Questioning, not second guessing

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

I have been reading lots lately around the subject of values and beliefs, as well as self-confidence and personal growth.  When I start to consider what my values and beliefs are and whether I am becoming more confidence and growing as a person, I am doing it from an inquiring mind perspective, not trying to second guess.  I want to be able to evaluate my status and objectives, and what I need to do to meet them.

Abby Perkins offered five questions to ask ourselves to help evaluate where we are and where we want to be:

  1. Am I in the right job? – if you’re not passionate about what you do, you’ll be less motivated to overcome barriers and obstacles that life throws your way.  It’s important to regularly check in with yourself and your motivation bucket. If you feel yourself waning or burning out something might need to change in order to give you that clear mind and passionate drive to succeed.
  2. Am I learning from my mistakes? – failure is completely normal.  Its what we do with it that counts.  The important thing is to learn from your failures to avoid making them again. Take time to evaluate what went wrong, what needs to change, and how you could prevent it in the future.
  3. Am I consistently pushing my boundaries? – creating new, more audacious goals and attempting to reach them will help keep your passion alive and keep you striving for excellence.  Pushing through professional barriers and looking to achieve the impossible.
  4. What’s my game plan? – when you challenge yourself you can map out strategies for becoming more efficient and precise.  You may need to develop new routines and processes to allow you to do that. Create a physical map to take you from where you are to where you want to be.  Leave room for detours that could become short cuts to get you there.
  5. Do I still believe I can do this? – we all have moments of doubt, especially when we feel things aren’t going how we envisaged them.  Take a look in the mirror and ask yourself if your drive and passion match your aspirations and values.  You have to be your own cheerleader before you can be anyone else’s.

I was recently interviewed at work as part of an organisational values sharing exercise around Managing with Excellence. I was asked about how I keep motivated in tough times, how I deal with failure and how did I know I could do what I was being asked to do without any prior experience? 

For me, I am inquisitive. I like to learn new things and I’m not afraid to ask questions.  I will research things I don’t know, speak to colleagues, network with other organisations. I am driven to do my best by knowing that what I do fits into the larger organisational cogs that ultimately keep our patients safe.  Even before a patient is seen by a clinician, they have about nine interactions with different parts of our organisation, all of which have an impact on how that patient feels about the care they will receive.  It doesn’t matter what banding someone is on; we are all interwoven for one purpose; to serve our communities. If I fail, I learn from it.  I’ll ask how to do it better next time.  I took on two management roles without any previous experience based on Sir Richard Branson’s mantra of “Screw it, just do it”.  You’ll never know if you can do something or not unless you try. 

Am I in the right job?  For now, yes.  Am I learning from my mistakes?  I hope so. Am I consistently pushing my boundaries?  Absolutely, so much still to learn and experience. What’s my game plan?  Probably to retire in five years or so and know I did some good along the way.  Do I still believe I can do this?  Yes.  And when I falter, I know who to speak to.


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