Perfection is the enemy of self-confidence. There is no more prominent a killer of people than their sense of having made an irreversible mistake. Businesses that fail to adapt, because they had once perfected a technique, will surely fail in the future. How do we prevent this? Part of it might be remembering that there is no perfect stick of gum, or perfect angle with which to affix that gum to a charming gum wall!
I find I lack self-confidence most when I’m considering my recent mistakes, historical errors, and avoidable wrongdoings. In those moments, how do I- we- press on? What if there were one guaranteed “thing” that you were better at than anyone else? That despite adopting professional or personal personas, it’ll be so true you could never fail at being number one doing? No one else can be better at being you… than you! Now proceed confidently!
Most days are reliable like any piece of furniture, where any decent chair will consistently relieve your physical stress, then there are those few days… Maybe something breaks off from the chair? Maybe there’s an awkwardly persistent smell? Maybe something just feels off when you sit on it? What happens on those days? We can’t just dump the “broken chair” off somewhere and buy a new one. How then can we reupholster our life’s chair?
“Thanks for joining us today, Jane, was it?”
Jane sat across a small table from a reasonably-dressed hiring manager. She couldn’t help but notice that most of his attention was at the glass wall behind her.
“Yes. Here’s my resume, too.”
The well-dressed professional gave him one resume and placed another on the table in front of the empty seat to her right.
“Thanks. Well, George is running late again… so let’s jump right in.”
What is the goal to your career story? How “did” you get there, if you’re predicting your 10 to 40 year plan? When we start our careers, any opportunity will do, no matter if it’s night shift or underpaid. I don’t think it’s that we become less flexible. It’s that we’ve seen the bad gigs and know that investing our time and effort into “this job” will actually pull us backwards away from our career story’s goal.
My addictions strangle me when I’m unable to cope with situations. Hearing bad news kills. Chilling, defined here as succumbing to any addiction, then feels acceptable. If you’re anything like me, we need to re-enforce our defenses, rather than ask that the constant barrage of life’s perhaps-positives and perhaps-negatives cooperate with us. It would be nicer to have a conflict-free life. That won’t happen. Let’s instead try figuring out how to build up our defenses.
Today marks five years since I last drank. I’ve since been in many bars, been around many people drinking, but have had good enough friends to respect me, and steward me through. “If I saw you with a bottle in your hand, I’d knock it out and ask ‘what the hell are you doing?’” My external resilience has enough fortitude to endure pretty much anything now. I think it’s the internal weakness that kills us.