Do you ever feel inferior?
I imagine some of you looking perplexed: “No, of course not, what’s she on about?”
While others nod, “Every moment of every day; thanks for bringing up a painful topic.”
And perhaps some of you are like me. I tend to think pretty well of myself, and I know there are areas where I’m very, very good, areas where I’m average, and areas where just about anyone has me beat (just about anything dealing with numbers falls here).
I’ve always been more of the jack-of-all-trades type than The Expert.
I WANTED to find some topic to delve into until I was the Supreme Master of it, but there were so many interesting topics in life! That 10,000 hours on just one was beyond me.
Then, in my last job, I was the squarest of square pegs in a long line of round holes. We’re talking fundamental, DNA-level squareness. I was as different from 90% of my colleagues as it is possible to be!
This had its advantages. I was really good at a few necessary tasks that they almost universally feared and hated, so that worked out well for all of us.
However, I spent a lot of time struggling to even speak the same language as these lovely people, because we just lived in completely different worlds. Our brains simply worked differently.
Some of my super-numerical, or extraordinarily technical colleagues inspire me to awe!
And though I’m never down on myself about it, I’ve always sort of felt young and new in comparison with those who have a clear, specific niche. So, I tend to think of all of these awe-inspiring former colleagues as vastly more sophisticated than I am. More experienced, more … grown up.
One of the interesting things about having been laid off from a company that has laid off hundreds of people in the last couple of years is that I have a sort of peer group of former colleagues in similar positions to mine.
Many of us went on to other ‘regular jobs’, of course, but I’m not the only one who decided to try to get off that merry-go-round and go into business for myself.
So, I had an interesting experience this week.
One of these Awe Inspiring Colleagues, a person that I admire to excess – you know the type: one of those frighteningly competent folks that you wonder how they manage it all – got in touch with me because he’d been offered a job that he’s not going to be able to fit into his schedule and he wondered if it might be something I would want to do.
And it is!
Oh my goodness, it is!
But as with most Adventures it has some drawbacks too. There are a lot of things I have to think about in deciding whether to take this opportunity.
And it has been very interesting walking through this with my Awe Inspiring Colleague.
One of my mental health practices is to never oversell myself. All that does is land me deep into very stressful situations where I must frantically tread water trying to survive – not the emotional state I’m seeking in life.
So I was very clear with Awe Inspiring Colleague about what I was able to do and what I’m not.
I REALLY felt like a little kid talking to the CEO or university president! But I gritted my teeth and did it.
I ended one of our conversations with a statement that I was completely intimidated but game to try it. And Awe Inspiring Colleague’s response was “You know, it’s kind of new and scary for me too.”
Huh. Who’d have guessed??
Maybe it’s not just that I’m a jack-of-all-trades! Maybe there’s new and scary out there somewhere for everyone!
We’re still working through whether or not either of us have the capacity to handle this job right now, and that’s cool.
I kind of hope that we do, but even if we don’t I will have gained a great deal in just processing through all of this with the Awe Inspiring Colleague.
I suppose this is also a good opportunity to revisit my New Life Resolutions.
What have we got here?
Focus FIRST on getting more of the kind of work that I really want to keep doing.
- Check! This is a good fit with my life goals, and could potentially lead to even more opportunities.
Expect hope instead of horror with this next move.
- Uhoh! Here is where the rubber meets the road! Although this New Life Resolution originally applied to my move from California, in order to accept this work opportunity I definitely have to stick to this ‘hope instead of horror’ faith walk! (Deep breaths.)
GAIN health in the coming transitions.
- Check. No real conflict. It does involve some dreaded time on airplanes, but one can work around that – AND one can be cognisant of this resolution throughout the process!
Shape my life so that one year from today my own life is more abundant and I’m more of a catalyst for others’ abundance too.
- Hmmm… you know, this has some interesting possibilities! While this resolution is not the main focus, there’s no specific conflict, and of course the more I manage to achieve the first three resolutions the most chance I have with this one.
- If I can do this well, I may improve a tiny piece of the lives of those I’ll work with.
- And I wonder if just having the courage to try might not be among the most valuable preparations for both a more abundant life and being a stronger catalyst!