Today exactly 4 years ago i did a crazy thing (well I do them more often than that, but this was REALLY crazy). It started with wine, because no good story starts with a green salad. I had this idea to put a serious effort into learning all the cool things about #Office365 and at the same time document my journey and share it with others, to perhaps help them in their journey as well. I planned to do it every single day for 365 days. The “Around the office in 365 days” blog challenge was born and on the 1st of March 2016 I started that crazy journey.
I must admit, right up to having about 10 days left, I didn’t think I’d make it. Although I pushed through every day, spent between 4 and 5 hours doing research and then testing and blogging it – I still doubted myself. Crazy right? Nope. Not crazy at all, pretty human I’d say.
I finished the challenge on the 28th of February 2017 and for the first time in my life felt that I actually achieved something. Of course Microsoft launched Microsoft 365 a short while later and I decided to do it again.
The morale of the story? It can be done and I had to do it to prove to myself that I can finish things I set my mind to.
This also brings me to #MSIgniteTheTour Copenhagen which I just attended (27 & 28 February). I was privileged to deliver a session for the #HumansofIT track on day 2.
There is an “I” in #HumansofIT – It starts with you
“I truly believe the most important part of inclusion to be self-inclusion. For too many years I put myself down, believing I wasn’t good enough, passed up on opportunities. With an impostor spirit inside my head who saw approval & praise as pity. Sound familiar?
I always say that we don’t have to be perfect in everything, it’s about “surrounding ourselves with people who don’t suck at the things we suck at”. The #HumansofIT #Community gives us the support we need to overcome these fears and insecurities, we just need to accept the helping hand & learn to be vulnerable. In this session I’ll share 7 coping mechanisms that I use to get through every day and keep that negative energy at bay.”
You can find the presentation here on SlideShare.
In my session I shared 7 coping mechanisms and important concepts that helps me deal with every day life. Thought it might help if I shared them here as well:
It’s ok to be different
We spent most of our lives trying our best not to stand out. At some point (thankfully) I realized that that’s never going to happen, and that it’s completely ok to be different and have very diverse ideas and opinions. Imagine how boring life would be if everyone agreed and looked / acted the same. I’m also happy to say that the tech industry has changed to such a point that it’s not only accepted to be a bit crazy different, but also a requirement for innovation and evolution.
Don’t be so hard on yourself
We need to fail to succeed. Failing 9 times before succeeding is part of the process, not a setback. It was a great day for me when I realized that I don’t have to know everything, I just need to know everyone who does.
“Surround yourself with the people who don’t suck at the things you suck at.”
This is a Japanese concept meaning “purpose of being”. I came across this at the age of 40. Loved the idea of the venn diagram that illustrates “love what you do”, “the world needs it” and “getting paid for it”. I reckoned that summed up my life, but there was something missing. And that was “being good at it”.
I grew up in an environment where it wasn’t ok to give yourself credit. It was seen as boasting or excessive pride. And my self esteem (or lack thereof) just didn’t allow for that. But when I came across “Ikigai” I had to ask myself the question: “Was I really so bad at it?”
I’m fortunate to speak at so many conferences and be a trainer, which means I constantly get affirmation and feedback. Strangely enough I saw compliments and good feedback as pity. Never believed it. So I decided that I might be lying to myself, but it’s impossible that everyone could be lying to me. From that day I decided to at least give myself a little bit of credit, based on the feedback I got.
This is an African (Bantu) word meaning “I am who I am, because of who we all are.” It perfectly sums up the Microsoft Community for me. We are so much better together. If you’re not part of it yet, get started. I use Twitter to keep in touch and find support / share knowledge. I would absolutely sign up for the Tech Community as well.
Speak up even if your voice shakes. We always think we have nothing to offer. We’re always wrong. Somewhere in the world, there is someone who needs to hear what you have to say.
Don’t be afraid to reinvent yourself or change your mind. And sometimes you need to let some things go.
One of the greatest disservices I ever did to myself was not including myself. We’re always talking about not being included, but have you ever taken time to investigate whether it might be your self esteem stopping you from jumping up and grabbing opportunities?
Hope that’s given you some things to think about. Stay awesome 🙂
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Disclaimer: I create content about Office / Microsoft 365. Content is accurate at time of publication, however updates and new additions happen daily which could change the accuracy or relevance. Please keep this in mind when using my blogs as guidelines. And yes, I change my mind all the time as well, because “The only thing that is constant, is change”.
My life mission is to “Facilitate the evolution of human capabilities”: Reach out on: Website > LinkedIn > SlideShare > Twitter > Medium > YouTube > MVP Profile > Contact Me
March 1, 2020 at 5:25 pm
Tracy, I really needed to read this today, as I am struggling with “getting out there.” I find that I am having the same issues that you have already dealt with and I am so encouraged to try out some of your coping mechanisms! See you soon!
March 1, 2020 at 11:02 pm
Well that alone made it worth writing then. ⭐
March 5, 2020 at 7:56 pm
Well written, Tracy. This speaks to me. Thank you! 🙂
March 5, 2020 at 11:06 pm