how to happiness
Who Are You to Do Something Like That?
I leave Wednesday for Portland and SOBCon NW 2012. It’s our 10th event since the first. I’ve been thinking about that first event.
The week before the first SOBCon in 2007. I was filled with the excitement and doubts that come from taking on a huge endeavor such as I’d never taken on before.
It wasn’t like doing something for school or for the place where I worked. Doing things for them always had certain people who defined what we would do. Papers were written to the standards of the teachers. Reports and projects fit the expectation of the manager assigning them.
This was something we — our team — were doing ourselves for the people who would come.
Whose approval and applause was I looking for now? I was comfortable with what we had built and still, I had this doubt. It took a while for me to identify what was lingering there to hold me back.
It was the kids in my 3rd grade class saying something like “Who are you to do something like that?”
Why was a bunch of 8-year-olds from my past still getting real estate in my head?
Why should I care about their approval now? It didn’t make sense.
I’m the One Doing It!
Once I admitted a bunch of kids were the doubters I feared, I could let them know that I’d outgrown their shouting. They couldn’t knock me over with their disapproval now. I have more skills than I did when I knew them at 8 years old. Their power isn’t nearly so big now that I’m grown. So I moved those doubters and shouters out of my head. I’m not sure why they had power then.
I was afraid of childhood events. They doubters and shouters were barely memories at best.
So the next time I thought, “Who are you to do something like that?”
I said out loud, “I’m the one doing it!” and I got on with doing it.
Half the battle is knowing who are the doubters and shouters you’re letting undermine success.
The other half is telling them they don’t count.
Being big enough to tell the doubters and shouters to go doubt themselves is irresistible.
–ME “Liz” Strauss