Winging It

Lately I’ve been a bit frustrated, mostly with myself.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve struggled with direction and details in my career. So as an adult and a professional, lately I’ve been challenging myself to figure it out; to establish a clear plan and adhere to a system to make it happen (whatever it is anyways). And all it did was land me an invite to an unnecessary pity party.

I really couldn’t shake the feeling that time was passing and I wasn’t doing anything specific or strategic to position myself for where I want my career to be in 10 years. Not to mention I don’t even know what that looks like. I felt like I was just riding the wave, hoping it brought me to shore so I could root down and run. I found myself thinking:

I’m older and wiser. Why can’t I just figure this out once and for all, right here, right now?

So I began the (yes, impossible) process of figuring out my work life with a schedule and a daytime office routine. That seemed to work for others, and it’s worked for me in the past, so it was bound to work for me again. Right? But for reasons I only now understand, it didn’t work out how I imagined it.

While it produced some blog posts I had been meaning to write, got my inbox back on track, and prompted sorting receipts like a boss, my future didn’t magically reveal itself to me (bummer). In fact, I only became more conscious of what I should or shouldn’t do, which left me feeling a little less than awesome.

Presumably aimlessness, I grew more frustrated—until yesterday. After another morning spent worrying about the future, I explained my plight to my boyfriend over lunch and he suggested I take something called the Kolbe A Index. He also suggested that during the test I turn off any music, ditch my phone, ignore Piper and answer with extreme honestly. So I did…

The test took me an hour, and it was very tough to answer honestly. To each cryptic yet generalized question, there are four answers. And from them, you determine the “most” and “least” likely options you would take if you were free to be yourself.

The goal is not to determine your social style, intelligence level or personality, but to measure the instinctive ways you take action when you strive.

It helps you understand how you uniquely operate when you’re at your best; when you’re in your groove. And it was the exact reminder I needed to help me chill out about it all.

Only now do I see that I was sensing something was off because I wasn’t operating how I am (and how I should). I was failing to produce results from an unnatural approach—so no wonder I was frustrated!

I don’t thrive when I adhere to redundant systems, become overly scheduled, or involve myself in the details, I thrive on big picture chaos! For explanation sake, I’ve shared some of my results below:

I’m not a mess, I’m adaptable. And I welcome interruptions. Hell, I can multi-task! I should continue to wing things at the last minute, and I shouldn’t second guess that or succumb to anyone else’s way of doing things. I can go from chaos to highly organized and sequential. I simplify and take shortcuts and abbreviate—not because I’m lazy, but out of my natural inclination to clarify and get to the root of something. Details bog me down and I’m at my best when I’m working on a million things at once and facing risk when I don’t know what the outcome will be. I have tons of quick start and an adaptive follow through. And I shouldn’t justify or explain my ideas in advance, I should continue to just go for it and experiment and tinker and ad lib.

All of this is to say that there’s a big difference between trying a new approach on for size and succumbing to a system that doesn’t play to your MO (mode of operation).

You and I can thrive only when we give into our instincts. And guess what? Every person is different. And how we are is not only necessary but required if we want to operate at our best.

So while I still don’t have the answers I initially sought this week, and while I realize that facing your truth doesn’t mean that the work is done (rather, the opposite), I’m happy to continue forging ahead and discovering what’s next, trusting it’ll show me what I need, when I need.

x, S