The Complete Interpreter

Bad day in the booth? How to 'let go' of mistakes

May 29, 2023 Sophie Llewellyn Smith Season 1
The Complete Interpreter
Bad day in the booth? How to 'let go' of mistakes
Show Notes

Hi! Welcome to the Complete Interpreter podcast by the Interpreting Coach.

This episode is about making mistakes and learning to move on from them. It was inspired by Stefano, who wrote: "I wonder if you could consider the topic of "Managing bad performance or errors". Let me give you an example.  Yesterday I hesitated during the translation of an interview on TV. It was nothing major. Still, I could not sleep last night. What can I do?"

It's really important to understand whether your mistake(s) affect your client to the point where you need to do something about it, or whether you're the one who is badly affected.

If you make persistent or significant mistakes at work, such that you consider the general standard of your work unacceptable, consider:
- working on your C language(s)
- playing with your décalage to avoid false starts and language interference
- improving your background knowledge and meeting preparation.

If mistakes weigh on you for reasons to do with mindset rather than objective performance criteria, try the following:

1. Have a clear transition between work and home (especially if you work from home!):
- cycle commute or walk to work if you can
- take a shower and get changed when you get home
- try a power nap
- call a friend to vent
- journal: write about what happened
- write a list of what you are grateful for today
- try meditation
- use short rituals to bookend your day

2. Explore your expectations. Are they unrealistic? Are you a perfectionist?
- try the "double standard" technique to practise self-compassion
- reflect on the effects of your expectations: do they help you or hinder?
- if you messed up, acknowledge your feelings rather than squashing them down

3. When the stressor has gone, the effects of stress on your body still linger.
- the best solution is physical exercise, or:
- diaphragmatic breathing
- affection: a hug, playing with your pet
- spending some time outdoors
- doing something creative (art, music, cooking)

4. If your sleep is disturbed by repetitive, intrusive thoughts:
- make sure you have a good sleep routine (wind down before bed, avoid screens, the news, etc.)
- don't take work to bed
- write a detailed to-do list for the next day
- if you had a bad day, put your feelings on paper

In this episode, I mentioned Emily and Amelia Nagoski's book, Burnout.

You can find my Growth Mindset Challenge on the home page of my website (just scroll down to Free Resources).

If you're interested in my Mind & Body Techniques for Acute Stress course, which is a selection of scientifically-backed techniques to help cope with particularly stressful situations, you can find it here.
Let me know what you'd like me to talk about next!
Sophie (aka The Interpreting Coach)

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