Carrie Cotton

Just a Girl In The World Sharing The Ups and Downs of a Messy Life

Please tell me I’m not the only one who does this. You self sabotage.  You tell yourself you’re a mess and can’t do anything right. Then look for all the ways to prove yourself right.

I look at my house, my kids, my finances, my marriage and find every possible way I might be responsible for screwing something up.

“I can’t budget – look at our finances. I can’t cook – do you even know what just came out of the oven? I can’t clean. Look at this mess.  I can’t do my job properly. I feel so out of place. My hair is a mess. I have no style. I can’t lose this weight. Nobody likes me. Why do I even try?”

On and on and on, compiling a list of things I am convinced I can’t do.  Focusing ONLY on those things.

Why do we DO that to ourselves? Why do we think we are doing ourselves any good by constantly criticizing everything we do?  How does that HELP?

I was asked to read a scripture in church for the Good Friday service.  I get really nervous speaking in front of a crowd, which surprises people, considering I work in radio. I speak to thousands of people every single day.  The thing is – it’s never in front of anybody.

I wanted to say no, I should have said no, but how can you say no when people say things like “You work in radio.  You can’t get nervous”.

Oh, but I do. Big time.

I tried giving myself a pep talk. “You can DO THIS!”.  I practiced reading the scripture.

I sat in the front row and waited for my cue. I walked up on stage to my spot. I held the mic in one hand and the scripture notes in the other.

As I started speaking I knew there was a problem.  I wasn’t hearing myself. I knew the mic wasn’t working.  I could feel all the people watching.  I kept speaking. My hands were shaking so badly I couldn’t even read the words on my page.  I was failing.

As I finished, I handed the mic to the pastor with an apology. I felt so stupid.

What a moment. Me, the girl who speaks into a mic every single day FORGOT or just didn’t turn on the mic, in a church FULL of people on Good Friday.

I sank down in my chair.  I couldn’t breath. I wanted to run as far away as possible. Maybe change my hair. Maybe change my name.  How hard would it be to start over in another town/ country/ continent anyway? (smile)  I told myself I would need to find a new church.  Over and over and over I beat myself up.

I sat there, alone, with just my thoughts. I wanted to cry. I wanted to disappear.  All I could focus on was how much I messed up. Replaying it over and over and over again. Such a horrible feeling. I felt like I had let everyone down. I failed.

Why do we do that to ourselves?

One moment in time, so insignificant in the grand scheme of things, I magnified like a giant mountain. I imagined the disappointment.  I imagined all kinds of stuff.

Last night I sat and looked through old pictures. I reminded myself, that just because I may have messed up, it wasn’t a disaster.  The world keeps spinning. I reminded myself that I have done some incredible things in my job and in my life. Things I didn’t mess up.

We have to remember it’s ok to mess up and not be perfect. It’s ok.  What’s not ok is to obsess over every perceived imperfection and flaw and imagine things that aren’t really there. When you have those moments, remember to be kind to yourself. Don’t beat yourself up.  It will pass. Do I think anybody remembers how I messed up and forgot to turn the microphone on at church last Friday?  Nope.  Because most of us are thinking of ourselves anyway.

I’m still mad that I blew it.  But I’m not going to keep rehashing it.  I’m not going to keep punishing myself for it.










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