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Day 9 holding myself to unreasonably high standards

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by SB, Feb 10, 2013.

  1. SB

    SB Peer Supporter

    Have you been overly critical of yourself lately?

    Although I haven't been criticizing myself lately, I have recently been working extra hard, and my hard work has been to please bosses who have been overly ambitious with their assignments and deadlines. In January, I returned from a nice holiday break, and they dropped this huge assignment on me that had an unmovable deadline in 6 weeks. It was overly ambitious right then. On top of that, over each week since then, they've continued to add extra tasks and requirements, making it even more impossible. :mad: My teammates and I (but mostly I) have stressed and over-worked ourselves to do our best. Then on Friday, one of the bosses said "Maybe we'll start from scratch... with this last week before it's due, you guys could redo it all in this other way that I'm thinking about now." Finally, I found it humorous. :p That was actually helpful. It had started as ridiculous, became impossible, and then went beyond impossible to sheer lunacy. So I'm finally dialing down my stress.... I just want to be better about not letting it rise up (especially for other people's irrational whims) in the first place. :)
  2. Stella

    Stella Well known member

    Your experience trying to please them again and again would be good for you to journal about. How did that make you feel? This entire paragraph that you wrote would be good to journal about. How did you feel during this entire period of time? As each day and week went by? What was going on in your mind?
  3. SB

    SB Peer Supporter

  4. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    sbrodson, you describe the kind of situation that drove me into independent consulting back in 1992. Now, I insist on a written and signed contract with a set of milestones achieved in a regular and orderly manner, with a built in flexibility clause stating that if the work takes longer than originally anticipated, the time will be extended. You might want to look at WHY a manager is insisting on an unrealistic, aggressive schedule. It's been my experience that overly aggressive schedules go hand-in-hand with poor sales and declining revenues. Try your best to do what you can, but don't torture yourself because you cannot 'make bricks out of straw'. I think, with the current economic stress in the US, what you're experiencing is more the norm though. Don't blame yourself and stress out over economic factors beyond your control. I think what you're experiencing is common to people with a TMS personality that are trying too hard to be good and be liked. Do what you can do and keep your eyes pealed for other companies with better economic profiles.
  5. SB

    SB Peer Supporter

    Thanks. That's probably true in a lot of cases. In my case, my company is excelling... probably because of its culture to always try to do the impossible. And it's currently the best fit for me, but the negative impact it has had on my mindbody is unacceptable, so I need to create stronger personal boundaries.
  6. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yes, companies that take extraordinary risks and drive their people often succeed. But you have to wonder about what it's doing to their employees? I know some people at a "hot" company that tests apps for smart phones. They keep him low and feed him tons of stock options and drive him with an iron bull whip. And he's one of the most nervous, neurotic people I know. Of course, a 'herniated disk' at 29 year old too. That goes without saying, plenty of drugs, alcohol and casual sex with prostitutes to boot. Of course, you have to wonder whether this kind of success is worth the price? He does have a nice devoted GF, but he won't marry her because he can't make a decision about anything substantial. Just more money and more work and more neurotic behavior patterns. This sort of thing seems to be the norm at all the happening companies in the Silicon Valley.

    When I was in a such a situation in the 80s, I rode my road bike like a fiend at lunch hour and went away climbing in Yosemite each and every weekend I could get away from the Valley. Car packed up each Friday afternoon and driving east to the Sierra that night. I did notice that up until the half way mark on the drive I was talking to myself with imaginary voices directed at various adversaries at work. Then, when I started the climb back up into the Sierra foothills the voices went away and I started to be myself again. I suppose I was technical crazy or at the very least neurotic, but I never did break at work because I was achieving things in other areas away from the work scene: publishing scholarly articles and doing first ascents in Yosemite that earned me recognition in another sphere of achievement. My company did make a lot of money, which they shared with me for a while. But eventually the big players gutted the place and took off with all the loot after canning all the little people. All I can say is that I survived the ordeal, paid my rent, and kept on keeping on. My achievements in other unrelated spheres of endeavor was what really kept me going, kept me sane.
  7. Carole Mayer

    Carole Mayer New Member

  8. Carole Mayer

    Carole Mayer New Member

    Wow, that sounds a lot like my job. Very complicated project with a fairly fixed deadline. The parameters and details of the job change daily, so it is impossible to finish anywhere near on time. My stress was starting to cripple me again and I came upon this program. I recognize that I am blaming myself for not being able to control this project (among so many other things!) and I talk myself out of the pain our by hour...
  9. SB

    SB Peer Supporter

    Interesting. Thanks for adding!
  10. yb44

    yb44 Beloved Grand Eagle

    I have been using a modified version of the above sentence as a mantra lately at work when I am annoyed by some new procedure that I don't agree with or if a co-worker is irritating me.

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