Recently I had two fairly challenging gigs back to back. Immediately after each one I floated on a high of exhausted euphoria…I love my work, I did cool stuff, the client had a major breakthrough, etc. This was followed by a complete crash, in which I picked apart every possible thing I might have done wrong, obsessing over every detail.
The first time I went through this cycle, the high lasted a day or two and the low lasted a couple of weeks. I lost sleep over it. The second cycle was shorter – I crashed after only about four hours. I realized that I completely missed my favorite song on the CD I was listening to because I was perseverating about something negative I’d said during my gig. This time, I was able to step outside myself and notice what I was doing.
This phrase popped into my head: “There are no do-overs, just do betters.”
I can’t undo what I’ve already done. Beating myself over the head for my perceived character flaws and bad decisions isn’t particularly useful. What I can do, though, is note the places where I could have done better and use the knowledge to do a better job the next time.