In psych research, low self esteem was originally considered a bad thing. There were all sorts of concerted efforts in American society to raise the self-esteem of children. I Googled around for a fun vintage PSA ad about it but the results got weird.
Then through research we actually saw most people with low self esteem were pretty okay. They tend to be good workers, eager to please, often successful, high scoring on subjective well-being measures.
High self esteem is good. And low self esteem is also good.
But what’s not good is fluctuating self-esteem. Stability and consistency are really the key. As long as you have that, you can be successful with either.
I clearly remember my advisor explaining this to me as a psych major and thinking “shit” (I tend toward the fluctuating).
Yesterday felt like one of those days. I started and restarted posts about:
- life events and how times change, prompted by us finishing Veronica Mars the night before last – which for the first time made me understand why people write fan fiction (self focused, start over)
- frameworks for how to think about people, prompted by my hearing impaired childhood trouble with social interactions, how that applies to content strategy (self focused, start over)
- looking at the number of hours I spent streaming shows on devices this year (I track this with RescueTime) in an attempt to draw an analogy on Pareto Charts and content problems (self focused slash embarrassing number of hours spent streaming in 2019, start over)
By noon I was too frustrated. So I didn’t publish… which made it harder to publish something this morning.
So it goes. It’s easy to stop, and then it gets just a little harder and harder to restart with each passing day.
I just finished Steven Pressfield’s Turning Pro. In it he uses a football analogy of “take what the defense gives you” in describing what to do when things get hard.
The idea being that if the plan is going according to… plan, then take a step back and adjust to the reality of the situation.
1. Take what you can get and stay patient. The defense may crack late in the game.Turning Pro, Steven Pressfield [Amazon Smile]
2. Play for tomorrow…We’re pros. We’re not amateurs. We have patience. We can handle adversity. Tomorrow the defense will give us more, and tomorrow we’ll take it…
3. We’re in this for the long haul. Our work is a practice. One bad day is nothing to us… In the scheme of our lifelong practice, twenty-four hours when we can’t gain yardage is only a speed bump.
Whenever I get like this it’s because I’m too invested in an outcome that I don’t have control over. I want to be further along than I am, if it’s the daily publishing stuff I want have something clever to say, be interesting, whatever.
But it’s much better to just be consistent, have some patience, and play for tomorrow.