Appropriately for the 1st April though I’m not playing a prank, I decided to ask the question:
Are you fooling yourself?
Here’s why –
Chances are you are here because you think about your life and you are interested in your self-development. Let’s do this together!
I practise self-introspection. It is one of the most efficient ways I have found to remain in control of my life and achieve my goals.
The analysis of personal motives, environmental factors and opportunities, leads me to make decisions feeling that I am 80% + right.
This is called the Pareto Principle. This method of decision making is not new. It is practiced by many simply to get things done because not making decisions is actually the one mistake not to make.
Using this principle enables me to make decisions and measure their impact, which in turns gives me the experience needed to make better decisions later on. There is no way, ever, that any one of us can be 100% right on anything. Ever.
Most people think they need absolute certainty or security, or at least a fallback option to make a decision about anything. What a waste of time and opportunities! The only way to be decisive is to accept the fact that 100% certainty is an impossibility – can you be sure that all the things that give you a feeling of certainty are completely objective? Sorry… but No. – so you have to work with it.
Now, knowing that and through self-instrospection as well as active feedback seeking (which I also highly recommend), I expect to the about 80% right in my choices… I have come to expect as well that any misconceptions or wrong decisions will become clear pretty quickly.
Sounds logical, no?
Turns out they can last for years if you allow them!
I remember a situation where I thought I was as right as I could feel about my opportunities for recognition. I was working in a group on a long term project. I was so certain that I understood it because I had looked into every element and determined that while I am a very productive, decisive and delivered excellent results, my chances of success within this group were very slim.
I thought that due to the cross-functional and general nature of my role recognition would only be given to those who end up delivering a specific item which ends up a success and that on top of this I had to contend with a myriad of other factor: politics, my age/lack of seniority, the negativity of those who disagree with my decisions… things I thought I had no control over.
For example, you are coordinating a charity event as part of an internship and one of your speakers, or the person at the most popular donation booth seems particularly flashy and successful. Yay you for making this possible, but it’s hard to see whether your involvement and decision making skills had any impact, isn’t it? I was in a similar situation and although I felt that my contribution was important, I thought it wouldn’t even matter.
I was fooling myself! I did not realise that these were all excuses and that I had entirely misunderstood my situation.
See, it’s important to remember that in your own life you ave and make choices. Constantly. Heck, not making a choice…is a choice. It will have an impact on your life, and you made it that way.
By essence, you are active in every developmental aspect of your life and have the power in your own two hands to decide or strongly influence your opportunities, lifestyle and position.
If you have ever been exposed to the wordy world of marketing, you may have heard of consideration. We have also already brushed upon learning to appreciate, highlighting the huge importance of fully understanding yourself, your situation and your true value.
Now think of it this way – were you overlooked in a process of exclusion… or were you simply never even considered?!
People are by nature selfish. It’s not such a bad thing actually. What it does mean here is that more often than not there is no ill intent, only a lack of consideration. You are selling yourself and your customer (anyone can be your customer for yourpersonal brand) has not even thought about you = absolute failure from the get go.
So I’ve realised that my attitude was the issue and that I was taking a passive stand and preventing anyone from even ever considering me! Instead, I am now actively looking at ways to not only appreciate my own value, but also communicate it.
Let’s all take a minute and consider our grievances: we are not passive, we are active in these grievances. Are you fooling yourself by making excuses? It is easy to “victimise” yourself, it is an escape route from which you must extricate yourself to experience true growth.
Have a mindful day, let’s not be fools,