Ever been told you don’t fit the mold? Ever felt like you didn’t quite fit in? That you didn’t fit in the box that everyone else did. Maybe someone even said you were different but they wanted you to succeed.
If you were like me, you went about proving to yourself & “them” that you deserved to succeed & they would want you there, given the value you'd add. You wanted to prove that different was still equal.
For years, people thought I was good, excellent even, & I was different. For awhile, I don't think any of us knew how much of the "fit" was age, gender or me. To combat one/two of these, early in my career, in an effort to connect, I signed up to receive daily sports updates on my phone. (Note: there were books that recommended this to women; I don’t know if they still do, I’ve stopped listening to that advice.)
I also got after it. I got my MBA sooner than my peers; my CPA when others wouldn’t. I learned programs others wouldn’t. I saw my quirks, differences as assets & was determined to get the seat I wanted at the table. I wanted to prove to everyone, them & myself, that I was valuable in that seat, that I deserved that seat. I wanted to show them those different could do the job, deserved the job. That the differences were valuable & contributed.
In hindsight, I was so busy proving people wrong, or proving that different was good, I didn’t pause to consider if this was best for me, would make best use of my superpowers & satisfy me. At the time, it didn’t seem like I was putting myself in a box, rather I was trying to expand the box. And I hoped I was contributing to a greater good, proving to others they didn’t have to fit the mold to get the seat.
And yet every day, my weak points were what was needed. I know we all spend more time on our weakest points; I’m a freaking coach. I get it. This seemed different. My assets, my superpowers, weren’t what was most important to those around me. What others valued & needed most were my weaker spots.
So every day was me, trying to prove myself, using skills other than my superpowers.
What did I get? Yes, I did improve my weaker skills & do feel lucky for the mentorship/training I received. And it got me burnout.
In hindsight, a bit of resesarch on what using my superpowers 75/80% of the time could look like, would have served us all. But we all had blinders on. We were all SUPER busy doing ALL THE THINGS. Those above me and myself, were all evaluating me, figuring out if I’d fit in the seat and how to get there. None of us were actually looking at my superpowers and asking where in the company, in the world, might benefit most from them.
What about you? Ever done a thing just to prove someone wrong? Doing that now? Unsure whether you’re currently doing a thing because it’s what you want or to prove them wrong? I get it. Let’s figure it out. I promise, it’s not too late. And you may discover it's what you want! Wouldn’t you love to know that? DM me.