Can you trust yourself?

I created some agitation and franticness for myself this week.

When I sat down to reflect on it, I realized I didn’t trust myself to keep up an effort without a massive motivating force, a massive scary terrorizing thing that you have to run from.

In my earlier years, it was poverty – I didn’t want to end up like my parents.

So I worked hard, and always believed I was just a few days of low performance away from getting canned and living in the gutter.

At some point, this belief system was hard to maintain, especially as I started to get more exposure to other engineers, and realized I was pretty good by comparison, even when I was coasting.

I started to prioritize being content and enjoying life a bit more.

I lost my fire. I didn’t sustain efforts on anything hard or uncomfortable. I did the thing that was the easiest.

And that got me to where I am today – out of the game, and annoyed at myself about it.

I don’t trust myself to keep going unless there’s a monster behind me.

So I try to generate franticness and anxiety to motivate myself.

A Self-Abusive Manager

I realized this is actually a terrible management technique. I would not ramp up fear and anxiety for my team members because I know that makes people stupider and less resourceful.

Yet, I do it to myself.

What makes people perform at high levels? Inspiration, desire, and commitment.

I have created powerful commitments for myself, and I see myself keeping a lot of the commitments I make every week.

But I know that I’m not quite on the right track because I’m not getting the results I am really after.

So I need to look more soberly at what actions I need to be taking. What are some new perspectives, some new futures, that I could consider that would give me a new menu of options?

This is where I start to build more trust with myself – to not only keep my regular small commitments, but to make sure that I am actually staying true to my longer-term commitments through the actions I commit to do.

So that’s my next mini-commitment.






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