9th Inning Rock Star: A lesson in self-awareness

Self-awareness is something that is talked about more now than ever.  It is the first step in the Emotional Intelligence equation and without a doubt the most important factor.  Becoming consciously aware of yourself and how others perceive you can be a powerful stepping stone to many things.  Only when you are aware of your why’s and how’s, can you begin to make changes or accept behaviors in yourself.

My Journey to Embracing My Inner Rock Star

I often refer to myself as a “9th Inning Rock Star”.  I’m best when I’m under pressure, when timelines are tight, or when I’m close to a deadline. It’s in these situations that I do not allow myself to be distracted. There is this clear-mindedness and focus that comes with knowing I’m in the 9th inning!  Since I am a driven person, allowing things to interfere would keep me from my accomplishment.

Why do I thrive in the 9th inning? It’s not because the rest of the game doesn’t matter.  Quite the opposite. The earlier innings allow a lot of time for thinking, planning and strategizing. In my case, I’ve found that this is where I overthink and over plan. This sends me into a kind of paralysis toward action because the fear that I have not planned or contemplated the task enough may mean I will fail.

I have come to accept this in myself and even began to use it as an asset.  This acceptance has built my confidence, enhancing my ability to serve my team mates and clients. To further develop it, I’ve put systems in place to help me be an even bigger rock star. For instance, when I know I have to stay focused on one task, I am better about choosing the right distractions, those that will feed my focus or the project at hand.    One thing I have rediscovered for myself is using background noise, like music, to help me stay focused.  I find that it elevates my mood and gives me a focused energy.  I also look backwards from a deadline to choose the best time to begin the work on the project, allowing ample time to plan and execute without building in too much time to overthink and over plan.

Building Strength through Self-Awareness and Acceptance

As I work to become more self-aware I am choosing not to see this as a flaw in my character but instead an opportunity to mold it into a strength, hence the “Rock Star”.  Much like your favorite baseball team that seems to always bring home a “W” in the 9th Inning, I too am producing some of my best work when I am closing in on a deadline.  One thing I have always believed is there are many paths to the same ending.  My path is much different than others and that is perfectly acceptable as long as I also measure my outcomes.

At Kolbeco, we live according to a simple yet powerful set of values, one of which is Being Cause Oriented. This means we appreciate all minds and strengths, respect and are proud of our team, and focus on solutions not problems. This value allowed me the courage to embrace my 9th Inning Rock Star status and broadcast it to our team as a strength I bring to the table each day.

I share my story as encouragement to readers. Take stock of your abilities and characteristics, even those that may not seem positive on the surface. I assure you that with a little self-awareness, vulnerability and courage, what you may perceive as a flaw could be your biggest asset – to yourself and others.