I wanna be awesome.
I’m learning I am not alone in the fact that writing my self assessment at annual review time could possibly be the single thing in the work world that I detest doing the most. As I sit here and reflect on why that is, it really takes very little time to get to the heart of it. It makes me feel weird. And saying good things about myself makes me feel all braggy. Which, again, makes me feel weird. Mind you, I can go on and on and on about the places where I could use work. That part comes easy. But it’s not the whole truth and it’s also not gonna win me credit for my time and energy that I put in, credibility from my experiences, and it sure isn’t gonna make me popular with my leadership team!
I came across this article the other day that was titled “The Right Way to Speak to Yourself” and I thought,”Well duh, of course, that makes sense.” I mean when I look at my son Sam, who is 8, I so often marvel at his willingness to share an honest assessment of himself “Oh yeah, I’m not very good at shuffling cards yet, my hands are kinda small” and “I’m a good dancer because… well because I am awesome.” We come into the world with clear vision into ourselves only to cloud it – or at least the ability to speak about it, along the way.
The article is interesting becuase it’s a quick read on remembering to think about this as we manage our relationships with others as well as ourselves. The idea that “possibly it’s because we grow up in an academic setting that emphasizes critique over admiration. Perhaps it feels arrogant — unseemly even — to speak to ourselves with the effusive praise and positivity that Dorit [the first grade teacher] spoke to her class. It might even feel dangerous to go easy on ourselves. If we did, maybe we wouldn’t accomplish anything at all. Maybe we’d devolve into laziness.” Hmm.
I read on. And then there it was. The word. Love. Could I answer the question if I am worth it to myself, could I love myself enough, to carve out time each week or month to support and care for my own story? Could I take myself to the classroom once a week to spend a few minutes reflecting back on mistakes I’ve learned from this week, things that went well, places I shined? Could I privately mark down progress I’ve made? Progress I want to make? I
think know I could. So will I?
The article made me want to spring into action – to try to get a tactic, something tangible, that can help me take myself to the classroom once a week. I didn’t surface alot of ideas that felt right for me, so for now, I pledge to at a minimum – carve out the time in my calendar once a week to create space to write a few pages of my story and mark my work. My hope is, when mid year and annual review times come along, this space will help me turn self assessment loathing into love (or at least like), and that I’ll not only be able to call out where my hands are too small for shuffling, but also when I’m…. well awesome.