self doubt

Much Ado About Nothing Major

If you’ve been reading along, you know that I took the NCRC (National Career Readiness Certificate) assessment yesterday. It’s a certificate that lets employers know that you have basic workplace skills to understand workplace documents, mathematics, and graphic representations of data. Each of the three assessments can achieve rating levels from bronze, silver, gold, and platinum. Whichever of the three has the lowest rating, determines your overall rating. So, a platinum in reading, a silver in math, and a bronze in graphic literacy will yield and overall rating of bronze.

As previously discussed, my perfectionistic nature isn’t happy with the idea of having the lowest score determine the overall outcome. You may also be aware that I was super worried that my math score would drag me down. So, I was incredibly anxious about taking the math assessment.

The assessments are proctored and each one is 55 minutes long with 35 questions. On the math assessment, I guessed at two and ran out of time before finishing the last one or two problems. I assumed that meant I had gotten a low score.

Apparently not! I scored PLATINUM!!!!

I also scored Platinum for reading. The score that dragged me down was Graphic Literacy. I got a Gold rating for that one. So, my overall rating is Gold. Evidently, I’m not suited to be a chemist, medical researcher, or engineer. I’m good with that.

I have to admit, though, that in addition to feeling quite ecstatic about my results – I couldn’t stop smiling for at least the first half hour after finding out my scores – I’m also feeling a bit sheepish.

Why?

Well, I’ve known about the NCRC since 2013, the first time I thought I was ready to reenter the job market. I doubted myself and got overwhelmed by life and didn’t follow through on taking it then. In 2015, I started the process of getting ready to go back to work then, again, and avoided it completely. I could probably have taken it six weeks ago. However, I was so full of self-doubt about my math abilities, that I avoided it.

That pesky perfectionistic nature, that all or nothing attitude has been holding me back.

I’d like to say that this revelation means I won’t give into it’s immobilizing effects again. But, that’s probably not true. What is true is that I can start questioning the self-doubt when it rises its ugly head in the future. I can ask myself if I’m worried about doing something imperfectly or if I’m holding back because I genuinely don’t have the knowledge or skills to attempt it.

Another thing I can do to combat the perfectionism is to evaluate whether the goal I have in mind or the result I want requires the level or even the thing at all that I’m working so hard to be as perfect as possible at.

For instance: A Peer Wellness/Support Specialist doesn’t really need advanced MS Office 13 skills. Yet, I pushed myself to attain advanced certificates in Word and Excel. That job also probably doesn’t require algebra or geometry. Therefore, it would have been no big deal if I had gotten a lower score on the math assessment.

It seems that I have a lot of unpacking to do around the perfectionism. It will give me something to work on with my therapist when next we meet.

Is there an area in your life where perfectionism could be holding you back?

Rebirth: Everything is new again

It’s a new month, a new week, and a new day. It’s also time for a new challenge ~ Ultimate Blog Challenge that is.

I’ve been thinking about this for the past four or five days and considering whether I wanted to try to do this challenge in the midst of my current life’s circumstances. I’ve also been thinking about why I would want to participate in this challenge again. When I signed up for the challenge the first time, I didn’t really understand that a lot of the focus of the challenge creators and participants would be about increasing visibility from a sales and marketing perspective. The idea of driving traffic to my blog in order to get people to purchase something from me just doesn’t sit well with me. I understand that people who have businesses and products to sell need a platform to get themselves and their products noticed. I completely get the need for small, home-based, entrepreneurial businesses to see rapid growth in order to have income to support themselves and their families. I’m not against any of that. It just isn’t where I am at in my life or the purpose of my blog.

On top of it, there has been lot of self-doubt that what I do here has any value to offer anyone other than myself. I don’t have any answers or solutions to problems that people are generally seeking. I’m working to discover the right questions and any answers I find are pure trial and error and not able to be wrapped up in a pretty package and applied universally to anyone else.

Which leaves me with why would I want to put my blog on people’s radar and what do I have to offer that they would invest their time and energy reading it?

I think I may have figured it out during the course of last week’s events that I wrote in my two previous posts. Truth and hope.

The truth is that healing, growth, relationships, life and recovery are painful, messy, and scary things to face. This isn’t a message that many people want to hear. But it is the truth we all need to hear, accept, and stop avoiding. As a person who has lived through and is currently facing many messy and painful life circumstances, I may not have the answers, but sharing my experiences, processes, and outcomes can help others. I know this because having been on the receiving end of reading and receiving these things from other people’s lives has helped me. It’s why the 12th step is such a critical piece of the whole 12 step process of recovery.

Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to other addicts, and to practice these principles in all our affairs

This past week has been a week of reawakening for me, both spiritually and personally. It’s been a long time in coming. It’s been painful at times. Other times there’s just been a lot of sitting, waiting, and seemingly little or nothing happening inside of me. Life has continued on cycling through the ebb and flow of circumstantial challenges that have sometimes affected my internal growth in ways that I recognize. More often than not I couldn’t see the growth at the time and may not yet recognize that it happened at all. The important thing is that it happened.

Many Twelve Step organizations follow the calendar in doing their step studies, focusing on a particular Step in the corresponding month. Since October is the 10th month, the 10th step would be the focus.

Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it

Part of the personal inventory process includes seeing the good as well as the bad. Examining the details of our lives and ourselves in the light and seeing the truth in its entirety about ourselves. Historically, a lot of us are really good at self-blame, self-recrimination, and emotional (if not physical) self-flagellation. I know this is true for me. So, part of my focus this month is going to be looking for the whole truth and seeking out what’s good in the truth I know. I’m going to actively look for the silver lining in the dark clouds of my life. I’m going to open myself up to experiencing happiness, contentment, and joy even in the midst of the depression, pain, and fear that has become such an ingrained and inherent part of my life.

I doubt I’ll ever be Pollyanna, but I will certainly become a happier me.