Is Your Self-Image Influenced By the Opinions of Others?

It's been kind of a crappy week.  What's made it a less-than-satisfactory five days are a couple of writing projects that have gone astray. Or rather, the clients aren't happy with what I've given them.

It's nothing tragic and it's certainly fixable.  One project was a bit of a gamble anyway. I was given vague guidelines (they're very concerned with secrecy) and asked to submit only the briefest of outlines. I got excited about the work and rushed ahead and they're not excited about the direction I took. I knew that might happen and in the big picture it's okay. I'll get more info from them, regroup, and resubmit.

What I don't care for is how much of my mood is influenced by getting one "poor" review of my work. And it wasn't even a poor review. They said they liked a lot of what I had, it just wouldn't work for where they were going.  But I have somehow managed to emerge from life with a "I must be perfect at all times" mindset and hearing "This isn't quite right" on this particular project has noticeably altered my mood.

On the bright side, such downswings in mood or self-confidence are temporary. I'm fortunate in that I actually like the person I am and I never stay down for long. When I worked at the Women's Center, I was appalled at how many women really, truly didn't like who they were or felt they had no value. So if they were handed a blow, they took it to heart and it only fed into their belief system that they're not good enough and never will be. I don't have that struggle, thank God. 

But I can be thrown for loops for hours or sometimes days at a time. And it works both ways. If someone praises my work, I'm on a 48-hour high. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with enjoying praise but I'm seeking a little more balance in mood so that I don't get knocked from my center either way.

I think part of my mood is that I really overstretched myself this summer with work, volunteer commitments, writing projects, etc. and I'm exhausted. I've dropped two writers groups, Dale Carnegie ends in two weeks and I've actually said "no" to several people who've asked me take on new projects, both work-related and volunteer. I'm feeling the strong urge to "nest," and just hide from the world for a couple of months and I'm respecting that. This is the first weekend in months where I have no commitments scheduled. An absolutely, 100% free weekend to do with as I please. I don't even know where to start. Sleeping and reading (and running!) sound like a start.

And to end this entry on a high note, here's a tidbit that came across in the end of a long picture e-mail to me. It made me smile so I'm sharing with you today. Have a great weekend!

"Save the Earth... It's the Only Planet With Chocolate"