Tag Archive: self-analysis

Branding myself

You know, I already had a number of sentences written out about having an online presence. To be honest though there are plenty of other people out there that have written better pieces about this topic. Whatever. This space here is all about stuff as it pertains to me.

Anyway, the other day I spent a moment or two cleaning up my résumé. Why? Well, it’s not like I’m looking to escape at this very instant, but I need to keep my documents up to date just in case an opportunity comes by. It would be foolish to shut down all avenues, know what I mean? As I was cleaning things up a question crossed my mind. If given just a few words, how would I describe myself professionally? Sure I’ve got skill with X, Y, and Z, but all of that is too specific. How should I market myself? What is my personal brand? Surely it’d have something to do with tech, right? After all, that’s the field I’ve been toiling in for more than a decade. What about the fact that I’m something of a people person? What of the fact that I’m a bit of an oddball? The combination isn’t exactly rare, but it doesn’t really lend itself to allowing people to put me in a neat and tidy box. What kind of job do I want? It almost looks like I would have to carve something out for myself. Unless I find a way to accurately describe me, how would anyone know about my other dimensions.

With this question in mind I ended up prodding a friend for ideas. Interestingly, his response was simple: “Tech person with great communication skills. Slightly quirky.” OK, so it needs a little bit of polish. All the same, it hits the keys things about me. I suppose that if I market myself with this simple and honest headline I might be able to attract that kind of position that I really want. One can only hope, eh?

Self-protection

It’s been a rough few weeks. I haven’t really been in a very positive state of mind, and as a result I’ve had to retreat into my own shell for a little bit. When that happens something has to give. Unfortunately, this was something I had to cut back on while I sorted a few things out. I’m not saying that I now have it all figured out. Rather, I know that I’m in a better spot than I was previously. It all comes down to having a bit of healing, you know? And in order to get that much needed healing I had to step back and detach.

It’s kind of funny how detachment works. Whether consciously or not, when we find ourselves in bad states our bodies go into something like a self-protection mode. If the proverbial knife hits something deep down at our cores the reaction might end up being something somewhat primitive. For example, it may be common to feel drowsy or tired when someone talks about something that’s deeply threatening to you. That’s the body’s way of saying “nope, we’re not having any of that.” If there’s something that causes us to question something we intellectually believe to be true, we’re very good at reasoning our way away from that something. Over the past month I’ve had the chance to experience both ends. It’s been strange, and yet all very familiar. In the past I wouldn’t have paid much attention to these things and the triggers behind them, but my eyes have been opened recently. It’s fascinating that all of these things are sort of built-in. Being aware of these instincts allows me to move beyond the walls that get put up. Maybe I need to be uncomfortable. Maybe the questions need to be confronted. I don’t know. I’m not saying that self-protection is a bad thing. Not at all. I’m just saying that it’s so easy to stay trapped in the cocoon, when perhaps it’s necessary to step out and get on with living.

So here I stand: living and getting on with it.

Defending myself from myself

I spent this past Monday just mulling over stuff going on in my life. There was a fair bit that I was attempting to access in the depths of my mind, but for whatever reason I was having a lot of difficulty. Whenever I got close to anything sort of painful my mind actually managed to redirect my thoughts. It was a little disconcerting because I was hoping to really make more progress in terms of dealing with my issues.

It’s rather fascinating how we have such strong self-defence mechanisms. I mean that’s what it is, isn’t it? The body is just doing what it can to save you from experiencing pain. For me, I’m kind of a big fan of the whole attitude of “the only way out is through.” I believe that that’s usually one of the best ways of dealing with issues that can’t just sit idle. So imagine my frustration when instead of working through the problem I kept on redirecting myself out into the periphery. Ugh! Well, at the very least I know that I’m unconsciously avoiding self-harm. All the same I really need to work these issues out. It’s the only way.

Staying on the battlefield

In general, I tend to be good at picking and choosing my battles. At least, I think I am. I’m able to recognize that I don’t always have to be on the winning end of every single conflict I may encounter. Hell, I know that some fights aren’t worth the effort. Still, when I end up taking up a cause I usually chase it right to the end where the fight is either won handily or explodes into a ball of flame. That’s just how I function. I tend not to back down when put in that position. And if battling isn’t an option, I’ll wait it out until there’s some sort of advantage. I have a lot of patience. Knowing all that, I wonder why I’ve been experiencing an urge to just run away from my problems. There have been a few exhausting events that have occurred in the past week or two. I know that in the long run I can win the war, but these small skirmishes have taken a big toll on me. It’s been hard! It’s not uncommon for me to feel isolated or like I’m the only one fighting. I guess the difference now is that I somehow feel like the pay off isn’t apparent. I don’t want to run away. I want to face my problems without regret. So even if I feel like escaping I’m going to stick it out. I’m staying on the battlefield until an outcome is determined.

“You haven’t changed a bit!”

“You haven’t changed a bit! You still look the same!”

Really? I hadn’t seen this person in about five years. In this period there’s been so much in terms of change and transformation. Of course, it’s not like she could judge all of the internal shifts that have gone on with just a minute of conversation. From a physical perspective though, does it genuinely look like nothing changed? I know no harm was intended, but considering all of the hard work, sweat, and tears I’ve expended in an attempt to be a better Jason, saying that I’m still the same person as I was five years ago is kind of sad. And if I want to take it a step further, I could say it’s insulting. Thing is, she was being nice. She was trying to make a connection. In the end, what she says doesn’t really matter because it has no bearing whatsoever on our acquaintance status. So here I am just stewing in my own juices, extrapolating things too far for my own sanity. I suppose in some respects I haven’t changed much in five years after all.

A- or B+

The whole Type A and Type B personality theory division thing came up in conversation today. Out of curiosity I looked it up in Wiki and found this:

The theory describes a Type A individual as ambitious, aggressive, business-like, controlling, highly competitive, impatient, preoccupied with his or her status, time-conscious, and tightly-wound. People with Type A personalities are often high-achieving “workaholics” who multi-task, push themselves with deadlines, and hate both delays and ambivalence.

No, I don’t find myself matching every single bit of this definition, but I can see where a lot of that applies to my life. I push myself. I’m ambitious. When I’m sitting and not doing anything I tend to feel guilty. I do piles and piles of unrelated stuff and I tend to be great at a lot of it. A lot of what I do has some sense of urgency. All true, right? It sounds good on paper except for the fact that people who are Type A are more prone to coronary heart disease. Understandably so. That’s a lot of extra stress. So I’m wondering are there aspects of Type B personalities that I should learn to embrace? Both types can learn a thing or two from the other side. I need to relax. I need to take self-inflicted pressure off myself. There’s no reason to fall under one camp or the other. Maybe I should learn to be more like an A- or a B+. Seems a whole lot saner, don’t you think?

Where I end

It seems like part of the process of me maturing and getting accustomed to the fact that I’m a mature adult is the fact that I have boundaries. There is a line where I begin and other people end. For ages it seemed like the line was a big blur. I consider myself to be a little bit of an emotional sponge. It’s far too easy for me to take in other people’s problems. It’s pretty bad because I often end up holding onto those issues. Somehow they become things that I’m tasked to help solve. Of course, it’s never the case. It’s not like I’m necessarily being helpful either by attempting to rescue everyone. I have had to work hard to assert the fact that I am my own person. It is not my job to have to deal with or solve any issues related to how people feel about any given situation. It’s taken me even longer to figure out that this even applies to my family. If my parents aren’t feeling good about the way I go about things but I’m perfectly happy with things, it’s up to them to have to get over things.

These are all valuable lessons, and I do believe that this realization is allowing me to be more at peace with myself. I’m never going to make everyone happy with all of my decisions. I can be my own person all while being conscientious. Taking the pressure off of myself to be everything to everyone means that I can get on with life. And in the end that’s perhaps one of the most valuable gifts I can give to myself.

Bit more fire

As usual it seems like I’m portraying a little bit of an acerbic personality to my colleagues. See, it’s not like I’m completely negative; I have a lot of enthusiasm and intensity which is a good quality when channelled. I know some other people that remind me of the dementors of the Harry Potter world: when they enter a room they just suck up all sense of happiness that might exist. No. I think I’ve just got a bit more fire than the rest. I don’t consider that to be a bad thing at all. If I occasionally come across as harsh, I know I have so many other qualities that balance that out that I’m not terribly concerned about people perceiving me as an ogre. Clearly, clearly not true. People just need to figure out how to deal with me. Easy.

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