I was in a workshop tonight. This workshop has been happening every 1-2 weeks since the end of June. There are a set of coaches who show up every week to help ensure participants get the most out of the workshop.
A couple weeks ago, I signed up to coach a future instance of the workshop. Many other people also signed up to coach at this time.
Tonight, the workshop leader mentioned that he had called the people who had signed up to coach. He mentioned each of those people by name. But my name wasn’t mentioned.
At first I shrugged it off. It was probably just that I was forgotten or that I wasn’t outgoing enough to coach the workshop.
And then I caught myself and how I was processing the situation.
I was content with being invisible (and in that moment, I wanted to be invisible). Even though I felt sad to be forgotten, I was very quick to shrug it off and dismiss it as normal.
I also viewed myself as being a loser. I saw an evaluation that I wasn’t good enough, and I agreed with that evaluation. It’s no surprise, after all. That’s just part of who I am. So I brushed it off.
So I managed to catch my pattern in the moment. That means I’m getting better at catching my negative automatic thoughts 🙂
But now that I’m on the train home, I’m starting to reflect on how these thoughts have affected my life.
Thinking that I’m not good enough and not deserving of people’s attention means that at work, I don’t celebrate my successes or accomplishments. I do things quietly in the background. People aren’t aware of things I’ve done unless they’ve seen it for themselves. My career progression has been slowed because I don’t share with my manager all of the projects I’ve been working on. People around the office don’t know anything about me because I don’t share what I’m working on, or where I’m trying to get in the future.
These thoughts impact how I show up in my sporting communities. A couple times now, people have invited me to play with them in a tournament, but then weeks/months later I find out that they’d forgotten and now they’ve already asked somebody else. I’ve never advocated for myself or spoke up about how I get in these situations because it made sense—I’m not good enough so they found somebody better to replace me. Similarly, I never try to put together my own team for tournaments because I know that people would prefer to play with someone better than me.
In my relationship, I often let things slide because I don’t think my feelings matter that much. Following this, I often either shut down because it’s how I attempt to stay functional when I’m depressed, or I lash out because I let things build up over time. I feel insecure in any relationship because I know the world is full of better options. And I’m scared to really connect because I know they can leave me at any moment for someone better.
And just with myself, I have all these snowballing beliefs that come out of these thoughts. I’m a jack-of-all-trades-and-master-of-none because I could never master anything—someone will always have the upper hand. There’s no point in getting competitive or putting my all in because I already know I’m going to lose or fail. Whether it’s my weight, sleep, depression, anxiety, stress, focus, cardio, etc… …there’s always something wrong with me because being broken is a defining feature of who I am.
Well, that’s pleasant. Hopefully I can still notice my pattern next time it shows up. And now that I’ve gotten present to some of the impact these thoughts are having, hopefully I can start to step out of them in the future.