Wednesday, January 30, 2013

30. Your Biggest Flaw #JanBlogaDay

I have to admit, I haven't been looking forward to writing this one.  And it wasn't because I didn't know what to write about.  Biggest Flaw?  Plenty of competition, plenty of source material.  On top of that, while I'm not actively looking for a job, I do get inquiries from time-to-time, and did I really want recruiters potentially seeing such a post?

I had a couple of different directions I could head.  It's so easy to be self-critical.  This is definitely one where if you disagree with me, I'd welcome emails instead of comments below.  Overall, I'm very happy with me.  I don't feel like I have huge, gaping flaws.  I feel like it's a continuum and I'm always learning and always open to feedback and coaching, but I feel like I'm in a good place.

But in the spirit of January Blog a Day, onward we press.

January Blog a Day has made me think more deliberately about a number of things over the course of the month and so while this is the second time I'm writing this post, I think this is accurate.  To me, there ends up being a fine line between regret and flaw.  Regret is historical while flaw is present - it's something you'll regret later, some thing that comes to mind regularly, an "I ought to" that you don't do anything about, you excuse away as "wiring" or you suppress it because it will push you out of your comfort zone.  It is not something you have no control over, such as something of your appearance or an allergy.  If you want to call them a design flaw, then take that up with God, but be warned that he might be quite pleased with his creation (you) and suggest that maybe you're not recognizing the intent of the thing that's bothering you (or that it's come from misuse or abuse because you're not operating your body per the specs of its intended design.)

Ok, back off the tangent because I know you're dying to learn what I consider my biggest flaw.  (Again, please send disagreements by email, don't rip me in the comments below.)

I do not take enough risks.   I do not calculate the odds and make leaps.   I want to plan out everything and if I can't see the destination, I don't want to take the journey.  This is a dangerous flaw.  There are perfect examples of where I've actually taken risks - getting married, having children, quitting a job and convincing my wife to quit her job and moving the family to Seattle including selling a house and buying a house while unemployed (we took that risk together), going for a director position with my current employer.

Mixed results... marriage - very cool; children - cool, but not at all what I expected; moving to Seattle - beyond what I could have imagined in the positive column; applying for the director position - I thought it was mine, even in mid-air, I was pretty sure that my leap was aimed better than all the others in mid-air also aiming for the position.

Apparently not.

And that also kind of made it harder to take risks since then.  (So a second area might be self-confidence, but I'm trying to stick to one.  Lindsey wrote of 24, but she just did bullet points.  I want to write about one and in detail because you guys become my therapist and maybe, just maybe, but putting what's in my head out for all to see, I have to confront it and perhaps "fix it.")

I think I need to take more risks.  They say the answer is an automatic "no" if you never ask, but on the flip side, you don't have to hear the "no" if you don't ask.  Which may mean that I need to get better at accepting "no" (maybe I need practice?) and at calculating the risks (again, practice?) so that I have better odds, more of a likelihood of getting a "yes," or making the big leaps not only because I am confident I can't miss, but ones where the reward of success far outweighs the agony of defeat.  Not about not having to succeed (no plan B) but making sure there's a not a dead end in the end of a miss.

This is still a bit theoretical and I'm risking talking in circles.  But it feels good to think about, slightly empowering.  Ok, practice.  More smart / appropriate / reasonable risks.  That will reduce the likelihood of failure while making failure less painful / fatal.

Ok, let's do this.  And I have one in mind.

Wish me luck.  (Or prayer - I think that's more powerful than kind wishes, so I'll welcome any prayer, not so much for success, but for wisdom in the planning / calculations - but don't get me wrong, I'm going to take the leap.)

Day 30 of January Blog a Day.

The whole list:

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