Monday, July 13, 2015

Don't Dismiss Your Gifts

This summer, I'm once again teaching a graduate school course as an Adjunct Professor. I've been getting pretty good feedback from the folks in my department and the students about how the course has been going.

That's a good thing, right?

Except that it's been making me feel very uncomfortable to embrace the positive feedback.

Whenever someone tells me something good about the way that I'm running the class, my response has been, "Yeah, but I really need to work on _______ [insert the one thing that I think is going wrong here]."


Last week, work started back for me. As in, my day job. As in, all the school leaders and administrators for my network are now back at work, planning professional development sessions for when our teachers return and thinking of our vision for the 2015-2016 school.

(Yes, it's only July. Yes, school doesn't start till another five weeks. Yes, I'm not too happy about being back at work so soon.)

During our planning sessions, I've been receiving pretty good feedback and shout-outs from people about how well I do my job/lead my school.

That's a good thing, right?

Except that it's also making me feel very uncomfortable to embrace the positive feedback. I literally clench up, stare at them in this nervous way, and try to spread an awkward smile on my face. It's the weirdest thing ever. (Or is it?!)

I mean, I know I try to do a good job at work. I'm pretty competent in my position. And I always push to keep learning and growing.

But why am I so uncomfortable with positive recognition? (Except for when it comes to my mid-year or end-of-year bonus. Then I'm all for the recognition. And extra cash. #JustSaying)

But I know it's not only me. So many of us are reluctant to embrace positive recognition or embrace what we bring to the proverbial table. But why?

Here's the thing: what we bring to the table are our unique gifts. They're exactly what makes us... us. And, more often than not, it's exactly what's needed at the moment.

So... note to self and everyone else: don't diss or dismiss your gifts. You've got a lot to offer so share it with the world. Don't clench up when your gifts and hard work and what makes you you are acknowledged. Embrace it. With all that you've got. And then some.

People are waiting to hear from you.

1 comment:

  1. Oh Alicia -- I've been there. . in fact, I was recently there this summer. It was my first introducing robotics to the upward bound program at the university so the curriculum, teaching style, materials -- all new. I even missed a week due to vacation and was really nervous about how everything was going to turn out. I thought I just did "ok", because I wanted to do more with the kids -- but everyone else, they were completely amazed that these students actually built robots. I had to step back and remind myself that I'm doing something amazing and to be even more amazing the next go round.


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