Thursday, 7 July 2016

You better figure out how to swim

"If you don't want to sink, you better figure out how to swim." - Jeannette Walls
My resolution to Accept Responsibility got off to a rocky start.
As part of my planning into the month I had hoped to write about finding a solution to a current problem - about how things can change for the better if we only accept responsibility for our own problems.

Straightaway, as soon as the month started I identified a huge problem. As I looked through my journal, I realised there was one task I kept putting off for the past few weeks. Instead I worked away on my blog, focused solely on writing and finding inspiration, when in the background I was ignoring my biggest challenge of the year so far. I was using my blog as procrastination from the one task I was too scared to commit to.

A Job Interview.

As the date of the interview approached, I made excuse after excuse not to do any preparation or work in advance of it.

Unhelpful thoughts circulated my head, putting the responsibility on outside forces. I considered everything from 'I'm not good enough to get the job anyway, there's no need to waste time preparing', to 'Sure I have it in the bag, why do I need to practice?'.

I felt like I had little control over the outcome of the interview. Candidates better than me would show up. Or my interviewers would choose me anyway, regardless of how I performed.

But I didn't want to fall at the first hurdle of responsibility. As my reading and research into the topic showed, we need to take back control of our own lives.

I hold my career, my very future, in my hands. It's not up to outside forces whether I perform well or not. It is solely up to me.

Avoiding a task is equal to giving up and conceding. And I didn't want to sink.

I picked up the much-praised self-help book 'The Road Less Traveled' by M Scott Peck. Peck believes that with discipline and hard work we can solve all problems. In fact, he also states that avoiding problems is an inherent trait of mental illness;
"The tendency to avoid problems and the emotional suffering inherent in them is the primary basis of all human mental illness."
You cannot try to avoid pain in you life and be emotionally health according to Peck. Pain must be experienced, and to do so, we must accept responsibility for our problems.

I put down the book and went straight online to google job interview questions. It is time to learn how to swim.

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