Measure yourself by your effort not by others

Monish Subherwal Humility Leave a Comment

On one project, one of my teammates made me feel horrible about how I was contributing.  This made me doubt myself and I spent time figuring out why I lost so much self confidence.  I took Kain Ramsey’s program, called Warrior Mindset, which I highly recommend.

From that program I learned why I felt so terrible.  I had a need to prove myself a success and I was heavily committed to defining myself by ‘what I did’. Since my identity was tied up by “what I did”, then “how well I did it” would determine if I was successful or not.

For example, if my design was “good” it was only known to me if others praised me. THEN I felt good.  If my design was “bad”, it was only known to me if others didn’t like my output.  THEN I felt bad.  This essentially was an on-going evaluation and thus, emotional see-saw, because I defined myself by ‘what I did’.  The only way I could know if what I did was good, was to evaluate “how well I did it” based on others opinions.  I was getting really affected by others opinions as a result.  Crazy right?

Nowadays, I try and define myself by if I have done the best I could to my ability or not.  “How I am being” (within my control) defines who I am.  I have to remind myself, I am hardworking, loving, collaborative, easy-going, imperfect, flexible, etc. etc. That’s what matters to me.  ‘What I do” doesn’t define me anymore (or at least, it doesn’t very often, but I have to stay vigilant).  I suggest checking out Kain Ramsey’s program or reflecting on the above to help you let go of identifying too much with your work.

Author’s story:  On a project at work, while I was brainstorming with my team, I was really evaluating my contributions and defining myself by “what I did”.  If others thought my idea was good, I felt good.  If they thought my ideas were bad, I felt bad.  I had to pause and recognize the familiar pattern.  A good technique here I found was first being aware I was doing this and then second, stay quiet.  Fight the need to prove yourself.  It’s a subtle thing, but I found if I paused more, I could then start checking in with myself to see if my ideas were helpful to the team and users – not to me and my ego.  

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