When I’m wrong/incorrect or I make a mistake, I tend to beat myself up a lot so I have been trying to think different thoughts. While working on this, I noticed a flip side that I think is hindering my ability to really believe the thought that I’m not the worst just because I made a mistake: when I’m correct or do something well, and I get positive feedback affirming that I’m correct, it’s like crack – yummy, yummy crack. I go so far beyond simple pride in myself; it turns into smugness and self-righteousness. Basically, I think I’m the worst person on the planet when I’m incorrect, but I think I’m the best person on the planet when I’m correct. (I’m a lawyer, so I find myself having most of these thoughts in relation to whether a judge agrees with me and our side wins vs when a judge doesn’t agree with me and our side loses). I think there is something in there about external validation but I can’t quite grasp it yet.
I’m having a hard time figuring out how to handle my thoughts when I AM correct so that I’m not so hard on myself when I’m incorrect. It seems like until I get a hold of the indulgence I take in being correct, I will never really be able to be OK with being incorrect. Do you have any suggestions on how to change my thoughts/reactions when I AM correct so that I can change my thoughts/reactions when I am NOT correct?