The hurdle in your head
I just want to quit.
I’m not useful. I spend too much time on small-minded tasks. No one recognizes my contributions. I’m not growing, or worse, I might be shrinking. Am I surrounded by the wrong people or am I the wrong person? Maybe I’m not meant to be a designer.
I used to want to change the world but I’m not doing anything close to that. Does anyone actually believe in this company’s mission?
If I quit today, it would feel great. I could take some time off and work on side projects. The stuff that makes me feel alive. How will I get paid? No one will give a shit about my side projects and pay for it. Fuck it. I need to keep working, the pay is good and I’m being an ungrateful shit. So many people would kill for my job.
Things will get better soon. If I chill, I’ll be happier. There’s more to life than trying to be the best. It’s just a job — I never really had school spirit anyway.
Get back to work.
This is a typical conversation I have with my inner grouch almost every day. When work gets hard, he makes me feel bad or convinces me to quit. He’s loud, relentless, devious and mean. If any of this sounds familiar, you’ve already met your inner grouch.
Your inner grouch stops you from doing your best work. He clouds your judgement and compels you toward mediocrity. This self-judgment, self-criticism and fear distracts you from the things that matter in your career: getting damn good and showing how good you are.
Find comfort knowing that one of your greatest hurdles is in your head; you can tame your inner grouch. Start with these books: