Have you ever felt discouraged after a difficult problem you solved? Have you ever felt that your profession is maybe not for you? And then, the next time when you fixed a nasty bug maybe you felt superhuman. You might have even thought that you’re the most badass rock start developer in your whole company. Didn’t you? Well, maybe you just felt that you’ve reached new heights of seniority which by the way shouldn’t be used as an observation deck from where you can look down to the other junior fellas.
If you’ve been at that deck, maybe you haven’t noticed, but you’ve been not alone.
It happened to me too.
The emotional rollercoaster has taken me on quite some rides.
I remember when I got into the university. I opened the letter, I read it through, but I had already known exactly what was inside, and with two feet on my desk I was just looking out on the window with a huge smile, nodding and repeating “Yes, I did it … I made it … I am good!” And I kept doing it for at least half an hour. Then the first mid-terms pushed me to into lethargy.
Much more successful people are facing similar problems. Not everyone can cope with these troubles as successfully as the rising NBA star C.J. McCollum:
“I live with the result, man. I know who I am. I know what I can be out there. I have confidence in myself. I don’t get discouraged over a few poor shooting nights. I don’t get overly excited over a few great shooting nights.”
McCollum has not always been emotionally so stable. “He wasn’t always that way, in the past, he’s cried over missed free throws. He’s felt his ego bloom after wins. But with time, he’s come to believe that emotion doesn’t play a productive role in his game. Instead, he wants to focus on what’s real. As he told NBC Sports, emotions are unstable, statistics are facts.”
What should this all teach to us? Our confidence should not depend on the outcomes of our last tasks. That would very dangerous because no matter what you’ll ever do, you’ll have some successes and inevitably you’ll face with a few failures. The more you work, the more mistakes you’ll make. You cannot let those ruin you.
You should instead look at your statistics. Those are facts. Just like teams do, you should also have retrospective meetings - with yourself. You should regularly review your achievements, mistakes, failures, etc. and set the goals for the next steps. In other words, set your own statistics and analyze them.
As Peter Drucker said “what gets measured, gets improved”. There is no need for you to get into a negative spiral. Just work on your weak points and keep walking. There is no need to get overly confident either. Whatever stage you are at, you always have others who you can learn from. And you shall never forget from where you come from.