I’m struggling mightily with failure this week. Some difficult work challenges, some stressors around home. As a result, every little things feels like a massive failure. A small bug in some code is clear indication of my incompetence. My partner disagreeing with me feels like complete rejection. I feel like a total fraud doing demos at work. Playing music feels the same; I’ve never really been good enough. It creates a vicious cycle because you grow to expect it, you don’t try as hard, you look for reasons for self criticism. And in the ultimate fail, I didn’t recognize how bad it had become.
PS I’m reading Emotional First Aid right now, and will share a few insights on this topic.
I spend a lot of time living in front of a computer for my job, for volunteerism, for entertainment. This summer, because my partner has become a volunteer guide, I’ve had the great fortune to spend far more time with horses than I ever would have imagined. It isn’t much, compared to independent riding, but spending a few hours on trail rides helps one get to know these animals. Learning how to relate to them and communicate with them feels real in a way that a lot of my communication through the week just doesn’t. I’m feeling a lot of gratitude to these animals and to the opportunity I’ve had to get to know some of them.
PS This is Buck. I’ve been riding Cash and Gus – but Buck stood still long enough for me to get this picture.
I got back from a three week vacation today and spent a good chunk of the morning cleaning up emails and gaining clarity on some issues. One particular issue that came up was interesting in that one of my senior coworkers and our boss seem to have two exactly opposite ideas about how a particular technical problem would be resolved. And yet they thought they were on the same page and that I would be investigating the issue based on their (entirely different) idea of the problem. Fortunately, I have a third possible solution that may avoid sorting out that tangle altogether. It is a good reminder, though, to not make too many assumptions as even in a simple three-way conversation things can get mighty confused.