Tag Archives: work

Voices from within

I hear voices.  Not auditory voices that some folks hear, or even those that mentally ill folks hear.  These are not voices that are telling me to hurt others or myself.  I work with folks who have those types of voices. Some might call it a conscience, others might call it intuition.  Whatever you want to refer to it, it’s there.  It’s been there since I was a small kid.

I have days and sometimes weeks where all of these voices in my head seem to be shouting loudly to me.  While I was growing up, anything negative said to me stuck inside me like it had been permanently attached to me.  “Jerk, loser, worthless, waste of time, never amount to anything, fag, pussy, wimp, selfish, failure, mistake, fat, dumb, stupid, lazy, whiner.”  Those and more are what I heard most of the time growing up, and as I got older I heard most of these repeatedly throughout the day.

When I would make mistakes, I would absolutely feel like a loser.  I would start repeating everything over and over in my head that was said to me to reinforce the fact I had made mistakes.  I would sit there in my desk at school thinking about just how awful I truly was as a kid and that if this was everyone’s opinion of me it must be true.

As the years went on and more and more things got slung at me, I would incorporate those into my monologue of things I told myself.  As I graduated, started working and going to school, sure enough the patterns followed.  Anytime I made a mistake, even the smallest one, the voices came loud and clear, reminding me of everything people had always said about me and here again it was true.  I really hadn’t come very far in my life.  I was still the same messed up person.

Even after I got married and had kids, the voices have still been there.  When I make a mistake with my wife or kids, or I mess up on finances, those voices are right there as a reminder.  I take my job as a husband and father extremely serious and when I do something that affects everyone else, that weights incredibly heavy on me.  I feel like less than a man.  Even though I will admit my mistakes to my family and ask for forgiveness, it still takes me a long time to come out of it.  I just feel like I have let them down and there’s nothing I can do to make it up to them for this failure.

I know that Jesus looks at me differently, yet even as a believer, being at church and hearing the opposite, that seems to make little difference.  There are days I feel really good about myself and interactions with close friends and family that build me up, are incredibly helpful.  I know the curses that have been spoken to me over the years really aren’t true or who I am.  I don’t want to be prideful either and inflate my ego, because I can do that all to easily.  On the days where I make mistakes and I know it will pass onto others, those are the days I hear those voices telling me those things.

I don’t want to pass this on to my kids, so I spend as much time as a I can to affirm them and build them up and tell them how beautiful and wonderful they are.  I am so incredibly thankful for them and how blessed I am to have them in my life.

Honestly, this is my gift I want to give to others, to build them up and affirm them.  I know how much it’s hurt and affected my life and I wish it were different.  I don’t want anyone to feel like they aren’t good enough or don’t matter, because in all honesty that is just not true.  We were all created for so much more.

Does this resonate with you? What do you do when that voice in your head tells you things that aren’t true?


High Expectations High Standards

I have high standards for myself.  After growing up in an environment where everyone just settled for second best and there wasn’t affirmation or encouragement to do better. I found in my early 20’s settling for this type of lifestyle and just seeing it was ok.  In college and living on my own, the friends I had all had bigger dreams and ended up moving away and onto bigger and better things, leaving me sad and miserable and longing for things to be different.  So finally decided it was my turn and I moved away from the life I knew to a very different world.  I placed people in my life who constantly thought life had more to offer and were always looking for bigger and better and that’s pretty much how I have viewed life since.  I won’t settle for most anything.

The other side to that is that I have also lived for myself and done a lot where I made sure it was more about me than others.  I was a workaholic for a while and allowed it to become my identity.  I’ve also chosen other vices which weren’t the healthiest for me.  This all has led to me living with regret and creating higher and higher expectations for myself.  Once I started becoming a father and having children of my own that did change to a degree, it only made me want to be better and do so much better by my kids.

I look back at all the mistakes I have made with intense sadness.  I feel like as an adult I knew better and I should have done better but I choose to go my way.  I also can be very heard hearted and once I make up my mind nothing will change it.

I also realize we are human and make mistakes and they are also valuable to our learning and moving ahead.  I get that, in fact I will tell people the same thing and tell them not to be so hard on themselves.  So why don’t I take the advice I so freely give?  Great question, one to ponder for the ages.

When I make a mistake, I absolutely hate it.  I am more than a little pissed off, in fact I will call myself every name in the book and tell myself how horrible I am and how ridiculous it is that I made a mistake.  I absolutely hate making mistakes especially when it comes to my job.  I have established a really good reputation for myself at work for many things.  I do not like making a mistake that impacts others or that makes myself look less than competent.  It frustrates and essentially saddens me to no end.   Depending on how significant the mistake is I just want to lock myself away.

I set standards for myself that sometimes I can’t even live up to and it’s maddening when I don’t.  I don’t want to not have standards to live by because so many years there wasn’t anything.  I know that doing your best and putting everything you have into something is right, but in making mistakes I think it just is a harsh reminder of where my life has been and how I don’t ever want to go back to those places.

Do you have high standards, when you make a mistake are you incredibly hard on yourself?