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07 Mar

Let the inadequacy be a clue to your next step

Datum: 2024-03-07 09:33
A child in a red plaid shirt is reaching up to chalk height tallying marks on a blackboard.

I do not know what it was like for you, but I returned to work with mixed feel­ings after my Christ­mas hol­i­day. Since I had been away from work for quite a while, I felt slight­ly unsure about some details con­cern­ing cer­tain tasks.

I felt com­fort­able with most things, but there were a few areas I did feel unsure and not 100% in con­trol of. There were even one or two thoughts say­ing Do I even know what I’m doing?!” float­ing through my mind.

Per­haps I had got­ten a bout of the imposter syn­drome”, or per­haps I was not actu­al­ly entire­ly sure how I need and want to do some­thing spe­cial that I deem important.

For you who pre­fer lis­ten­ing to read­ing, this post is also avail­able as an episode of the Done!” pod­cast:

Thoughts can dis­tract too

I think most peo­ple feel inad­e­quate in this way once in a while — and not only fol­low­ing a long vaca­tion. Some­thing just does not feel right, which hin­ders us from doing things in the best and sim­plest pos­si­ble way. The gnaw­ing inse­cu­ri­ty eats away at us and takes up more of our atten­tion than it ought to, and since we spend more ener­gy being watch­ful so that no one real­izes we are out of our depth, we will not be able to ful­ly engage in the tasks that we do know how to do and even enjoy doing.

This is a pity since it is rather easy to find a cure to this afflic­tion — at least improve our con­di­tion significantly.

At the tip of our fingers

If this par­tic­u­lar sense of inad­e­qua­cy comes from not feel­ing that we know how to do some­thing, that we are not in con­trol of the sit­u­a­tion, then there is a quick and easy way to get a grip. As we all know, there is a whole world of infor­ma­tion avail­able by the press of a but­ton on any dig­i­tal unit con­nect­ed to the inter­net. If ever there is a time we should make full use of this end­less source of knowl­edge and know-how, this is it.

Search for what you want to know how to do bet­ter, and you will find count­less guides, tuto­ri­als, lists of tips, and do this”-videos that will pro­vide the answers you want. There are so many out there will­ing and want­i­ng to share so much with all of us.

Or, you can ask some­one close to you who might know. This might require a tad bit of courage (at least to those of us who feel reluc­tant to share that we do not entire­ly know what we are doing), but it is also the more gen­er­ous way to go since we by doing so give some­one else the oppor­tu­ni­ty to proud­ly share their knowledge.

Do this

If this rings any bells to you,

  1. Take a few moments to think about if there is any­thing gnaw­ing away at you, some­thing regard­ing which you wish you had more knowl­edge. Per­son­al­ly, I did not feel very good not know­ing how to best cre­ate a series of scrolling images” to post on LinkedIn just now.
  2. Ask some­one you trust and who might know what you do not. Or, do as I just did, and do a very spe­cif­ic online search for the infor­ma­tion you are lack­ing. Now I know exact­ly what to do and what I need to acquire to get good results.

More at ease

If you (and I) allow this sense of inad­e­qua­cy to be a clue as to what oth­er steps you could take to refine your knowl­edge, process­es, steps, equip­ment and so on, we will get rid of that gnaw­ing feel­ing rather quick­ly and eas­i­ly, which could eas­i­ly dis­tract us from the tasks we actu­al­ly want to focus on right now. This lit­tle tinge of shame is trad­ed for the slight­ly euphor­ic feel­ing of hav­ing fig­ured some­thing out or learned some­thing new, and what could have become a more or less melan­choly Mon­day, turns into a mag­nif­i­cent one instead.

What is your way?

Do you have anoth­er way to deal with that unnec­es­sary feel­ing of inad­e­qua­cy? Help relieve the feel­ing in a fel­low friend of struc­ture by send­ing me a short email.

(Actu­al­ly, raw data can also help you stop hes­i­tat­ing.)

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