So who do I choose to be?
Learning to let go of failure, find the confidence to overcome as we wind our way to our best selves.
So who are you is a question with many answers from ourselves and the people we meet and love throughout our lives. We act different ways in front of different people. When I have gone into interviews I tried to project “the best me” persona but looking back that was always built on shifting sands.
I know that my lack of self belief revealed itself in subtle ways like posture, words or remarks given that probably hampered my chance at getting the jobs I was gunning for. It didn’t happen immediately this was an erosion that took time to internalize but once it did it became something that has been a challenge to remove.
This all started a few years back in Toronto when I was searching for work and couldn’t find a way into the advertising agency world. It’s funny I volunteered for events, wrote about the industry but I failed to break down the wall.
I tried a number of different avenues but because I wasn’t really ready or the timing wasn’t right, or the client work was terminated. In a lot of ways I was left adrift and at that point felt like I had nothing to offer.
As someone who has written online for a few years I know anything I have out there can be used as a reason to say no. That is hard in the world of social media where anything you say can be ammunition by an employer to say no but I guess you have to turn it around and give someone an even better reason to say yes.
How do you or I do that by being passionate, through focus and showing whoever what you are doing to overcome your own weaknesses. In any job HR or the hiring person is just trying to find a way to narrow the field and you have find a way to mitigate that but also be someone they want on their team. I say focus on connection because if you have gotten to an interview you probably already meet the bullet point list now its about being a person not a resume.
My issue was I kept too many options open because I was afraid of letting them go, when you have a lot of options available to you, there is no way to give them all the time they deserve. I tried to do that and paid dearly by not being at my best for many of them.
I failed a lot, not once or twice but many times, there is a wake of job carnage behind me and I own ever single one of them, each is a lesson, sometimes I had to learn it more than once but I will not see them as anything but that lessons, not failure, not disappointment just life teaching me what I need for whatever comes next.
Limit your options by realizing that more will come your way, it doesn’t matter what you choose, all that matters is that you do make the choice that gives you focus and if you find that it does not work out then you will know more about you don’t want and that can be almost as valuable as finding out what you do want.
The difference for me today as I write this in Thailand while doing muay thai is I am not going to be dependent on a job or title to validate who I am or my choices. I own my mistakes. That’s not to say what I am doing now is sustainable in the long run, it probably isn’t but its not meant to be and as long as you know that and take the steps to mitigate those risks then its OK.
I know that to believe that the sky’s the limit is great when you’re a kid but can be naive as an adult, but to understand the constraints you live with both those we create ourselves and the ones of circumstance can give each of us focus and clarity.
We can’t control the world around us but we do dictate how we react to the world and how we choose to see it. That becomes the trick, to stem the negativity, live in hope, see the possibility and use that as fuel for the mission whatever we choose that to be.
Then it becomes about overcoming those self imposed limits than it is about the limits themselves and using that focus inch by inch and day by day to climb the summit that we see when we are awake or asleep.
A goal doesn’t need to be a job it can be anything we choose, the problem is we don’t give ourselves the time we need. So anytime you think you can achieve a goal, break it down into smaller ones and make sure you don’t stick to hard deadline unless that’s what you need to make it happen. Be flexible, adaptable be willing to stick with it but recognize the cost of doing that.
Sometimes it will take years or maybe it can be done in months but no matter the timeline it will require commitment and focus which is the hardest thing to find much of the time. Keep yourself motivated, either by repeating the goal to yourself or however and make it part of who you are, live it, feel it and be the goal.
Many times we do quit, I’ve done that so often it hurts to look back at the wasted time, the frustration and the disappointment. So this time it can’t be about me it has to be about the goal which is to fight and to write.
I used to want a job, not have a mission. just wanted to do what everyone else was doing get a good job, have a family and life life. Now almost 2 years into traveling I have a better idea what I want, its not that it’s changed but its come into focus. The seeds of a world that I started to build while traveling consume my thoughts.
Will anyone ever want to read it? I don’t know but I am writing it to change my life. To give a world that I can see in my head form outside my head. It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks or how long it takes all that matters is I stay on it and write, write and write.
Beyond that I hope to get into the muay thai ring and fight. It is not because I seek violence but because I seek to conquer the demons within. A lack of belief that permeate my unconscious mind and have kept me immobile, unable to really live.
It is time to take my limiters off, to say goodbye to “I can’t” and to be in each moment and focus on the immediate goal and those that are just barely visible from here.
So to write and to fight is the immediate. I will write short stories on different platforms to explore different styles and storytelling methods in pursuit of the story I seek to tell. I will prepare to get into the muay thai ring, to give over my own fear and find a way to believe that I can win more against my own defeatist attitude than against whoever I face.
So that’s my declaration of intention, the why is because I feel it because deep down it is what I have to do to push through and show that with focus, creativity and dedication (or stubbornness) I can make my intentions real in this world not just the one I hope for.
That’s the goal for me is to do what feels right, what is true for me. To be open to all the paths both those well trodden and those rarely seen let alone followed. To embrace the unpredictable, experience wonder through the challenge that we decide to take on and own it with the focus and wit to make it reality.