Yesterday afternoon, I stood there, and listened to someone tell me that my work wasn’t right. This is a recurring problem, she said. You do all this work and make it complicated, and none of it is the right work. Then she grilled me about the right work, and because I believed I DID actually do the work she was saying I didn’t do, I tried to point it out to her. And she told me that wasn’t right, either.
So I stopped talking. I shut down. And I just stood there, feeling demeaned and stupid and silenced.
When she was called into a meeting, and I was free again, my coworker looked at me with empathy, while I fought back tears. That didn’t sound like it went well, he said.
No. It did not, I admitted. It was all I could say.
It’s obvious as I write it out now that it’s really hard to work in this way. And even if her words felt like a personal attack, part of it is just her management style. And really, I’ve only a few more days of this before I move on to the next job.
But I have never felt more stupid than when she’s reviewing my work.
And last night, on my way home, in the quiet car, it was hard to ignore the niggling voice in my head.
She’s right, you know.
Whenever I tell someone I am a CPA, I can almost SEE them putting me in this bucket inside their head. That bucket includes such things as: Good at math. Detail-oriented. Needs everything in their place. Understands taxes.
I hate it. Because I am not good at math; I never have been. Detail-orientation does not come naturally to me – at least, not the way that accounting requires. I know enough about taxes to do my own.
I do require things to be in their place, and I understand how numbers work and flow into financial statements, and I am a fairly capable project manager, I’m quick and analytical, and I like orderliness.
But I have to work hard at accounting, because it does not come naturally to me.
So situations like yesterday’s are hard to shake, because I keep hearing this voice inside me.
She’s right. You aren’t good at this. Don’t you remember when your MSA professor told you that you lacked the detail orientation to be a successful accountant? You’re not good at math, you suck at the detail work. You are NOT an accountant. You’re pretending.
And then I get sucked into the whole storm that’s been raging inside me for years: I chose this career for the wrong reasons, I need a PLAN so I can get out, blah blah blah blah. Or I grieve for the fact that I chose this career in the first place. Or I spend the time fighting against the feeling of being trapped by my life, because I can’t quit and do something I AM good at.
That voice is my mind’s story, I know. I hear it and I realize it’s trying to make a story up, because I don’t like feeling like I am bad at something.
I KNOW this voice isn’t real.
I just really wish I knew how to stop it.