power to give meaning to your life. Yes, there can be people, things, and endeavors that bring you great joy and value, but you are the one who chooses to bring those things into your life. And ultimately, it is your reaction to, and what you learn from those forces that ascribe meaning to your existence.

        Your reality is your own. The way you experience things is a manifestation of everything that’s going on inside. It all comes back to the individual. In acknowledging our patterns of thought, emotion, and action, we get to know ourselves better. We learn to be friends with ourselves, and realize that we are the only ones who can change our reality for the better.

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        4. The pains of youth are not your fault

        Sometimes all of the above thoughts don’t quite cut it. Sometimes we need to dig a little deeper. An unfortunate fact of life is that many of us harbor feelings of extreme inadequacy based upon things that happened (or didn’t happen) when we were growing up under our guardian’s roof. Many may not even realize that their anger, sorrow, and anxiety stem from this incredibly pertinent time in their lives.

        If you are still living with childhood pain, it must be acknowledged and worked through. Maybe you’ve always blamed yourself for your parents’ divorce. Maybe you’ve lived with the notion that you don’t deserve love or attention because you never received any from your guardians. Maybe it’s much worse than either of those examples.

        In any case, you must understand that whatever it is for which you are blaming yourself, it is not your fault. How could it be? A child knows no better. Our little minds are only partially developed then. We only want one thing: the love and affection of our guardians. If we don’t get what we need and deserve, how else are we suppose to feel but unimportant and worthless?

        If you are an adult dealing with these issues, remember that it is not about casting blame. It is about acknowledging that you are responsible for your own well being now, and that you deserve to take care of yourself. Of course, we don’t just wake up one day and start doing this. It will only happen with intense therapy, self-reflection or a combination of the two. It is up to each of us to take that step.

        Final Thoughts

        The next time you are feeling the pangs of self-loathing, try to think or, better yet, feel your incredible potential as a human being. It may not work the first time or even the tenth time, but make a habit of shifting your thoughts from the negative to the positive, and you will begin to alter those patterns.

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        Last Updated on March 14, 2019

        7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

        7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

        Recruiters might hold thousands of interviews in their careers and a lot of them are reporting the same thing—that most candidates play it safe with the questions they ask, or have no questions to ask in a job interview at all.

        For job applicants, this approach is crazy! This is a job that you’re going to dedicate a lot of hours to and that might have a huge impact on your future career. Don’t throw away the chance to figure out if the position is perfect for you.

        Here are 7 killer questions to ask in a job interview that will both impress your counterpart and give you some really useful insights into whether this job will be a dream … or a nightmare.

        1. What are some challenges I might come up against this role?

        A lesser candidate might ask, “what does a typical day look like in this role?” While this is a perfectly reasonable question to ask in an interview, focusing on potential challenges takes you much further because it indicates that you already are visualizing yourself in the role.

        It’s impressive because it shows that you are not afraid of challenges, and you are prepared to strategize a game plan upfront to make sure you succeed if you get the job.

        It can also open up a conversation about how you’ve solved problems in the past which can be a reassuring exercise for both you and the hiring manager.

        How it helps you:

        If you ask the interviewer to describe a typical day, you may get a vibrant picture of all the lovely things you’ll get to do in this job and all the lovely people you’ll get to do them with.

        Asking about potential roadblocks means you hear the other side of the story—dysfunctional teams, internal politics, difficult clients, bootstrap budgets and so on. This can help you decide if you’re up for the challenge or whether, for the sake of your sanity, you should respectfully decline the job offer.

        2. What are the qualities of really successful people in this role?

        Employers don’t want to hire someone who goes through the motions; they want to hire someone who will excel.

        Asking this question shows that you care about success, too. How could they not hire you with a dragon-slayer attitude like that?

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        How it helps you:

        Interviewers hire people who are great people to work with, but the definition of “great people” differs from person to person.

        Does this company hire and promote people with a specific attitude, approach, worth ethic or communication style? Are the most successful people in this role strong extroverts who love to talk and socialize when you are studious and reserved? Does the company reward those who work insane hours when you’re happiest in a more relaxed environment?

        If so, then this may not be the right match for you.

        Whatever the answer is, you can decide whether you have what it takes for the manager to be happy with your performance in this role. And if the interviewer has no idea what success looks like for this position, this is a sign to proceed with extreme caution.

        3. From the research I did on your company, I noticed the culture really supports XYZ. Can you tell me more about that element of the culture and how it impacts this job role?

        Of course, you could just ask “what is the culture like here? ” but then you would miss a great opportunity to show that you’ve done your research!

        Interviewers give BIG bonus point to those who read up and pay attention, and you’ve just pointed out that (a) you’re diligent in your research (b) you care about the company culture and (c) you’re committed to finding a great cultural fit.

        How it helps you:

        This question is so useful because it lets you pick an element of the culture that you really care about and that will have the most impact on whether you are happy with the organization.

        For example, if training and development is important to you, then you need to know what’s on offer so you don’t end up in a dead-end job with no learning opportunities.

        Companies often talk a good talk, and their press releases may be full of shiny CSR initiatives and all the headline-grabbing diversity programs they’re putting in place. This is your opportunity to look under the hood and see if the company lives its values on the ground.

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        A company that says it is committed to doing the right thing by customers should not judge success by the number of up-sells an employee makes, for instance. Look for consistency, so you aren’t in for a culture shock after you start.

        4. What is the promotion path for this role, and how would my performance on that path be measured?

        To be clear, you are not asking when you will get promoted. Don’t go there—it’s presumptuous, and it indicates that you think you are better than the role you have applied for.

        A career-minded candidate, on the other hand, usually has a plan that she’s working towards. This question shows you have a great drive toward growth and advancement and an intention to stick with the company beyond your current state.

        How it helps you:

        One word: hierarchy.

        All organizations have levels of work and authority—executives, upper managers, line managers, the workforce, and so on. Understanding the hierarchical structure gives you power, because you can decide if you can work within it and are capable of climbing through its ranks, or whether it will be endlessly frustrating to you.

        In a traditional pyramid hierarchy, for example, the people at the bottom tend to have very little autonomy to make decisions. This gets better as you rise up through the pyramid, but even middle managers have little power to create policy; they are more concerned with enforcing the rules the top leaders make.

        If having a high degree of autonomy and accountability is important to you, you may do better in a flat hierarchy where work teams can design their own way of achieving the corporate goals.

        5. What’s the most important thing the successful candidate could accomplish in their first 3 months/6 months/year?

        Of all the questions to ask in a job interview, this one is impressive because it shows that you identify with and want to be a successful performer, and not just an average one.

        Here, you’re drilling down into what the company needs, and needs quite urgently, proving that you’re all about adding value to the organization and not just about what’s in it for you.

        How it helps you:

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        Most job descriptions come with 8, 10 or 12 different job responsibilities and a lot of them with be boilerplate or responsibilities that someone in HR thinks are associated with this role. This question gives you a better sense of which responsibilities are the most important—and they may not be what initially attracted you to the role.

        If you like the idea of training juniors, for example, but success is judged purely on your sales figures, then is this really the job you thought you were applying for?

        This question will also give you an idea of what kind of learning curve you’re expected to have and whether you’ll get any ramp-up time before getting down to business. If you’re the type of person who likes to jump right in and get things done, for instance, you may not be thrilled to hear that you’re going to spend the first three months shadowing a peer.

        6. What do you like about working here?

        This simple question is all about building rapport with the interviewer. People like to talk about themselves, and the interviewer will be flattered that you’re interested in her opinions.

        Hopefully, you’ll find some great connection points that the two of you share. What similar things drive you head into the office each day? How will you fit into the culture?

        How it helps you:

        You can learn a lot from this question. Someone who genuinely enjoys his job will be able to list several things they like, and their answers will sound passionate and sincere. If not….well, you might consider that a red flag.

        Since you potentially can learn a lot about the company culture from this question, it’s a good idea to figure out upfront what’s important to you. Maybe you’re looking for a hands-off boss who values independent thought and creativity? Maybe you work better in environments that move at a rapid, exciting pace?

        Whatever’s important to you, listen carefully and see if you can find any common ground.

        7. Based on this interview, do you have any questions or concerns about my qualifications for the role?

        What a great closing question to ask in a job interview! It shows that you’re not afraid of feedback—in fact, you are inviting it. Not being able to take criticism is a red flag for employers, who need to know that you’ll act on any “coaching moments” with a good heart.

        As a bonus, asking this question shows that you are really interested in the position and wish to clear up anything that may be holding the company back from hiring you.

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        How it helps you:

        What a devious beast this question is! On the surface, it looks straightforward, but it’s actually giving you four key pieces of information.

        First, is the manager capable of giving you feedback when put on the spot like this? Some managers are scared of giving feedback, or don’t think it’s important enough to bother outside of a formal performance appraisal. Do you want to work for a boss like that? How will you improve if no one is telling you what you did wrong?

        Second, can the manager give feedback in a constructive way without being too pillowy or too confrontational? It’s unfair to expect the interviewer to have figured out your preferred way of receiving feedback in the space of an interview, but if she come back with a machine-gun fire of shortcomings or one of those corporate feedback “sandwiches” (the doozy slipped between two slices of compliment), then you need to ask yourself, can you work with someone who gives feedback like that?

        Third, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about before you leave the interview. This gives you the chance to make a final, tailored sales pitch so you can convince the interviewer that she should not be worried about those things.

        Fourth, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about period. If turnover is keeping him up at night, then your frequent job hopping might get a lot of additional scrutiny. If he’s facing some issues with conflict or communication, then he might raise concerns regarding your performance in this area.

        Listen carefully: the concerns that are being raised about you might actually be a proxy for problems in the wider organization.

        Making Your Interview Work for You

        Interviews are a two-way street. While it is important to differentiate yourself from every other candidate, understand that convincing the interviewer you’re the right person for the role goes hand-in-hand with figuring out if the job is the right fit for you.

        Would you feel happy in a work environment where the people, priorities, culture and management style were completely at odds with the way you work? Didn’t think so!

        More Resources About Job Interviews

        Featured photo credit: Amy Hirschi via unsplash.com

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