Overthinking has ruined my day. It was only after getting out of the situation that I realized just how ridiculous my own thinking was.
I was late to an scheduled meeting with someone at a volunteer organization. The train had some serious delays today, and I am partially at fault for exacerbating my own lateness because I didn’t leave the house earlier in order to be on time for my appointment. When I knew I would be late, I typed a quick email to the woman I was supposed to meet with and informed her of my dilemma. I asked if we could reschedule for another day.
I expected her to agree and be fine with the arrangement, but instead she suggested that she could wait for me although I was late. The idea of walking on late was out of the question for me. If I came in late, even if the other person is ok with it, I would still feel like I am being unprofessional and rude by not being there on time. I also set a very high standard for myself, in that I always want to be punctual. If I’m not, then I stress out about how I will be perceived if I’m late, and this drives me to not even show up. This one perception was like an immovable stone in my mind that I just couldn’t remove.
After shooting emails back and forth, we settled on rescheduling for Monday at 2:30 pm. She seemed a little perturbed that I was choosing to waste my own travel time today (those were her exact words) and choosing to not just come in late to see her. I could have, but I was still resistant to the idea because of what I mentioned in the previous paragraph. I felt like I was in a whirlpool of my anxiety and doubts, and so I wasn’t truly hearing her when she said it would be all right if I came in late.
After this, I texted Annelise and asked her opinion on the situation. She was confused over why I would think being late automatically makes me look unprofessional. I see now this is a case in which I used my own negative perception and continued to assume being late was a bad thing. How do I get out of this cycle of self-sabotage?