CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Maybe it's been years since you've been in school. Trust me though: You're still getting graded.
Not by teachers, mind you. If you're like most of us, you're grading yourself. And you're probably not even aware of it.
Let's just look at a typical week's activities. You have the best intentions of getting things done, and then other things intervene. Do you procrastinate? Or maybe you overcompensate -- by doing more things in other areas, rather than completing the project you set out to do. (I'm quite familiar with this technique).
If you're putting off a project, why? I'm sure you have lots of reasons (translation: excuses). Maybe you're not confident you can pull it off well enough, so you just don't try. Better not to risk the judgment of not being "good enough" than to jump in and tackle the assignment.
Or maybe it's such an unpleasant task that you'd rather be distracted by something else -- anything! It's funny how our minds play tricks on us, consciously and subconsciously.
Sometimes our fears of criticism come from external sources like family, friends and co-workers. More often than not, though, they can come from that ever-popular inner critic.
So, we end up with a lot of things half done or never even started. And that definitely takes its toll. Every time we walk past those incomplete projects, or turn them over in our heads, something registers inside us that can bring on feelings of guilt, regret or shame.
But here's the deal: Whenever we continually tell ourselves we'll do something and then we don't do it, it chips away at our integrity. We let ourselves down. And that's just as bad as letting someone else down. Over time, we learn we can't trust ourselves.
You know the feeling. It's the cumulative effect of: