Throw that Self Doubt Out!
Today I am reflecting on my career. It isn’t funny or humorous, it is real and something I hope you can ponder and take advantage of.
Nineteen months ago, I retired from a wonderful position as Director of the IT Project Management Office (PMO), Quality Assurance and Audit department for Houston Independent School District, seventh largest in the country. I mean no arrogance when I say, I am proud of my career achievements.
I was a workaholic for most of my career. Work was first most of my life, and I worked many hours beyond my “40”. Even when I wasn’t at work, I spent a lot time learning and studying things I didn’t know, so that I could begin to incorporate them into my career. It paid off in huge ways. As I said I am proud of what I was able to accomplish, I went to college while working full time, I didn’t finish my degree. I loved to learn, but I didn’t love school, particularly college. I felt like an outsider. I now understand that was because I kept myself as an outsider. I was so shy and introverted, at times it had to be painful to watch me. But at work I flourished. I was appreciated and valued, and people wanted to hear my thoughts. So, for me the choice between school and work became a no brainer. Where was I happy? Work.
Looking back on it I would not change my decision, although I believe my career would have taken me to a higher level faster if I had completed my degree. It would have been the boost to my confidence that made that happen, not necessarily the education. It is funny, I was adventurous and brave early in my career. I didn’t know to let things stop me. I want to thank my parents for that, they did something right. They made me brave, I stood up for myself and it paid off in experiences I might never have had without that courage.
I found though as I aged, I began to doubt myself and how far my career could go. Personal issues like divorce probably had a huge influence on that. It really is a sorrowful loss to doubt oneself. That doubt can so easily drain away the what could have been. If I were to change one thing, I would help the younger me understand that self-doubt is a destroyer of happiness and possibility. That’s not possible, but apparently along the way I must have figured enough out that truly wonderful things happened in my career and I am grateful for they enabled my future to be a design of my own.
During this time of staying home I challenge all of us to seriously look at what we doubt about ourselves, figuratively or literally go to the door or window and throw those doubts out of the house, out of your mind. Slam the door and don’t let it back in. Wow, wouldn’t accomplishing that help make this whole experience so much more important, life changing in an incredibly positive way. I tip my visor to you and send you wishes for a huge success at slamming the door so that you can open it as a new person!