I have commented on this idea before and it is still something I’m not necessarily comfortable sharing.
There’s a need which is not being filled in my life right now. I seem to be looking for something bigger. I seem to be looking for significance. And, going to the workplace daily appears to be a reminder that I’m not creating meaning in my immediate area of influence.
As a replacement to this need, I have found myself looking for trouble, constantly checking my blog’s views count, worrying about how I increase my followers, hoping to see comments on my social media posts, and so many other ways to find evidence people care about what I do.
There are several thoughts coming from this experience which will most likely become lessons sometime in the future.
1. Assuming I Am Not Enough
Since January 2016, I have been working on living a purposeful life.
In the process, I have found myself going back to worrying about what other people think, how often they comment on what I share on social media, and how many people show up to my leadership events.
The implication is that an increase in participation represents my value and lets me know I have a purpose.
I have connected the numeric results to my sense of belonging; which means, I have let the external define me. if the number don’t improve, I start feeling something is wrong with me.
I’m approaching the situation from a place of lack: without the numbers I am incomplete.
2. Holding On To Roles That No Longer Serve Me
For the first 10 years of my career, success was directly proportional to the level of my subject matter expertise. In 2014, all that changed when I chose to move away from actuarial science and focus more on talent development and strategic consulting.
Unfortunately, my mind still thinks my value to the company depends on being an actuarial subject matter expert. I keep finding myself attempting to fix operational problems when I haven’t being directly involved in the daily activities for years.
My time as actuary is long gone. Furthermore, I don’t even want to be one. Yet, my mind still believes I need to be part of the conversation in order to be valuable.
The fact is I can best serve the company by facilitating conversations and processes. My role is to help the experts think about the bigger picture and develop a sensible strategy.
3. Confusing Lack of Evidence With Lack of Progress
I have touched on this idea before and it continues to be a challenge in my life.
“…Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” – John 20:25
Like Thomas, I have been wrestling with this fake need to find evidence of progress. Because I can’t see the life changing around me, I tend to assume what I am doing is not working.
Here’s what I have so far on this concept. I’m starting to believe “progress” is a matter of perspective; and perspective depends on who’s measuring.
My misinterpretation of the lack of evidence is driven by how my intellect processes the experience of my physical dimension. But, I am a three-dimensional being.
When I look at my experience so far as a whole, my spirit knows better.
- I am wiser.
- I have made improvement in managing emotions.
- I am growing a leadership tribe.
- I have increased my level of self-awareness
- I am posing more questions than giving answers.
Maybe, I’m not progressing in a specific objective but I have grown as a person.
While I continue to reflect on these ideas, I encourage you to take a moment to identify in what ways are you looking for validation in your life.