Failure Fostering Stagnation
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
It's funny, but stagnating is one of my biggest "fears". Oh, I'm not afraid of it in a "mind-boggling-terror" kind of way. No, I'm afraid of it because of its effect not only on the population in general, but me, in particular.
We've all heard it: that little voice saying, "why bother? You'll never succeed." It keeps people stuck in a rut.
Overweight? Every time you decide to make a change and get off your butt, your brain thinks back to the last time you tried and how it ended in bitter recriminations and brownies.
Unemployed? The longer you stay unemployed, the harder it is to believe that you're employable. I still justify not bothering to apply for promotions because "I won't even make it to the interview".
I am constantly challenging myself, because I know exactly how hard it is to escape stagnation. If you stay still for too long, the weight of your expectations, hopes, and dreams come to weigh you down. I'm not sure exactly what made me think I COULD do it differently when I started losing weight a few years ago, but I decided to, and it helped. I stepped up and changed my plan to forgo the "normal" approach, making -- instead -- a plan that worked for me.
Now I need to shake off the moss in my current position. When people ask, I tell them that my current job pays the bills. It doesn't inspire me, but I work with good people. Eventually I will find myself working in a position that challenges me and that makes me want to be here, but for now, this is ok. But is it? Is it really?
Today I found myself staring down a job description that appeals to me on many, many levels. It's with a department doing work that appeals to me, and -- far from menial, monotonous tasks -- it involves program development, research, and outreach events in a field with which I am fascinated. I pulled it up and perked up a bit, thinking, "This would be great!"... but immediately that little voice shot me down: "They won't count you as qualified. You don't have the listed knowledge base."
I started to set it aside. Then I stopped. I don't have the listed KNOWLEDGE BASE? Come on! HR doesn't screen for that! And my seniority won't matter as it's a different union! I HAVE the education, I HAVE the passion, and I HAVE no good reason not to at least apply.
So around my desk, there has been a mini earthquake as I free my feet of the pebbles holding them down. I'm tearing free the moss growing in my hair. I'm splashing the stagnant water away, and letting a new stream flow in. The one I'd been squelching in my inaction.
Does this mean I'll get the job? No. Does it mean I'll even make the cut for interviews? No. Does it mean that I'll try? Oh H*LLS yes. If I won't let myself stagnate in my social life, nor in my activities, I'm certainly not going to let my career leave me as a low-level clerk when I could be working on something that matters to me.
Tomorrow, I update my resume and craft a cover letter, lovingly and carefully, and apply for the job that appeared in front of me a mere two days shy of the deadline. I will apply, and I will move forward.
I will move forward with a purpose.