I, like most folks, fall into the trap of comparing myself to others. When I scroll through my social feeds, I see success personified. Successful women, men.. even successful pets. And then I spiral into the deep, dark depths of self-doubt — questioning what I should be doing, how I could be more career-savvy and all the ways in which I am not.
These days I’m not surprised by how many of my peers are totally lost when it comes to their careers. They don’t know what to do or when to do it. They don’t know who to contact to help them move the pendulum of purpose in their lives. If you’re like me, you may find yourself in this position of unrest and lack of progress every two months or so. One day, I’m killing this woman-boss shit and the next, I’m fighting my lowest lows.
Alas, here are four tips that have helped me combat this destructive cycle.
Read articles written by those folks you’d like to emulate.
This article doesn’t detail anything particularly spectacular or new, but I definitely needed it two days ago when I was sitting in the corner of my new Swedish apartment wondering ‘ok, what’s next?’
Stop branding yourself.
The last few months have taught me more than a few things about my career. The first and most important has been to brand my business ideas, not myself. See, the problem with branding myself is that people begin believing that my capabilities are limited to that one thing I’ve branded myself as doing. And if you’re like me, you have a new interest every other Tuesday. I care about diversity. I care about community development and social activism. But I also stay up at night creeping on IG cake decorating profiles. And I love the idea of becoming a farmer in the middle of nowhere. Point being, stop branding yourself as a one-track professional.
But DO become an expert.
Take something you love and allow yourself to know the ins and outs of it. Anton reminded me that Big Freedia the Queen of Bounce has become an expert of ‘uniting the world through the power of ass.’ I aspire to be like her… for other things, of course. My expertise sets me apart from you, much like yours from me. Find your niche.
De-prioritize self-doubt and prioritize self-preservation
Diversity work is tough. Having a business dedicated to it is tougher. I often wonder whether or not I want to be responsible for this work or if the nature of it hits far too close to home. Prioritizing self-preservation allows me to pause and reflect on what I need from this process and that’s sometimes enough motivation to keep going, ironically.