S2Episode44 Unlocking Perspective

April 30, 2024

Good morning from New York City. She’s back! I want to start by apologizing for my lack of consistency, and I want to say this. I’m very committed to Dear Constance. If you happen to be stumbling upon this for the first time in a while, or maybe you’re a first-time listener, I was transitioning from a six month stint outside of New York City.  I lost my way in there a little bit, lacking the focus and inspiration that I was needing. I’ve since decided to take the podcast to two times a week, but I haven’t been clear on which days. So, all this preamble to say I apologize. I’m still here. I’m still very committed. I haven’t figured out the second day of the week. I’ll be doing it Tuesdays and Thursdays, Tuesdays and Fridays. I’m not quite sure, but I am here. In fact, I made a large investment in equipment. I’m going to be doing more conversations with friends. I simply need to find my way again.

What I haven’t shared yet is that over the last two weeks I have started a new project. A work project. So, my life got completely turned upside down. Again by way of background, if you happen to be here for the first time in a while or you’re a new listener, I came back from my six month stint away with his rather bold declaration that I was ready for a third act. But what I didn’t know was that things would move very, very quickly. Anyway, I’m not ready to get into that and to share exactly what I’m doing. I’m not trying to be mysterious, but it does feel very personal, and I am yet feeling my way forward.

Anyway, onto what I want to talk about today. One of the things that I’ve been noodling over the last couple of days are unrelated stories, but there is a through line, It’s about what happens to us when we overly internalize what other people are saying to us or about us. Let me explain. One of the people I’m thinking about right now is a good friend of mine and she is in a job in an extremely prestigious organization- prestigious by any measure – and she’s very proud of where she works and really loves her job. Anyway, she gets a new boss, and she is getting not only negative vibes, but some negative comments and negative feedback. Anyone who’s ever been in her shoes knows that it can be very crippling and upsetting to be working with passion and diligence, and to then get the negative feedback or the negative commentary. That’s hard. But my friend is internalized this to such a degree that she’s doubting herself. She’s lacking confidence. She’s getting a little bit paranoid and she’s having anticipatory anxiety. She’s over anticipating the reaction that her work or her actions are going to evoke from her boss. Right? But here’s what we were talking about that I think is important and I want to share. It’s very important when you’re lacking confidence that you make the distinction between what is a lack of confidence in yourself and a lack of confidence in your work.

It’s interesting. I’m hearing myself say this and I said this to a very young person actually a few months ago. This is a person who was if not the valedictorian of her law school class, close to it. She’s also someone who struggles with self-confidence. And I made the exact same point to her. She’s in a new job and definitely outside of her comfort zone. It’s the first time she’s worked as a lawyer. She’s smart as a whip and she knows it, and I was saying the same thing to her. Be careful that you separate your lack of confidence in yourself, something you can work on, and your confidence in your work.

In the case of my older friend, I would say her lack of confidence is in fact in her work because the new boss that came in has new goals and objectives and a different focus from the one which my friend was hired for. She may be a in fact lacking some of the skills required to do the job but what’s happening is the lack of confidence in her work is crippling her self-confidence. That’s what the focus of our conversation was about. She is internalizing the negative feedback in a deeply personal way. It’s very important that she’s able to draw the line very clearly in her mind between what was performance related and skill related and the part of it that is her persona. She is a very professional and experienced person. It will be important if and when the time comes, that she leaves that job, that she doesn’t carry this experience or internalize this in terms of her capability and her professionalism. In the case of the younger person I was talking about who is in a new job and at risk of blurring the lines between her professional capabilities and her self-confidence, I think it’s fair to say that she could use some support and therapy. Anyway, in both of these cases, the older person that has the new boss and the younger person who has the new job, the point I want to make is it’s critically important that we make the distinction or don’t blur the lines between what is a lack of confidence in our work and a lack of self-confidence. They’re different things.

So, I would end simply by saying that it is very important that we’re able to recognize when we’ve crossed the line. When we’re over internalizing something, it’s very important to stop ourselves and to zoom out and unpack what’s going on. In some cases, we’re over internalizing, or we’re triggered. In some cases, it can be unclear boundaries (we don’t hold a boundary or someone is taking liberty). And of course, there can be cases like jealousy or someone feeling threatened again, the point is to notice when we are over internalizing something and to zoom out because when we’re over internalizing, we’re making everything overly personal. This ability to catch ourselves and zoom out can be the very key that unlocks our perspective.

I’ll leave you with that thought for today. Until next time, from my heart to yours.

Join thousands of others

Stay in the loop on new episodes


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

dear Listeners,

Friends say I live my life out loud. That’s because I’m a curious, adventurous person and, as an appreciator, I simply love to share what lights me up. Consider this is your invitation into my fun, multi-faceted world.

read on

Book an Advisory Session

I absolutely love feedback, please your thoughts

Stay in the loop

join Thousands of others

Get instant alerts as my new episodes drop

From my heart to yours

Share Your Thoughts

book a session


Let’s get to the heart of matters
– to what matters most to you

Schedule time with me to:

“Speaking with Constance helped me to see myself  – and my experience –with fresh perspective.  I got great clarity and completely shifted gears. She totally got it. The experience fully re-energized me.”

Jim Conley – Senior Executive
ex- YouTube, Google, Twitter

Stay in the loop

join Thousands of others

Get instant alerts as my new episodes drop

From my heart to yours