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  • Nick

Shock news everybody – are you sitting down? I am not perfect and make mistakes!!

If you have read my blog you will already be well aware and know that my grammar can be interesting and my spelling isn’t perfect either. I could talk about dyslexia, time constraints and 1,000 other reasons as to why I just don’t see what I write as having faults. I know there are things I can do, proof reading etc just isn’t one of them. Pictures on the other hand I can pretty much see if a picture is out by even the slightest of margins.


The reasons I bring this up is a client of mine is reaching breaking point with some of his behaviour. He has faults but instead of acknowledging the faults and doing something about it, his is unaware and ignores the problem. When an issue arises and, it does happen regularly, he starts berating himself, then anger, they carry on to the feelings of shame and then an internal voice who is more critical and vicious as any boss or parent and, they spend hours in their own head getting punished for their stupidity, for being a bad person, for failing again. I am sure you are aware from your own internal voice how horrendous it can be.


The interesting thing here is that the client isn’t aware of their own behaviour so just keeps doing the same thing and hoping and pleading that it will be different next time. Obviously, that doesn’t happen and around and around we go, client feeling worse each time and nothing changes.


The fact the client spends their time beating themselves up means that thinking about what the problem actually is, improbable as the experience is all negative. Why would you go and look at a situation which only brings difficult emotions – it is like asking to go and see the person who has punched you in the face 20 times for one more go? So most people tend to stay away from negative experiences and so move on after they are exhausted from the self-kicking. Does this situation sound familiar at all? Do you ask yourself questions like - Why am I so stupid? Why can’t I be better? What is wrong with me?


From an early age, we are taught that criticism is the results of mistakes, many a teacher (including myself for 12 years) asking why did you do that silly thing? The antidote is to this is to flip everything on its head – to not berate yourself, to not spend hours beating yourself up and to accept that you can’t do something.


It doesn’t mean you just give up and don’t try, I am saying that I can’t pronounce unusual names and places, I just can’t do it. I can’t spell particularly well and so I don’t give up writing things down but what I can do, what I can control is systems to help me be better.


This is exactly what I discussed with my client, if you can’t do something the first step is to accept it and do something about it (which doesn’t entail hours of kicking the snot out of yourself). The next stage is to put in place systems to help you. We pretty much all use SatNav and you don’t spend three hours reprimanding yourself for doing not bothering to read a map.


This is the principle, stop chastising yourself and do something positive about it. It is important to be nice to yourself, to forgive yourself and to forgo the flogging that your internal voice believes you so richly deserve. That way, you can move on to part which is positive, and because you have had a good experience then you are more likely to get an outcome that doesn’t repeat the same mistakes.


We so often use our internal voice to regulate and police ourselves but that voice is not balanced and not fair. So stop listening to it and speak to someone around you that is fair and is trustworthy – if you don’t have someone like that, then speak to me. I do it professionally and as an aside, I love what I do.



Help is hear – seriously give me a call on 01386 571 114.

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