Is it just me? My opinion of my actions is affected by the opinion of others. I know I need to work on my own self-esteem as I always think I have under-performed or not achieved as much as I could/should/would do. I am the first person in the queue when it comes to criticising me. I should be my own cheerleading squad! Instead, it’s more like having my own personal firing squad.

I was talking to a friend yesterday about this very subject. I never take comments at face value. If a comment is ambiguous, I always take the negative view. I don’t know why I do that. I try to be positive in most areas of my life but when it comes to other people’s opinion of me, I always brace myself for the worst. Why do I do that?

Yesterday, I delivered a presentation to a class of students. My health wasn’t great and I was having trouble concentrating. I knew I wasn’t being as communicative or effective as I would usually be. I collected feedback forms and trudged home afterwards. I felt 100% sure that the feedback would be negative and didn’t go near them for a few hours. I tentatively I looked through the feedback forms yesterday afternoon, for the most part, it was all good! Great feedback! But that negativity-seeking side of me still wouldn’t accept that I did a great job. I wondered if it had been obvious that I had been struggling and put it down to a sympathy vote. I have been beating myself up for not giving 100% for the past 24 hrs. Then I got an email. The head of department had emailed me and given me wonderful feedback. They wrote that they hoped I would consider speaking there again. My mood instantly lifted and my negativity hanger-on got kicked to the curb! In an instant! Why, oh why, could I not have just seen for myself that I had done a great job without needing the reassurance of another person?

I’m off to Google self-esteem classes…I clearly need some help with that area of my life!