There are several reasons that people can feel inadequate about their accomplishments. One of the reasons might be that the person has set goals that are too high and unrealistic for their particular skill set and abilities.
Perhaps we have set out goals too high, before we are ready to work on them. Another may be that they have set reasonable goals, but they have not taken the steps to accomplish them. This can be due to disorganization, procrastination or struggling to break things down into small and manageable steps.
Both of these issues can make us feel inadequate, and that we are not accomplishing enough, and both need to be looked at so that the person can set reasonable goals that they can accomplish on schedule, and as planned.
I feel like I’m not accomplishing enough…what should I do?
Let’s look at the first issue, setting goals that are unrealistic and beyond their ability level. Math and science are not my strong points, so I will not be applying for the next space shuttle mission anytime soon. This is not saying that anyone is intellectually inferior to others, this is saying that we all have our own strengths and weaknesses, and we need to play to those.
Too often people get themselves in positions where they either set a goal, or agree when a goal is set for them, fully realizing that this is not an area they will excel at. They may actually try very hard to accomplish what has been set out for them, only to be unsuccessful at the task. It was not lack of effort, it was not even lack of talent, and it was lack of skill set.
Do what you know and then learn more
Many of us take jobs, or agree to projects that are outside our abilities, just to have a job, and to not rock the boat. The fact of the matter is that we are doing more harm to our employer, any customer, and our own feelings of adequacy by taking this position or project.
It is important to look for and accept positions/projects that are within our strength base. Looking carefully for these, and saying yes to these types of projects, sets us up for success and increases our sense of accomplishment.
By doing what we have trained to do, or what we have a natural talent in, we greatly increase our chances of success, as well as our sense of self-esteem.
Take your time and focus on getting it right
There is a saying that you must crawl before you can walk, this is true when it comes to what we accomplish. If we set unreasonable goals that are beyond the skills we have yet learned, we are setting ourselves up for failure.
This is not to say that we will not be able to accomplish this goal at some point in our career, but we have to be realistic about the skill level we are at, the amount of training and education we have received, and what kinds of projects we are capable of taking on.
While it is wonderful to have goals, and we all want things to happen quickly, we have to be realistic about what we have learned up to this point, and where our capabilities lie. We are being irresponsible if we offer to take on tasks that are beyond our abilities, as the job, the customer, and the end product are what always matters.
A chance to “try” is not worth failing the client in the end. One way that you can work within your skill set and learn something new, is to ask other members of the team if you can shadow them on their tasks.
Copy what works before you create your own
This idea of shadowing allows the individual from having to take on the full responsibility of being a mentor to you in the acquisition of new skills. This is not to say that some individuals would not be happy to do this, but many simply feel overwhelmed with what they have on their own plate.
The idea of teaching someone can feel like too much. However, the idea of being watched and shadowed may be more palatable. There is nothing new or additional that they need to be doing, besides being observed.
Focus on the process not the product
Actually, explaining their process as they go, can help reinforce the steps they are taking, the choices they are making, and catch any of their own mistakes before they are made.
If the person observing does this with enough projects, they are greatly increasing their chances that they will have the skill set to perform the goal task, and to have their supervisors be willing to give them a chance at being the point person for that part of the project.
If they have been a good student of their peers, they may find that they are accomplishing the goals they have always wanted too.
You have skills but…
The last type of person who feels inadequate for not accomplishing enough is the person with the skills, but without the means to accomplish them.
These are the people who have poor organizational systems, procrastinate to the last second, therefore creating a subpar product, and those who do not know how to break things down into small and manageable tasks to make consistent progress towards their goal.
Putting it all together
These are the areas that I have the most clients come to me to possess. They are exceptionally frustrated with themselves for not being able to complete tasks and move ahead the way they envision. They are exasperated because they know that they have the skills and abilities inside of them, they simply to not know how to access and organize those skills to accomplish what they set out to do.
They have all the ideas, all the abilities, and even all the tenacity, at times, to do what they need to do. They simply do not know how to get from point A to point B in an organized and efficient manner. This lack of organization keeps them from completing the tasks.
Focus on one thing at a time and get it done
You also have the individuals who have the issue of procrastination and feeling overwhelmed by this. It becomes a viscous cycle of issues with organization, it knowing how to break things down into manageable steps, and then ultimately procrastinating due to falling so far behind due to the first two issues.
It can be as simple as a few meetings to sit down with a professional that help design organizational systems that work for you. To learn the skill of breaking things down into small and manageable steps, and what the proper steps should be, and lastly how to avoid the trap of procrastination.
Get real with yourself
People procrastinate for several reasons, one is that they are overwhelmed as things have fallen behind and are too close to the due date, or the other is that they put off tasks they find the most difficult for last.
If the person is willing to put the time and effort into learning to organize themselves in a way that works for them, and to break things down into small and manageable step, this can go a long way.
Lastly, they can learn ton take on tasks that are not their favorite first instead of last to get them out of the way, and avoid the dread of doing them. No matter which of these categories that you fall in, implementing these skills and techniques can move you to be someone who feels a great sense of adequacy and accomplishes more than enough.