I can feel it starting again. It’s a slow but sudden creep that eases its way in – unintentionally, of course – but once it does, it’s almost impossible to stop. All of the passion, drive, excitement and enthusiasm of the past while just starts to trickle away. Keeping up with projects becomes more and more difficult. The lure of distraction becomes stronger and stronger, and suddenly, getting any real work done is near impossible.
I’m not sure why it happens, but when it does, it’s crippling. It can make answering even the most straightforward of emails seem a challenge. It also creates a silly downward spiral of emotion. I start out feeling crummy and demotivated for no reason, and this causes me to be overly critical of myself. It suddenly becomes that I’m too lazy. That I just don’t work hard enough. That if I really wanted to overcome this feeling, I could. That I’m just using it as an excuse to do nothing.
I can’t tell if this is a regular experience. If the others I work with also wake up to days where they just feel like lying in bed, curled up in a ball, occasionally getting up to eat peanut butter off a spoon. Can’t tell if it’s just me, or if it speaks to some deeper seeded issue of confidence.
It’s a difficult part of this transition to real people life though. To feel so passionate about a project one week, only to completely lose steam the next, is incredibly challenging. I constantly find myself questioning whether I’m the right person for the task, questioning my abilities and my decisions about the work I’m going to do. I often feel as though I don’t do enough. As though I don’t work hard enough, or push myself far enough.
Confidence is a shaky thing, it seems.
On the one hand, I know this sounds crazy. Anyone who knows me and the 3hrs of sleep I average a night would probably agree. But on the other hand, I can’t help feeling this way. Despite whatever praise I may get for a job well done, it constantly feels as if it isn’t entirely deserved. As if I always could’ve done more. I constantly struggle to understand whether or not that is actually the case.
Perhaps part of this comes from the idea that, compared to the people I work with, I’m still a kid (less in age, more in experience). Perhaps with this view comes a belief that what I’m doing can’t possibly be as good as what others could do; this then feeding into the cycle of uncertainty that leads to those crippling moments and days of “I can’t do this…where’s the peanut butter?”. I don’t know for sure, but perhaps?
I’m realizing quickly that this is something I need to work out, and fix, before it continues to cause me problems. I’ve lately been considering applying for a new position at work, for instance. It would be a considerable step up (to a managing position) and with the experience I have with the particular project, I am – at least on paper – somewhat well poised to have a reasonable shot at it.
That’s on paper, though. My head, on the other hand, is plagued by doubts and fears. Doubts about whether or not I could handle it, could do a good job, and could stay organized. Fears that I’d let people down; people who’ve invested a lot of time and belief in me.
Which again, is probably silly. I’ve yet to completely botch anything just yet, so I don’t know why I’d suddenly start now.
I think that, perhaps, part of all of this is actually something positive (at least, here’s hoping). Within all of the uncertainty and fear is, I think, a sign that I’m on the right path. If I wasn’t doing something I was truly passionate about, then I can’t imagine that same level of concern would exist – concern about whether I’ll succeed, whether I’m the right fit for a role or whether someone else could do it better. Perhaps there is no “transition to real people life” where suddenly everything makes sense. Perhaps I just need to get better at working through and becoming comfortable with these uncertainties, instead of letting them get the best of me.
Then again, what do I know? I ate popcorn for dinner last night and spent yesterday on a bike, in a Superman costume.
Until next time.