Understand, Accept and Forgive – 3 things psychologists recommend to keep your self esteem intact

It’s a Monday morning and its time for your weekly team meeting on Zoom. The tradition of going around the team to give updates starts. As your turn comes you update the team about the report about the industry trends you sent out last week. To your utter shock your manager without wasting a minute immediately expresses how he feels you were not up to the mark and the insights were not backed with enough data… And there goes your self esteem just as it would be after 5 badminton matches with Saina Nehwal…

One option is that you get into a series of negative automatic thoughts that pathological critic of yours reminding you..You are worthless…. You always screw up… Everyone feels you are no good… Your manager will never give you a promotion after this… Your career is doomed…

Or, you have an option to have compassion for yourself and the boss by acquiring 3 skills here – understanding, accepting and forgiving..And why is that important?

Research shows to build a compassionate mind, you will have to make a commitment to think differently. The old way was to judge and reject. The new way requires that you suspend judgements for few moments.

Let’s start with you first… You can say to yourself..Okay, I made a mistake. I would have liked to be praised for the report, but I got lazy and missed few data sources and didn’t try my best. That’s in the past. There’s nothing I can do about it now. I forgive myself and I can go on to give my best shot at the next report scheduled within a week.

Now lets look at ways to build a compassionate response towards your boss’s behavior.

Begin with these 3 questions –

  • What need was he trying to meet with that behavior?
  • What beliefs or awareness influenced his behavior?
  • What pain, hurt or other feelings influenced his behavior?

Next remind yourself that you can accept him without judgement, no matter how unfortunate his choices were –

  • I wish the meeting hadn’t happened the way it did but it was merely an attempt to meet his needs
  • I accept him without judgements or feeling of wrongness towards his behavior
  • I accept him as someone who’s like all of us, trying to survive

Finally, wipe your slate clean by these 2 statements

  • Its over, I can let go of it
  • Nothing is owed for this mistake of my boss

When you do the above you ensure that incidents don’t damage your self esteem and you remain resourceful. Revise if need be, so that the language feels right to you. But be sure to maintain the 3 basics of a compassionate response – Understanding, Acceptance and Forgiveness

As you learn to understand, accept and forgive the foibles of others, your own shortcomings won’t seem so enormous..And the best part it keeps your self esteem intact :)..

Your coach in possibilities always..Parul