I'm scared of failure. Scared of being laughed at. Scared of saying the wrong thing and what people will think of me. Scared of new situations where I am out of my comfort zone. Scared of messing up. Scared of letting people down. Scared of confident people. Scared of not being perfect. Scared of people not liking me. Just generally um scared.
Someone will probably tell me ‘so what’ or ‘what does it matter’ but to me it just does and I naturally struggle to feel different. It’s a bit like a phobia really, you might not like snakes and someone else can’t fathom why, but you just don’t.
If I go out and do something a bit different like going to a concert I worry about getting home. On the way home I worry about getting home. And when I'm outside home I worry if everything at home is ok. It stops me doing things. I’ve turned down invites to things because of it, or left early, of simply not enjoyed it because my mind is elsewhere. It stops me being happy. It stops me living, really living and leaves me just existing. Surviving and definitely not thriving.
Like a lot of people I got bullied a bit at school, I think that’s maybe where it set in. I should have done something about it. But I didn't and I just carried on being scared and have carried it with me ever since.
I applied for a development course last week, it was all a bit last minute and I didn’t really think I was right for it until I was encouraged and had some nice feedback. I’ve since been told it involves role play, and for someone who also despised drama at school there is nothing worse. So I’m already kind of hoping I don’t get on it. Role play, no thanks, it scares me.
I don't really look forward to anything. Genuinely, and it's exhausting.
I realise much of this is linked to self worth and personal resilience and I’m trying to do things about that, but it’s not easy.
I did also read that you can turn fear into excitement more easily that you can turn fear into calm, it's here, have a look
I've been trying to start the day differently of late and set my mind in a better direction for me.
It's been quite simple but also quite effective.
And all it needs is your hand and a pen.
Just start the day with a positive sign.
Look at it during the day and let it help get your mind on the positive.
Its also made me realise how hairy my hands are.
But I'm considering that as a positive thing, although i'm unsure why.
Can you do anything simple, really achievable like this to help you start the day off more positively and have a little reminder.
Give it a try.
I'm planning on pitching it on dragons den but reckon they will say there's no value in the company as it's too easily copied.
But that's why it's good. And the number of people that could benefit from it is huge. I value it at a trillion pounds.
I'm also part of a start up inventing BBQ shorts, nodding rock stars and alka seltzer in a can. I'll tell you about them another time.
Well no, of course it isn’t but that would be a short, but perhaps well received blog if that was all I said.
Will things get better, or get different by doing the same things working the same way with the same people we always work with?
I don't think so. We need to change things, take risks and do things differently.
It can be hard to change the way we do things but diversity in our teams can help, because diversity brings challenge, and ideas, and can provide the catalyst for things being done differently, and better, leading to different and hopefully better outcomes.
Get someone who knows very little about your work to sit on your next team meeting and get their feedback if you don't believe me.
Bruce Hornsby and his mates in the range knew a thing or two about this......
Not everyone can naturally bring about change, they still can change things of course, but it might just be harder work.
Some are just wired that way to be in the right places, to know enough people, to be brave (or daft) enough to go speak to them and to be involved with the right initiative to make it work.
Word of mouth is key, once people are telling other people about your great new thing, be it a fidget spinner or using whatsapp then you know the change has become an epidemic, and it’s gone viral.
So who are those people, and do you have them in your team, on your project, or advising your development of whatever craze will replace those bloody fidget spinners?
You need the following intervening in your change plan to make it, well change and usher the trend into popularity.
Connectors are individuals who have ties in many different realms. They talk, engage, cross fertilise, make social links, schmooze and network. They know everyone and if there is someone new who they need to influence they’ll get to know them. I’m a connector and i've achieved as much from being in the right corridor at the right time as I have through writing papers, so is Aladdin who I blogged about here http://wysethoughts.weebly.com/home/opening-doors-making-connections
Mavens (Yiddish for ‘accumulator of knowledge’) are people who have a strong compulsion to help other people by helping them make informed decisions. They know lots of stuff and keep their ears close to the ground. Because of this they can start word of mouth epidemics and convince others through their knowledge ‘expertise’.
Salespeople are people whose unusual charisma allows them to be extremely persuasive in inducing others’ decisions and behaviours. They are persuasive and positive. People want to listen and agree with them. I think I am a bit of a salesman, but will leave you to judge if I have any charisma unusual or otherwise.
So if you’re trying to change things, have you looked at the team working on that change, do you have all those types of people helping you, it’ll be a lot easier if you do. Of course you could just carry on doing the same stuff if you don’t have them, or if you don’t want to change, or you want change to be slower. But where's the fun in that?
So let’s assume you have the right team then, what’s the message and how’s it gonna stick? Well you’ll be pleased to know I borrowed a list of that too and its important to think about the following:
I’ve been doing this with people I’ve been meeting, and think I’m getting pretty good at it now but it’s taken years to develop my style and pitch to deliver the points above, you could do it in a lot less time now you have the list.
You then need to experiment with your delivery, like I did, and keep on trying small changes until you make it (and I'm not saying I have but I've learnt an awful lot by trying). That’s a bit like agile working I guess. I think we spend a long time polishing in the office before we get out on the road. Comedians and bands have small practice shows before the big gig, do we do the same?
And finally, what about the context, because it’s the context that shapes the behaviour.
Supporting, trying out and nurturing the change within a group helps. But to create a large contagious movement to change then you often have to create many small movements first.
I believe in change. That course was one of the best things I've been on and I'm grateful for my employers teaching me that stuff, and I try and use it all the time, because it was good and it changed me.
So get out there, get talking, get tweeting, get engaging with a whole host of different groups across a whole host of different platforms and hope, no dream, that one day they will all be sat round the table all independently (or so they think) stating that your idea is the best thing since sliced bread, or fidgit spinners.
Don't go changing, ah no, actually do
I’ve just started reading another new self-help book, this time it’s called “you can be an optimist”. I picked it up because I’ve always been interested in being an optician, but that’s probably because my eyesight is so bad (it actually isn’t).
Anyway back to the book.
I’ve read the first chapter and to be honest I don’t hold out much hope that it’s going to help and was probably another waste of money. I’ll put it next to all the other self help books on my self help bookcase. I may have to buy another bookcase soon.
I bought it yesterday as I thought maybe reading the first chapter quickly would transform me overnight and help for today’s interview.
I’m not sure it worked. I was crapping it today. I think I did a good job, but good isn’t usually good enough and I’m fully expecting someone else to get it. They usually do, I’m always the interview bridesmaid, never the bride and it’s been over 12 years now since I've been offered a job post interview. 12 years is a long time to feel like you’ve failed and to feel like you’re not good enough.
It does something to you failing all the time, you might even say it reinforces pessimist tendencies.
Imagine the manager of the football team seeing you do great stuff in training but never getting on the field on match day. Some people are ok with that but I find it hard.
I’ve been pretty depressed all day since the interview to be honest, playing over what I didn’t say perfectly, kicking myself for not doing better, maddened by my inadequacy and just therefore had to write some of it down to help get it out of my head so i could go to bed.
So apologies this post doesn't really have a point (what's new I hear you shout), although it's probably about not being too hard on yourself and looking at where you've got to rather than where you haven't. And not spending the evening after an interview on your own with your thoughts, if you're a pessimist.
Anyway, it's the longest day in just over a week, it'll start getting dark earlier then finally, i've been counting down to it.
I’ve got an interview tomorrow at 9am. I’m having a break from reading and trying to remember how great I am to write this.
An hour to sell myself is a terrifying prospect. I’ve done some really good and relevant stuff and structured it well to map against the capabilities they are looking for but……..I’ve got to get my mind set right so I’m confident and don’t do myself a disservice. And that’s bloody difficult.
When I spot a relevant / interesting job is available I think ‘yeah I’d be really good at that’, on application stage I’m thinking the same but then with every minute that passes towards the dreaded face to face I question myself more and more.
I know it’s not really about the interview or the job, it’s more to do with how I think through uncertain situations that I can’t control.
And also about having self confidence.....
Even way back when I did my first degree a certain amount of my mark was on coursework, topped up by the exams. But we don’t seem to be there yet with interviews.
I wouldn’t hire a plumber without looking on checkatrade for references now, i read reviews of new albums before buying them, and I'd never stay on a hotel without finding out if its Fawlty.
So why are we still doing the same for someone who may be working for us for years?
So i guess this blog is a plea that one day interviews can include some reference to the day to day, to what people think of you, to what you have previously delivered, especially if like me you struggle to give the value to your work that it deserves, despite being told it does have value.
And with that plea, I'll leave you with some words from Maria Von Trapp
"I have confidence in sunshine, I have confidence in rain, i have confidence that spring will come again
Besides which you see, I have confidence in me"
Here’s hoping you have confidence in yourself, I understand it can make all the difference
Back to the revision now
Feedback on my blogging depends on what the objectives of me blogging are, so in typical fashion I've borrowed a list of reasons to blog and given my own critique below:
So I'm sorry to ask but is there anybody out there?
It can be a lonely road this one, is anyone else on it?
I don't need scores, but like everyone in their day to day life, its sometimes nice to know if any of this is any good/use?
And when you've told me, tell one of your colleagues, or family, or friends how they're doing. They'll thank you for it.
Mr Paul Wyse