"I'm not good enough."
Those old feelings started to creep back into my head after not being selected for the Tableau Equity Taskforce, even though I have made significant progress on my feelings of inadequacy. My mind went to what I do to promote diversity and that I came up with a similar concept called the Community Council a couple of years ago. I should be there!
And then I breathed and got curious. Here's what the internal monologue was like.
What if not being selected is actually a blessing?
I'm at a place today where I can have that dialogue pretty quickly. It doesn't mean that I'm not disappointed, it just means that I can bounce back quicker than what I used to.
If I compare my reaction now to that of when I wasn't selected for Zen Master, it's night and day.
A long time ago (maybe 5 or 6 years ago), Andy Cotgreave was in charge of the Zen Master program for Tableau and he called me to tell me that I was on the cusp; that if I kept doing what I was doing (I was blogging monthly, vizzing, and we had started the podcast that year), that I would have a good chance at being selected as a Zen Master.
I wanted to be a Zen Master! I wanted the recognition for all of the ways that I supported the community. The Ambassador program hadn't been developed yet, so it was Zen or nothing. So when the announcement came and I wasn't selected...I felt sick. I kept doing what I was doing like Andy said. In 2015, I created the Tableau Fringe Festival, even when Tableau was not initially supportive of it. I freaking created a conference and that wasn't enough?!?!?!?!?!? (Never mind the fact that I didn't found TFF to be a Zen, I founded it because Paul Banoub and people like Paul weren't selected to speak at TCC). And it seemed like all my friends were Zens and I was like Zen Jr...a reminder that wasn't good enough. I was bitter. I did the things. Why was this happening to me????
It took me awhile to get over it.
And then I adopted a different mindset, so when I wasn't selected the following year, I was less bothered.
And now, it's not even on my radar.
Being an Ambassador, that's on my radar. When it came time for this year's nominations and selection, I was really nervous. I don't viz that much. Am I doing enough?
I was selected and am SUPER thankful for it. I also know there's a day when Tableau will be like, "You've had a good run." I was mentally preparing for that this year. Part of that mental preparation was me taking inventory of my priorities.
I had competing priorities in 2019 and so far this year...between getting my quiz business off the ground, and being present as a mom and trying to deal with the IEP/504 process since Katie was medically diagnosed with Dyslexia and Inattentive ADHD, karate, and trying to be a better wife, and trying to contribute to the community, I had to keep a lot of plates spinning. And if one plate stopped (not doing "enough" for the community), then I acknowledged that it's because of my prioritization (or their selection criteria shifted) and I'm okay with that.
Here's what I know: My worth and my adequacy is defined by me, not anyone who is external. Do I love the recognition? Yes. It's one of my love languages.
Why am I sharing this? Because it's okay to be bummed that you (or I) didn't get selected. You (and I) are amazing and the Universe has something planned for us.
And because I need this reminder sometimes too,
Do what you love and value.
And also, because I'm old and love Stuart Smalley skit from SNL, I'll leave you with Stuart Smalley, who also pops into my head from time to time.
PS: Use my internal monologue if it helps you.
PPS: I know it's more than diversity, but I just used that terminology in this post.
Helping people and organizations begin their data visualization and Tableau journey. I'm a fan of training, Tableau, data viz, my kids, cupcakes, and karate.