Post Success Doubt

Image courtesy of free photos on pixabay.com

You did it. You made it. You accomplished that thing.

There were times you struggled, and times you had to press through adversity.

You created, edited, designed, wrote, sold, presented, leveled up, shipped…

There was a moment of success.

It felt good.

But other feelings try to displace the good.

The Post Success Doubt.

“Maybe you were just lucky this time.”

“Well that was okay, but it could have been better.”

And the worst one…

“That was success for you, but look at that other person and how much more successful they are.”

Suddenly those positives surrounding your success are overrun. The positives didn’t stand a chance against those invading thoughts.

So what can we do?

Know that this doubt exists. This doubt can arrive after the rush (and good feelings) of success. It is much easier to create a defense if you know the potential attack exists.

Learn to pause and document your success. For me I like to write down what it was and the outcome. This provides me with written evidence to combat the doubt. If nothing else, I point to the page and say “see.” Don’t let that doubt discount you and what you did.

Celebrate your success. We tend to move from project to project, from task to task without taking time to acknowledge and celebrate our success. It also helps to celebrate with someone close.

(Helpful tip to those listening to someone’s success: listen well with your face, focus on what they are saying, and celebrate with them. This is not a great time to switch to your things, or make suggestions on how they could have been better, or worse yet, don’t give them the whole, “you should be humble” speech. There is enough false humility conversations robbing folks of celebrating their success.)

Your success is real. It takes effort and risk to create and bring things into this world. Let’s not allow the Post Success Doubt to take away from your success.

If you need someone to celebrate your success, we are all here waiting to hear from you and we will celebrate together.

Making Cabinets

building-cabinets

“It was easier when I was making cabinets.”

“Why, what was different?”

“At the end of the day, I could see and feel my progress. Now I just deal with people and it is hard to know if I accomplished anything.”

As I reflect on my own work. I can relate.

A lot of what we do is less measurable, less tangible.

It is certainly easier when you make something. It wasn’t there before. You built it. It now exists. You can see it.

Ideas, thoughts, managing, leading are harder to quantify.

But we are still making.

Building ideas.

Crafting thoughts.

Developing people.

Creating and expanding organizations.

“Maybe it would be easier to ask yourself a simple question at the end of the day: What Cabinets Did I Make Today?”

“What do you mean?”

“Think about your work now in terms of cabinets because that is where you started. Take your interactions with customers, sales gained, estimates written, and turn then into cabinets.”

“You are a little weird.”

“Yeah I know, but keep tracking. This will tie your current work to the familiar and fulfilling work that you keep longing to do again.”

“I can try. So when I complete four estimates in a day, that may be a cabinet? Instead of not feeling like I am making progress, I can look at that pile of paper, and see a cabinet?”

“Yes, making cabinets out of your current work.”

Maybe that is how we can all calibrate our time, our effort. Think about our work in terms that are familiar and comfortable. A lot of our lives can feel like spinning our wheels instead of Making Cabinets.

What Cabinets are you making?

What [insert your cool creative thing here] have you built today?

Go. Make a difference. Make Cabinets.

 

Eel Gloves

American Eel (USFWS Biologist Steven Smith hollding eel caught while night electrofishing for salmon in Whallon Bay)

(Image Courtesy of adirondackalmanack.com and USFWS)

Sometimes we can be hard to pin down.

Sometimes we wiggle and squirm our way out of accountability, progress, or accomplishment.

Sometimes we say we are going to do something, but try to slip out of it.

A good friend calls it being slippery. Slippery like an eel.

But they make Eel Gloves.

Eel Gloves make it possible to hold onto the slipperiest eel.

Maybe what each of us need is that friend, partner, spouse, coach, or mentor that has OUR pair of Eel Gloves.

The person with the Eel Gloves could hold on to us when we are trying to explain away our lack of progress.

The person with the Eel Gloves could wrestle with us, not let go, and make us face why we are trying to slip out of the accountability.

That sounds like a good name for a coaching option for 2016.

Eel Gloves Coaching: You may be slippery, but we can still hold on.

 

Dancers Dance

Dancers Dance

I am surrounded by dance.

Strange rhythmic sounds echo from the upstairs of our house.

Spins occur in our kitchen.

Spontaneous taps break out during random lulls.

Terms foreign to me are thrown around during cookouts.

Pottaburray? Pleeaaayyy? Kickball steps? Kickball chains?

For two decades this foreign culture has invaded my land.

Different language.

Different rituals.

But I am learning.

I learned about the teacher who drives three hours each night after work just to be part of a tribe.

I learned about the young person who was shy and now beams with confidence.

I learned about the mom who started again despite injury and now spins with ease.

(I just learned that the term is turn, not spin!)

I learned about the owner, the instructor, the master-stylist, the sibling, the financial analyst, the consultant, the student, the teacher, the bartender, the business owner, and the parent (and soon to be parent).

I learned about the struggle, the pain, the work, the practice, the goals, the frustration, the ambition, the need, the sorrow, and the joy.

I learned that dancers have different stories.

I learned that dancers have different backgrounds.

I learned that dancers have different reasons.

Most of all I learned that Dancers Dance.

 

 

 

 

 

Lists are Good

Lists are GoodI have a love/hate relationship with lists.

Lists keep track of what needs to be done.

Lists can feel overwhelming when there are so many things to be done.

A friend recently had a contractor over their house. The house needed numerous small repairs. As they prepared to walk from room to room and discuss the projects, my friend handed the contractor a list.

“I hope you don’t mind, but I made a list of all of the various projects.”

“Lists are good. I cannot tell you how many times I come to someone’s house and they rattle off all these things that were not part of our original discussion and expect me to remember them all.”

There was a sigh of relief from my friend. The last contractor didn’t have the same perspective on lists. There would be discussions, but not all projects were remembered or completed. There seemed to be agreement on what needed to be done, but various details would be missed that required projects to be either redone, or re-visited.

When it comes to lists, I think our egos can come into play.

“Don’t worry about it.” (As we tap our heads.) “I got it, I will remember, I don’t need to write it down.”

We don’t always have it.

We don’t always remember.

We do need to write it down.

Lists help in other ways. Lists provide accountability to ensure that we accomplish the task. Lists also provide the often needed sense of accomplishment. Each crossed-off item can bring pride for a job well done.

I will try to bring a little more love, and a little less hate to my lists.

I will also try to remember: Lists are Good.

For When You Ship

During the holidays it is hard to say “this is my favorite gift.” Undoubtably someone will wonder why their gift didn’t make the list, and then the comparing will begin. In order to thwart this comparison and potential hurt feelings, let’s simply agree that certain gifts stir our souls. Often this stirring is not a reflection of cost or value, but because the giver connected with us in a way that went deep and said “I know you.”

A few months ago, we hosted a get-together at our house for an educational experiment. Seth Godin announced a relational educational initiative where people get together and learn together.

The first class focused us on picking ourselves, overcoming fear, and learning to “ship.” Shipping as Seth describes it is the act of getting our product, idea, proposal, or whatever off the ground and out the door. The class ended with each of us completing the handy “SHIPIT Journal” that helped us work through the obstacles that typically prevent us from moving forward.

While opening gifts this year, I opened a small shelf organizer for magazines. It was black with a little metal tab. The kind of organizer that you may find on library shelves.

IMG_0667

After thanking the giver, I thought to myself…“That is cute, but are my magazines in such disarray that I need some organization?” Also, we had started the second Seth Godin class based on the work of Gretchen Rubin and the Happiness Project and a big part of our discussions were based on cleaning up clutter in our lives, homes, and surroundings. My first impression connected this gift to the second class.

It was then that I found the note. Tucked inside the organizer was the real reason for the gift. There were only four words, but those four words touched my soul. The giver instantly changed a simple gift into a memorable one.

For When You Ship

The ordinary organizer had transformed into something more. This simple black box with a metal handle was now the place where accomplishments would reside. This box was now the monument, the official record, or the proof of shipping, overcoming obstacles, fears, and doubts.

To the Giver: Thank you for transforming something so simple into a lasting memory.

To All of Us: Connect with others when we can in the simplest but meaningful ways.

To the Universe: I shipped!

The Record of Shipping