Monday, 27 October 2008

Crisis of confidence

Disclaimer: Morbid navel gazing follows. Feel free to send me a virtual slap.

I would say that about once every two weeks I have a complete crisis of confidence. It's very annoying. It's even more annoying for my husband who doesn't understand why I don't believe in myself and why I can't just make a decision and carry it out. He feels that I dither. I do. Decisions are not my thing. By making a decision, you're effectively bidding farewell to the alternative, and that bothers me.

My most frequent crisis of confidence is about my business. Almost daily I feel as though I'm hanging on tight to the pendulum of a large grandfather clock as I swing back and forth about what to do with my work. Something good happens - like a fab piece of client coverage - and I feel as though I can conquer the world. I see my business being the next big thing. Possibly resulting in me being on the front cover of the Time magazine (probably not but it's good to have stretch goals).

And then the pendulum reaches its zenith and it swings back again. This usually coincides with me opening up a magazine and seeing one of my competitors quoted or a big feature that one of my clients should have been in and aren't. OR, I have a particularly bad day trying to juggle work and kids or I see friends skipping off to a keep fit class and coffee and I think, sod it all to hell in a handbasket, I want to jack it in and become a lady who blogs.

There is very seldom a middle ground. I regularly think that I would be infinitely happier if I just accepted that I should simply do a great job for a few clients, stay small, keep my brain ticking over, make some money and have time for life outside of work. But this just feels so stationary. So ordinary. So under-achievery. In every job, you get performance appraisals and goals to work towards and things to achieve. By just doing the same old thing year after year without trying to do more, I feel as though I'm not trying hard enough. And therefore am a failure.

This is a ridiculous way of thinking. I need to give myself a good shake and stern talking to. I need to view my life as a whole, with work just being one part of it. But it's always there, this feeling that I ought to be trying harder, that I'm not pushing myself, that I'm coasting.

Why can I not view the fact that I have run a successful business for two and three quarter years, that I've taught myself a vast amount, that I've made as much money as many main breadwinners make and that I've done this all while looking after two very young boys, having a house flooded, moving house, running a home and having a husband who's seldom here - as a worthwhile thing? Why does it still feel that I need to pull my finger out?

I don't know the answer. If anyone has any pearls of wisdom, I'd love to hear them. Otherwise just send me my slap and send me on my way.


Welsh Girl said...

Hmm, can't produce any pearls of wisdom for you because I know just where you are coming from. I think the root of it comes from working on your own at home where there is nobody to compare yourself to.

You can't say "well I work a lot harder than that bint in cubicle three". Instead, you wonder if you ARE the bint in cubicle three. It's frustrating and there's no good answer.

Take it from me - you are doing a good job, and you are doing enough - and yoga classes are highly overrated!

Home Office Mum said...

I agree, it's no fun not being able to hate the bint in cubicle 3. There's just me and my four walls and the walls aren't doing much in the way of motivational speaking.

katyboo1 said...

I think it's bloody amazing that you're managing to juggle so much and hang on to your sanity. Your children still love you, your husband still loves you and you still have happy clients. You must be doing something right.

It's a tough gig. You're doing a great job. It's not easy. I wimped out of much the same line of work you are in because I couldn't handle it with the kids as well and I have a husband who is around quite a lot and does chores.

Have a large glass of wine, slap yourself firmly on the back and be proud of yourself.

Home Office Mum said...

Thanks Katyboo. It's that hanging onto my sanity bit that might be in question. I probably just need a holiday. Some sea air to blow out the dust bunnies and come back refreshed. Which is what I'll be doing tomorrow. But thanks for the virtual pick me up to tide me over.

Countrymom said...

Well, as you are arriving in my home town tomorrow, I will deliver said slap followed by big hug as you walk through the arrival doors. We may get funny looks, but hey ho, this is Ireland. So probably not.

Once you have witnessed how useless I am at getting anything done, even though I only have one little child, and a husband who brings me breakfast in bed, you will feel like the wonderwoman you actually are!

Home Office Mum said...

looking forward to seeing you countrymom