I think that one thing that I do very poorly is succeed. Succeed in the sense that I dream it, I build it, and execute it successfully. This idea goes much deeper than the lunch table “state school” jokes. Instead, it’s something that I’ve really been thinking about lately.
As an example, I went to a soccer tryout today. I think I did really well. I played smart; I wasn’t in as great a shape as I would like, but I was fit; and I think that I showed my strengths. My goal for the last year or so has been to get into good enough shape to be a contributor for a team at a higher division than the one in which I’ve been playing. I think that tonight I pulled that off, but it’s really the first time in a long time where I’ve had that sense of really accomplishing something long term. I played soccer my whole life, and I never felt as if I made a team on which there was competition for my position. Doing well tonight was a big mental milestone to overcome. Nothing is set in stone yet, but regardless of the end result, I really feel like I came out of the experience better. If not because I made the team, then because I’m in a much better state of mind about my health and form.
I’m not sure where the inability to, or general lack in confidence in my ability to, succeed comes from. It may be the last bits of looking back over the last five years, and trying to figure out where I got better and at what.When I look back now, it’s such a blur that I really don’t know how to consume it all. I have one particular program I wrote that I’m still in love with to this day. I had 2 internships that I absolutely loved. I have a group of friends who have stayed with me through thick and thin. Those are all good things, but it’s hard to label them as successes as I see success now.
All of that said, I definitely find myself tackling the issue head on. I’ve got the 10 resolutions for 2010, which are so far going quite well. I’ve got 2 or 3 projects at work against which I track daily progress against a larger goal. One is nearly finished. A second is dreadfully far behind, while a third is just getting started. This idea of doing things in a public eye as a form of public pressure to commit and delivery has been good for me. As an example, I gave up soda today to make sure that I reach my 25 lbs. lost by June 1st deadline. Both the deadline itself, and this new goal, are really tough challenges where I’d really like to succeed, and placing them out for public consumption makes it easier for me.
Nonetheless, I’m still interested in why I have to be so strong handed about this. I guess in my gut I know that everyone works hard for success, but every now and then I convince myself that it just comes easier for others. It’s pretty late, and this feels really incomplete, but I think I’m going to publish it anyway. I think the underlying issue I’m facing here is finding the balance between my personal bar for success, my desire to never disappoint people and the reality that both of the previous items are both probably unattainable.
Won’t stop me from trying though.