As you lovelies may or may not know, I scheduled an appointment at my university’s counseling center so I could learn how to actually cope with failure. (My current method wouldn’t even count as coping so much as falling apart at the seams.) Obviously the problem isn’t magically fixed, but the psychologist gave me something really good to think about.
She told me that I have an internal locus of control — the belief that your life is under your control — when it comes to failure and an external locus of control — the belief that life is out of your control — when it comes to achievement. In plain English, I think that every mistake and mishap is my fault, even when the circumstances were clearly out of my control. Whenever I do well on something, say a good grade on a test, I blow it off and say the test was just easy or something.
The reason I blow off my accomplishments is because I’m worried that inflating my ego will make me miss something and then I’ll flub up big time and feel even worse. And, believe me, it’s happened before. I don’t think I can unearth that thinking very quickly, but I tried reacting to mistakes a little differently. Namely, I took responsibility.
Hours after I saw the psychologist, I forgot that my brother came out of high school early and he texted me asking where I was. Instantly I realized my error, but I didn’t start calling myself stupid and insisting that I don’t have this adulthood thing figured out, so I may as well go into a corner and vanish. I owned up to it. I apologized to him, told him I had extra food, and hurried over to pick him up.
Then, I had to take a skills assessment for that employment agency that finally got back to me and interviewed me. (By interview, I really mean talking at me for 15 minutes about the job and answering my questions. I guess my inexperienced college student status tells them everything they need to know.) I accidentally answered “no, I didn’t take the survey” to one of the assessments when I had indeed took it, so I fessed up to the recruiter. She said the company values honesty so I’m being honest.
Update: She replied back and said that it doesn’t impact my scores (which were really high) in any way, and they’re excited to get me out working in June! Yay happy ending. 🙂
To reflect, I think admitting my mistakes really cut them down to size. Instead of becoming this spiraling mountain of doom, I could put a finger on what they are and what they may cause. I’m not sure if this mindfulness method will hold out in the long run or if it’ll even be useful, but I will continue giving it a try!
P.S. Naturally, this thought came to me AFTER I hit ‘Publish,’ but what if I started taking responsibility for my successes as well as my failures? Maybe then I could change these dysfunctional loci of control embedded in my head.
P.P.S. My psychologist has the same birthday as me which we bought thought was wild. Apparently, it’s common for Libras to enter the counseling profession because there are 6 Libras at the counseling center out of the 10 people who work there. Who knew?