I’ve had conversations with other women who are built like me–women who work tirelessly to meet an expectation that we ourselves create, and then when one small part of that expectation doesn’t go as planned, we beat ourselves up. We know we do this. We can anticipate it, we can see it happening, but in the aftermath we are helpless in stopping ourselves from the negative self-talk or disappointment that follows even the smallest of disappointments in the midst of an overall victory. We don’t give ourselves the grace we give others. We talk to ourselves in ways would never dream of talking to our best friend.
Why do we do this? It makes no sense to me, yet I do it over and over again. When I approach each week I think if I just get more caught up on Sunday or if journal/pray/exercise/meditate more, this week will be different. I just keep adding on expectation after expectation and then beat myself up when I don’t meet them. This makes no sense–yet I do it. I say, “I just need accountability for getting up at 4:30 AM to exercise…I just need that pretty journal to do my daily devotion…I just need to do yoga…then I’ll get it all done and meet some expectation of success I set forth in my mind.”
But life happens. The nurse is sick. You don’t have a sub for PE. You have “chaos” in the lunchroom. Your people need you to listen to them. You are left feeling like you got “nothing” accomplished because you didn’t do what YOU set out to do. Yes, even as I write this I know it’s ridiculous to feel like a failure, yet I do. Again and again. What is that? I laugh, thinking I must have some trait or gene that helps me to be highly successful in some portions of my life, yet sorely lacking in others. Is it the overachiever gene?
I don’t have any answers tonight. I read other principals’ blogs and get lots of ideas on how to improve culture, be an instructional leader, manage time…blah…blah..blah..I’m just trying to get through the week. The only thing I have to offer tonight is solidarity, perhaps. Girls like me–you know who you are and you are not alone. You are the girl that goes to a PD, visits another teacher’s blog, or even peruses Teachers Pay Teachers and beats yourself up for all things you are not doing that “everyone else is doing perfectly.” You are not alone and you are killing it, even if you, yourself can’t recognize it. Welcome to the sisterhood.