Thursday, October 20, 2016

Getting Over Myself

I realize that there are certain personality traits that again & again get in my way of success/happiness/etc... I am trying really hard to get over these things because I realize they have been holding me back for years (decades!) Just this week I've had a couple of successes!

#1 Shyness/introversion/imposter syndrome: Overall the feeling that reaching out to anyone for collaboration is annoying & burdensome, that people will not want to work with me because my ideas are lame/I'm not as smart as them/they are too busy or whatever. This has been a major issue for me in my research. I don't reach out, or I wait too long, or I over-analyze a delayed response to my initial contact as a sign that they are uninterested (because my work is lame, I'm not that smart...) when in reality, once I DO make contact, I've only heard positive things "That sounds cool! We'd love to help! Maybe we can write this up!" Etc... I just sent an email to a stranger (who I was recommended to contact by someone I was discussing an upcoming grant with at a networking event) and she immediately wrote back that she would love to be involved. This could open a new (and really cool!) area of study for me.

Lesson learned: networking is important and don't be afraid to reach out for collaboration. Its like dating, it won't happen if you don't put yourself out there.

#2 Time stress/overwhelm/schedule rigidity: This one annoys the hell out of husband, and leads to a lot of unnecessary stress/panic at home. We get behind on chores or weeknight routine, I start fretting about how "there is SO MUCH TO DO!" and get snippy, frustrated, and overall it sucks. This may sound overly philosophical, but my stress about chores really stems from lack of ability to stay in the moment. I am stressed because I want to be DONE and relaxing/sleeping/back to work. If I can just stay in the moment and do the thing in front of me, one at a time, there is no problem. On Tuesday evening it was nearly 7, no one had eaten dinner, the dishwasher needed to be unloaded & reloaded, lunches packed for the next 2 days, kitchen cleaned, kids bathed, stories etc... (and G was not home). I put on some music, fed the three of us, felt much better because I wasn't starving, and then tackled one chore at a time as the kids laughed & played at the table. It all got done, I was in a good mood, and they even went to bed on time.

Lesson learned: take one thing at a time, it'll all get done and be less awful in the doing.Also music helps.

#3 Avoidance of potentially stressful things: I avoid addressing them and then they hang over my head, infiltrating my day, adding this undercurrent of anxiety. I honestly haven't had any wins on this one recently, but I have a couple of things I need to tackle, at home & at work (home: planning holiday travel and buying tickets---stressful because family pressures and $$$; work: scheduling a long overdue meeting with division chief re: lack of grants/papers in past year---stressful because...duh).

Lesson (still not) learned: Eat that frog

What have you learned lately?


  1. I completely get the wanting to be done part. At night I want my children in their bedrooms at a reasonable hour so I can relax and be done with the mom thing. My husband tends to point out that they're still awake, so he doesn't really care if they're reading somewhere else in the house, but it just feels completely different to me.

  2. I totally feel you on #2. It helps when I'm in the thick of it to have a date when I know I can tackle it. Like, if my house is a shit hole, but I know that in two weeks I can really tackle it, I can accept, begrudgingly, the mess. But if I just keep putting it off without an end date in sight I get really crazy.

  3. These are three of the lessons I need to learn, too. Still working on them all. :)

    But I'm trying to let go and let the kids play and be free, do one thing at a time, stay in the moment, hazard my thoughts in conversation when I have them (rather than keeping quiet because I feel like everyone will think me stupid). When I fantasize about having learned things, they're things like quilting, or another language, or better photography, or painting. ;) Congratulations on your steps forward! (And thanks for coming back and making me feel welcome in my own home again.)

  4. I am sooo bad about #2. I agree that music helps with almost anything! It's amazing how powerful it can be to change the mood. I also kind of love cleaning a hideously messy kitchen with a podcast in my earphones. just getting into the flow of it and tuning out the world. (Of course this only works when kids are in bed or otherwise occupied . . .)