One of the questions that used to really annoy me at meetings with an ex manager was, “is it done?”
The J-Lo part of my personality liked to think of my work as a creative masterpiece which was always growing and evolving so the fixation on it being ‘done’ made me bristle with indignation… “don’t you understand?” my inner Michaelangelo would cry, “this work is never ‘done’. It’s art. I’m an artiste!”
But as much as I secretly enjoyed my diva tantrums, I knew that what was really happening was that I was beginning to see myself differently. I no longer saw myself as a box ticker who got fulfilment from simply carrying out tasks. I wanted a different relationship with work.
I didn’t want to just reach a standard and stay there. I wanted to keep setting the bar higher and higher so that I could keep becoming better and better, pushing myself further. I didn’t want to create ‘good enough’. I wanted to keep redefining success, pushing the barriers of what could be achieved, never settle for less than outstanding and create extraordinary.
I realise now that my manager was just doing her job. And if she hadn’t, I would never have learnt the value of frustration as an essential stage of the learning process. It means you’re at the edge of your comfort zone and you’re being challenged.
It’s easy to stay frustrated and blame other people for holding you back. But that soon gets boring. The exciting thing is to spin frustration into a cocoon and transform yourself into the kind of person who can grow out of it, a person who makes one bold step after another towards finding a space that is big enough for huge dreams and creativity.
So I moved out of frustration and started creating a space where ‘is it done?’ is asked far less than,
Where have we arrived, what can we see from here and what bigger, brighter, more amazing things are possible now?
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