Everyday, I make lunch at 2:30pm, and watch an episode of Seinfeld on Hulu (this is not a sponsored post 😂). I’m a creature of habit, rituals give me comfort (this happens when you grow up in a house consumed with chaos), it makes my Type A personality feel like everything is right in the world. It’s also super helpful for me as a freelancer to have some modicum of a schedule.
This past Wednesday, I watched The Pilot. In this episode Jerry and George finally have their big TV show debut. It’s all very meta. (You know, before meta was a thing.)
In one part, George is at his therapist’s talking about the show:
George: What if the pilot gets picked up and it become a series?
Therapist: That would be wonderful, George! You’ll be rich and successful!
George: Yeah, that’s exactly what I’m worried about. God would never let me be successful; he’d kill me first. He’d never let me be happy.
Therapist: I thought you didn’t believe in God?
George: I do for the bad things.
This made me lol, and it hit home real hard.
You see, all week (and the previous weekend) I’d been working on a pretty large proposal to pitch to a big client in NYC, and I had just submitted it. It was a sweet deal, I’d be training the team in social media, community building, and helping them establish their online presence over 6 weeks. AND I’d get to stay in NYC for some of it.
But guess what? I was for sure I wasn’t going to get it. Even though a previous client who now worked for them had recommended me. Even though I am an expert in my field. Even though they contacted me. Nope, I knew if I thought I was a shoo-in, I definitely wouldn’t get it.
How is it that this superstitious thought process is so universally understood? One that throws us under the proverbial bus while simultaneously modestly rooting for ourselves? (Because we do. Deep down you know we’re hoping we get “it,” whatever that it might be.)
Why does the notion of success illicit the response that we don’t deserve it? I used to think this was due to weird Catholic guilt or that I was working class in a world of better-thans so I didn’t belong here, or there, or over there – all depending on what was at stake. But it’s not low self-esteem. It’s universal. Everyone deals with it.
I don’t have an answer for you. But I can tell you, no matter what your feelings are, you’re not going to feel your way out of what will happen. Whether you choose to stress out, hold your breath, or cheer yourself on, what will be will be.
Later today, I sign the contract for that big gig. Next time, maybe I’ll try being Opposite George.
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