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Every so often I notice the massive difference in the way I perceive myself at different times at work. I tend to go through fairly dramatic roller-coasters of self confidence at the best of times, and this can mask the more systematic patterns. One systematic difference, though, is between how confident and outspoken I am in meetings compared to how incapable and overwhelmed I can feel when I'm on my own at my desk. Roughly it seems to go; in meetings - come across really well and am in danger of believing my own hype. Feel I can anything; when thinking about work on my own - feel I can do nothing and that I have bitten off more than I can chew; when actually doing work and not thinking too hard about it - seem to muddle through somehow... Now, I wonder what that tells me?

Anyway I'm feeling relatively confident at the moment, so I guess I should get on and muddle through.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
11th Feb, 2003 04:23 (UTC)
Surely that's the better way round? If you felt super-confident about your work in private but came over in meetings like an idiot then you'd probably feel very frustrated. FWIW I have very little confidence in my own work, to the extent that I would rather be (and indeed am) stuck in an uninteresting job than allow myself to face new challenges. As long as you are being challenged and coping (and it sounds like you are, or they wouldn't be paying you!) it seems pretty healthy to me.
11th Feb, 2003 05:41 (UTC)
Seems fine to me
Actually I feel quite similar. Knowing what to do is rewarding, and you are very good at it. Doing it is often boring, and doing it well, as I'm sure you do, is tiring. Sometimes doing things thoroughly is not appreciated (compared to the work of other, overconfident but superficial colleagues). So I think what you feel is normal, and I agree it's the better way round.

The classical way of solving this problem is to manage other people to do the detailed work for you. Actually doing this is difficult, especially if you have both standards and principles. Another way is to develop better skills at killing the most boring, stupidest projects that your boss will propose at the meeting, so that what you're left with is OK to do.


PS. I'm in a left brain mood.
11th Feb, 2003 06:38 (UTC)
"am in danger of believing my own hype"

Hmm, glad that's not just me.
11th Feb, 2003 07:12 (UTC)
Well you are very good at everything you do...
I do this thing the other way round, I tend to sell myself short and then get infuriated when my workplace isn't streamlined so I can show off my obvious genius...

11th Feb, 2003 12:58 (UTC)
when thinking about work on my own - feel I can do nothing and that I have bitten off more than I can chew

Well, I guess I have a special perspective on this as I actually work with you, well in the same office if not directly with you. I am frequently amazed by the amount of work you manage to successfully pull off. I know it has helped having the incredible work monster to supervise, but een before then you managed a very complex schedule of events, inquiries, organisation, bullshit, scheduling, numpties and prima donnas extremely effectively. Tense moments may be frequent but I can't think of a single absolute disaster (no doubt you will, however bear with me I'm getting towards a point here) in your time there. Actually I can (Dynamic Earth anyone?), but none that were your fault or that you were a major contributory factor to.

You are very good at your job, your major weakness (as I see it) is that you aren't very good at limiting the attention you give to things when time is short - just making a decision and moving on because getting a decision made is more important than making the best decision. But that is a relatively minor flaw given all the great qualities you bring to work with you in the mornings. Hope that hearing my opinion helps, if not feel free to delete my ramblings...
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )