If you’re like most people, there will be occasions when you just can’t see how you are going to do something. At times like this, it can seem like you are simply the wrong person for the job. Now, if this were a job in a company we were talking about, this would make sense. You might not be suited for the role. You probably shouldn’t have been hired. You’re heading for an awkward annual review.
But it’s hard to fail to meet the requirements of your job description when the job description simply says ‘be you’. What are you going to do? You can’t get a temp in to cover you. You can’t really be fired. And you just can’t actually be the wrong person.
I know what you’re getting at, though. You feel inadequate for the situation you find yourself in. You may feel like you’re failing at parts of your life at the moment, maybe you’re overwhelmed or undersupported. Or you know you need to improve, and maybe gain some skills in some areas that are letting you down right now. But you are not the wrong person.
So what if other people could cope with things better, organise things better, take charge of your life more effectively? None of them have seen what you have seen. They don’t have your experience or your values. And they don’t know what it takes to be you, or what you want out of life.
Let’s say you did hire in a temp to live your life for a while. Even if they were amazing at coping with your situation, they would also make choices for you that you wouldn’t be happy about. You’d have to fire them eventually because you would not like what they made your life into. They’d be being themselves, not you. They’d eventually turn your life into their life, maybe keeping the parts they were secretly jealous of you for.
But what do you do if your life seems to demand skills from you that you just don’t have? I can understand that can be a problem. I have this problem with the usual ‘man being handy around the house’ kinds of jobs. Other men would just know what to do, and do it. They’d fix whatever it was and it wouldn’t sit there unfixed, or need a tradesman to come round and work it out for me.
The way I see it, you have a choice between
1) figuring out a way to get those things done well
2) not minding if they are done badly, or
3) pretending they aren’t there and not doing them at all.
So maybe you need help putting some shelves up or knowing what to do about your plumbing.
Or maybe you have a go at it, like I did, taking a week to put up some alcove shelving that I’m sort of quite proud of but also know they’re not quite level – but they work.
Or… you give up, and stop worrying about it.
Whatever happens, you’re the one whose life this is. Wishing you were something or someone else is only of any use to you if it helps you get somewhere. Otherwise it’s just getting in the way. It’ll actually undermine your ability to come to terms with who you are, and to love yourself, which is probably one of the most important things you can learn to do.
You’re the only person your life could possibly work for. So if you think you’re not quite who you want to be – what are you going to do to get there?