Playing tennis with my dad during parent's weekend was when I really felt my inner critic getting to me. I have never won a match against him, but usually our sets are relatively close one way or the other. Having been practicing on the club team and feeling myself improve day by day, I thought that this was the time to finally take my first win and show him how much I had improved over the months. I lost to him without taking a single game in two sets. I was pretty discouraged and frustrated and played worse than I had in a while over the next week at club practice and even thought about giving up tennis for good.
After losing my match with my dad I felt that the gap I thought I had been closing through hard work was as big as ever and that I may never be as good as I wanted to be. This was my inner critic talking to me.
I was driving home from Wallmart in a rush to get home because I had accounting due at 9:00 PM. When I saw the police lights in my rear view mirror, my inner defender immediately came to life in my head. "Im so unlucky" and "I cant believe he's pulling me over for going 5 over the speed limit." were the two excuses that popped into my head first. I then thought of this exhibit and realized that this was just my inner defender making excuses for me. I accepted that this could have been avoided if I had planned ahead and not gone to Wall-mart on a day that still had homework to do.
I realized that I didn't have an immediate need for a lot of the items i purchased, and if I had had a more solid plan for my week I could have avoided this situation altogether instead of blaming it on bad luck or on the cop being in a bad mood.
My inner guide appeared in the most unlikely situations. It was when I was the most shocked and disappointed in myself that I didn't try to make excuses and I didn't get too down on myself. I received a 68 on my first MATH 1080 exam which I thought I was prepared for. Even walking out of the testing room i thought that there was no way i got lower than an 80 on that, even in the worst cast scenario.
My inner guide immediately took over as I reminded myself not to get too down because this is a class that drops the lowest test grade. Although it is unfortunate that I will likely need to use that drop on the very first test, it just means that I will have to work much harder to do better on the rest of the tests. I thought about how this could possibly be a blessing in disguise because I felt much more motivated to do well on each test now that the "safety net" of a dropped test score was essentially removed.