This weekend’s topic:
(from Sara LeTourneau’s blog)
How would you answer Henry Ford’s question? What happens when you believe you can do something? How about when you have the opposite mentality? Is one more helpful than the other when it comes to achieving goals? What other thoughts did you have when you read this quote?
I’m a middle child, so it’s always hard to define myself as definitely one thing or another. I’m always in the middle.
It’s the same thing with Henry Ford’s question. When faced with a task and asked if I can do it or not, my first answer is always “I don’t know,” which isn’t assertive, especially in the work place, but I really don’t know. That’s my honest answer. However, I’m always willing to try (well, these days) to see if I can or not.
Usually, I try not to think too much about whatever it is I have to do. If I think about the task and begin to doubt myself, I will be too preoccupied with my inability to be effective at the task. However, if I am confident… I’m hardly ever confident about anything and if I am, I become overconfident and make mistakes. It’s really better that I don’t think too much about it.
Thoughts of the task can be at the back of my mind, bouncing around subconsciously and developing into ideas I can later consciously use. That’s helpful. But planning way ahead makes it difficult for me to perform well. Spontaneity does wonders sometimes.
That’s what happened fairly recently when I landed my new job. I’m usually nervous on interviews. I over-plan, overthink, and stumble through it all. This time, I didn’t think about it much, probably because I wasn’t sure if I wanted a new job or not; so instead of approaching the interview as someone eagerly seeking a new position, I instead approached it out of curiosity, as someone looking to see what another company/position has to offer. Nothing definite.
I didn’t think about whether or not I’d get the job, I just went with the flow of it all. I prepared myself by researching the company and the people I know would interview me, and drafting some questions to ask based on the position description and the company and that was it. I found something else to occupy my thoughts and just didn’t think of the interview.
I maintained that relaxed mindset when I went in for the interview, not concerned about making it or not, and it helped to make me feel confident and relaxed during the interview. I was surprised at myself and alarmed, which made me a little nervous toward the end, because I’ve never been that relaxed on an interview before. I thought I did something wrong, but I quickly flicked that thought away. I liked the relaxed confidence.
The interview went so well that about 15 minutes after I left I received a call for a second interview with the CEO, which excited and stunned me because I’ve never had to meet a CEO on an interview before. That made me nervous, but I didn’t think of myself that I couldn’t do it, or that I could. Neither did I think that I was obligated to go through with it because I think people always have a choice in every situation (it’s just that some choices are so crappy that you don’t want to choose them, but the choices are always there). I decided to go along with this experience to see how I’d do and simply to experience it.
Again I didn’t worry or over prepare. Actually, I didn’t have time to because I had loads of work to do for my then-current job. I did my research on the CEO and drafted some questions about the company at large. Then I showed up, still relaxed, and went in for the interview. I’ll admit, a burst of nervous energy shot through me when I entered the office, but luckily, the CEO was relaxed, so I played off his energy and regained that relaxed confidence I had on the first interview. It all went well, and I got the job.
Another more recent example, is when I drove for the first time by myself. I’m late to driving. I’ve been alive now for almost 3 decades and previously refused to learn to drive because everyone wanted me to and I’m stubborn. I changed my mind a while back and decided to learn because no one wants to go to the places I want to visit. I got my license and all that jazz but had never driven a car with just myself inside and no one instructing me.
Again, I was relaxed about it. I did have a fleeting, doubtful thought when I picked up the keys from the counter and had nightmares a couple weeks prior about crashing when I attempt to switch lanes because I really needed to pee and there was no place to go and because I know nothing about insurance, the cops and everyone laughed at me and then there was a weird flying bear thing coming to either eat or hug me (I’d also fallen asleep reading Kings of the Wyld), but for the most part, when faced with the task, I was relaxed, unworried, and hardly thought about what I was doing.
It felt automatic, as if I’d been driving for years. As with the first interview, there was moment when I was shocked and alarmed at the calm in myself and I tensed for a minute with nervous energy because I couldn’t believe that I was actually driving by myself, but then I accepted it all and that calmed me and returned me to my relaxed state. When I returned home, I was so excited that I celebrated by running around the house and shouting at everyone about what I did or texting them IN ALL CAPS!!! and jumping on my bed. (Don’t judge me.) 🙂
Thinking I can do something is good, but sometimes it turns negative for me by making me afraid to fail, showing that I can’t, or can’t always, do whatever it is; and thinking I can’t do a thing just makes me freeze and reluctant to try or give my best effort. Both negative results are from overthinking things, which I do a lot, so it’s best that I go with flow when I can and trust what I know without forcing myself to recall all I know. Be relaxed and find confidence in that.
What I’m currently reading:
Fool’s Errand by Robin Hobb
Emily at Embuhlee liest and me are back at it again! 😀 After a little break, we’re buddy-reading the Tawney Man trilogy, which follows the Liveships trilogy we completed couple weeks ago. I am SO glad to be back to Fitz’s voice. It’s like finding a breath of fresh air after travelling for 3 hours straight in humid weather on a hot, overcrowded bus with no A/C. The Liveship story was great and I enjoyed it, but the writing was thick and it took forever and all my strength to slog through it. Anyway, I missed Fitz and his peeps, so I’m glad to be back with him and Nighteyes.
The New York Trilogy by Paul Auster
I started this last weekend, I think, and so far… I’m no feeling it. I’ll continue for a while longer though.
The Shining by Stephen King
Maaaaannnn!!! Yo! Yo, yo, yo! This book got me thinking and shit. I’m only halfway through and I’m already eager to write my review so I can sort out my thoughts because Jack and Danny and the Overlook and the treatment of the mom, like why is she so mistreated? She’s either pushed aside or ignored, literally. Why? And Jack makes me wonder what was King going through when he wrote this and little Danny, aww. I wonder why the word “precocious” hasn’t been used so far to describe him. And the Overlook, maaaann… Stuff, just stuff.
Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
I’ve avoided this book because I thought it’s YA fantasy and I’m currently upset with YA fantasy so I’ve been avoiding it, but I keep seeing this book in the adult fantasy section and peeps have said in reviews that it is adult fantasy, so I decided to read it for the Reading Quest, but it reads like YA fantasy, which makes me go back to thinking of it as such despite the explicit scenes, so I put it down because I’m still upset with YA fantasy and the dominant romance plot in ALL the books, grr…!
The Iliad by Homer, trans. by Robert Fagles
I really should continue with this, so I will.
So that’s what I’m reading this weekend while attempting to make expressions on my face because my braids are in so tight that you’d probably think I got botox. It feels a little better this morning though, but I’m still worried about my roots. Guess I gotta go back to my other stylist. She was considerate about my roots. (My poor roots 😥 .)