Welcome to another Wednesday Wisdom, Friend. Every week, I share with you what I'm thinking about life, work, and leadership. This week we're talking about the stories we tell ourselves.
In December 2010, I started my first real job out of university. Like any new graduate, I was extremely nervous. Were they going to regret hiring me? Was I really up to the task?As the first in my family to graduate university, I had no idea what to wear, or how to act. I also had a few more responsibilities than most 22 year olds. I was the mother of two young daughters. Bailey, 5, had just started school, and Charlotte was only 9 months old.2010 had been a tough year. I’d completed my postgraduate study remotely, as a broke single mother living alone. I’d juggled late-night feeds with thesis research, and pushed hard to keep up with my course load, stretch a meagre budget and be a good parent.The worst of it had come in June, when a traumatic tooth infection put me in hospital with septicaemia. My eyes burned with tears and shame as I begged at the local Studylink office for a loan to cover my root canal and treatment, despairing at a lack of resources and support.As I left the office, dental voucher in hand, I made a decision that changed the course of my life and career:I was never going to be poor, or depend on anyone else’s charity ever again...
The above extract is from a piece I published in Women's Agenda earlier this year, and something I've been thinking about this week, as I've wasted more time than I should have researching outdoor power tools.
I'm doing some gardening at home, and I need to pull a tree down. My first instinct is to go out there and get myself what I need - then I have it for the future, and I can take care of the job myself! Duh, right?
... Well, it turns out there's other ways to think about this problem.
My partner had a totally different approach - why didn't I ask the neighbour if I could borrow one?
My friend had another - why didn't I just get someone in to do the gardening, while I'm so busy?
Neither of these options had really crossed my mind.
The stories we tell ourselves early on stay with us for a long time. My story is that I'd better be self-sufficient, or I'm putting myself in danger.
They're not the same stories as the other people I surround myself with, and most of the time, that's really helpful.
What are you still telling yourself that you don't need to?
Can you speak to someone else with a different story?