My presentation with Google on running and social media was delivered to what I considered dismal results. Time ran long and I could not cover everything I had prepared. For an hour afterward I was a complete mess. As I struggled to console myself in the bottom of a wine glass Monday night, some eight hours later, my friend Erin squatted down to get at eye level with me. Seemed as good a time as any for a story.
In 2001 Erin completed her first marathon in Ireland and raised several thousand dollars for charity in the process. However, the enormity of the achievement alluded her. While crossing the Atlantic on her return to the states Erin was seated next to an Irish Catholic nun. As they chitchatted about their respective reasons for being in Ireland the nun realized that Erin was downplaying her marathon experience and fundraising. As Erin deflected any praise the elder woman said, rather than asked, "you're not impressed with yourself, are ya?"
It took Erin several more days to realize the gravity of her accomplishment, that she should acknowledge the greatness of her experience on the streets of Dublin.
Erin relayed this personal tale as a way of settling my nerves and quieting the negative voices screaming inside my mind. I truly thought my presentation was a complete disaster.
I am my own worst critic. I am my own arch enemy. No one is able to crush my spirits quiet like I am.
The point of the nun's query and Erin's story is not to inflate the ego or condone braggadocio, rather to acknowledge that on occasion [we] are capable of some truly epic shit. That [I] am capable of amazing things. No qualifiers. No delusions of inferiority. No measuring down of myself.
The opportunity to speak before any group at a company such as Google is reserved for a select few. Somehow I got through the door.
Maybe it is finally time to stop diminishing my successes and time to start being impressed with myself.