Even the most successful among us has a weak spot. Our challenge is how we deal with it.
First, I ask you to consider the myth of the warrior Achilles. His mother bathed him in the protective waters of the River Styx, but by holding him by his heel, failed to guard him against would-be attackers, there. Most of us recognize multiple weaknesses in ourselves as professionals, but often there is an area that we have particular shame or fear in being less adept at.
Work is filled with catch-22s, or unsolvable double-binds. The origin of the term is Joseph Heller’s satirical war novel, in which pilots who said they were too mentally fragile to fly were in fact showing concern for their safety, and therefore, judged sane enough to fly. In other words, they were damned to be pilots, either way.
It may not expose you to the imminent risk of death like Heller’s pilots, but there’s a common catch-22 term I hear about work,
Pssst. I don’t know if you heard the big career secret, but most Americans are unhappy at work. In fact, 75 percent of us would prefer to be in other jobs.
When I’m first meeting with a coaching client I ask them to share more about the path that led to the job they have now and then what eventually made them decide to reach out to me. Invariably the answer to that first question is “I fell into this” and to the second,