Not Cease from Exploration

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Conundrum


I think the world should be using the word "conundrum" more often.  Why?  Well, it's kind of silly in its construction, it has a funny way of rolling off the tongue, and, well, the world is just full of conundrums lately.  Especially the world as it applies to me.

To be blunt, I am facing a conundrum:  I've always had trouble in the "self-promotion" department, as it applies to my professional life.  I know I do good work, but it just pains me to promote that work.  I'm much more comfortable simply doing the work, allowing the results to show through, and then moving on.  The notion of actually having to figuratively (and literally) say "Look at me...and look at what I've done!" is at best alien and at worst somewhat uncomfortable.  And it's not really the "look at me part" actually, as I am very comfortable speaking in front of people, be it one person or 300 people.  I think it's more the fact that for whatever reason, modesty seem to be encoded into my DNA, along big feet and my walleye vision.

Normally, this kind of conundrum is manageable for me, as I've been able to keep myself in positions whereby I could let the results of my work show for itself and be done with it.  Not so much now though; these days I have to make a concerted effort to "sell" myself and my capabilities, hence the conundrum.  I'm ever so slightly fearful, in the back of my head, that I'll be considered "egotistical", a clear and present violation of my previously mentioned, and deeply rooted, sense of modesty.  This isn't about confidence; for me, the line between confident and egotistical is actually easy to understand:  I am confident in front of an audience of people, but I don't have to be "full of myself" to speak to them.  It's not about attention either, as I do enjoy engaging with people and having them pay attention to me.  No, in point of fact I'm just not sure what this is about.  It's, well, a conundrum.

So what am I doing about my conundrum?  Well I'm writing this blog entry for starters.  This actually does help me, by the way, because I've always found that writing forces one to think about thoughts in an orderly sort of way, you know, in order to put them onto a page (real or virtual).  It's been especially helpful for me, which is one of the reason why this blog has kept going for over eight years now.  My head is almost always full of ever changing divergent thoughts, so writing this blog probably means a lot more to me than anyone else could probably realize.

Outside of writing, I'm also seeking outside opinions to, if you will, poke at my underlying notion of modesty.  It's entirely possible that what I consider to be genuine may in fact be a kind of "fake" modesty, maybe designed as a kind of defense mechanism.  I'm likely never going to see this on my own, so I'm open to all the outside help I can get.

In the end, I think that in life we are always placed in situations that afford us at least two paths:  Learning/Growth or Resignation/Despair.  I'm working on the former.  

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