Sandra works three times as long as she needs to on her files, checking and re-checking and going through countless drafts. She is driven by her fear of making an error. Sandra works long hours in the office but rarely meets her billable target because she consistently edits down her time.
Mary is unhappy. While she enjoys commercial litigation files she is stressed all the time. The partners provide her with positive feedback as do her clients but every time she makes any kind of error she takes it as a sign of failure.
Do any of these scenarios sound familiar?
Some might say the answer is simple. Sandra just needs to take a different approach. Sandra needs to do fewer revisions, record all her time and let the partners decide what needs to be written off.
As for Mary, shouldn’t she just pay attention to the positive feedback from the partners and her peers and realise that she is good at her work?
If only it were so simple.
Sandra and Mary are each in the grip of their inner critic and it is obscuring their judgment.
To learn more about dealing with your inner critic please visit my article on the Canadian legal weblog Slaw.ca.