Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Firsties

You know that sinking feeling you get when the enormity of the undertaking you've just took on reveals itself? It could be taking on more responsibility at work; moving half-way across the country; taking a mortgage and understanding that it's "for life"; leaving the family business... Whatever it is, it suddenly overwhelms you and you get, what I like to call: the firsties.

I call them the firsties because they usually come along when you are confronted with something big for the first time. And because it's the first time, you're suddenly not sure of your abilities and you get that overwhelming sinking feeling... The firsties.

The feeling comes from your Lizard brain. It's fighting to get back to its comfort zone, to gain control again. It doesn't like change — not one bit. And it uses every tool at its disposal to reverse it. The worst of them all: self-doubt. You start questioning yourself, second guessing, you loose confidence and the challenge becomes too big. Overwhelmed, you say to yourself "maybe I shouldn't do this..." and the Lizard wins.

The most important part about recognizing the firsties is: recognizing the firsties. Understanding that the overwhelming feeling is actually the lizard fighting to get back to its comfort zone. Once you recognize this, you will allow the sensation to wash over you, leaving you more focused on the task at hand.

The firsties suck! No doubt about it. But there is a silver lining: they're a great way to help you focus, plan and be prepared for the challenge at hand!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Rubber stamp

Why do we spend so much energy seeking others' approval? Why do we need to know that our actions are OK in other peoples eyes?

A big part of leaving the business (and really of everything we do) is needing that rubber stamp of approval. The notion that we need to explain our actions to all that surround us from co-workers to family members is hard to beat. We do it in hopes that they (the others) will justify and understand our choices, and in doing so make the process easier (for us).

The problem with this is twofold. First, you will never manage to get everyone's approval. There will always be someone that thinks you are making a big mistake. Second, and really the more significant problem: even though you think so, it won't make you feel any better. You are making a tough decision and those are never easy...

My point is that the rubber stamp does not exist, there is no point in questing it. It is but a figment of your mind working over-time to justify your actions. The only thing left to do, really, is to believe in your way and lead yourself onward.

For CW