Lately it feels as if my efforts are falling short, not because they are, necessarily, but because they are mostly invisible. In work and in life if you are not one of the best or if you are not shouting from the roof tops about your achievements, then your accomplishments can slip quietly under the radar. This is pretty much the story of my life, and I am mostly ok with that because I hate drawing attention to myself. However, quietly going about your business and doing your job without recognition can sometimes make your efforts feel just a bit unworthy.
For the last year I have been trying to maintain a positive attitude in the midst of some serious change, in work and in life. I guess it’s only natural to look back and reflect on how things have changed, and how it has affected me. As I prepare to run my first trail race this weekend that will help me mentally prepare for my goal race the end of the month I have to ask myself,
Why am I doing this?”
A year ago I considered myself very competitive. I was hyper focused on improving my race pace, my race times and trying to achieve personal goals all over the place, in work and in life. In a word, I was intense. I did the work and I got the job done. What I discovered was that no matter how hard I worked or ran there was really no big recognition of my achievements. It was just me feeling pretty good about what I had accomplished. Ironically, in almost every instance of me working to achieve my goal-not only did my efforts and achievements go unrecognized, but I was penalized in some way.
Now I am trying to figure out how to avoid that defeated feeling I have come to expect after working hard, only to have all that hard work go unnoticed. And I have to ask myself again, honestly,
“Why am I doing this?”
What happens when your own values and goals are not aligned with the status quo? What happens when you challenge yourself to do something because you know you can and failing is not an option? I have learned NOT to expect recognition for my achievements. Most people are not even at the starting line yet. When you challenge yourself to do the thing that has not been done before you have to be ok with yourself. When you overcome challenges that nobody even sees, then you have to be ok with being invisible. If you expect recognition and accolades for your hard work and effort than you better think again about why you do what you do.
This is where I am at right now. I am trying to figure out why I continue to do what I do.