The rare times I doubt myself

Lets agree, Ambition comes at a price.
Today is one of those days when I sit back and reflect if I am overdoing it.

These are interesting times when we are talking about things like Feminism, Startup, IoT etc. I think in a parallel world, I would have perished at the hands of society by now. But here I am, strong and very much holding my ground.

All this sounds great but there are times when I need to do a reality check on myself. It is then that I question, why is my life so eventful all the time (not always in the happy sense). Essentially, I am just another person in the IT domain, maybe a little more headstrong than others. Is that it? And maybe a little too focused on keeping my personal priorities at par with the client’s needs. Is that why?

In the past 6 years of my IT career, I have raised far too many storms. Or so they say. Are these really storms? After all I am just a mid-career professional trying to secure a decent future 5 years of my professional life. Is my request for a location/geography change an issue that should make the AVP restless? Is asking for a consideration for next level such an issue that should involve a heated discussion with the Business Unit heads? Are our organisations so fragile? Or are we harbouring an environment where people should prefer being quiet and question nothing rather than facing criticism?

Every time I ask for something that I feel I deserve, people around me rush to quieten me. Instead of explaining why I can’t have it, which I am sure would be a more logical approach, efforts come pouring questioning my action, suggesting me to be more patient, ‘hang in there‘, ‘don’t be so demanding‘, ‘don’t over-estimate yourself‘, and the most recent, ‘these millennial know all about rights and forget about the responsibilities (which I am sure every previous generation thought about the next)’ – the list can go on but I guess you got the drift. My point is, instead of asking me to compromise and adjust, why not try the easier approach of convincing me since you have such a strong case against my demand?

Almost every time, I felt content with the conclusion of the event (whether it ended with an actual salary raise or me filing my resignation), a little proud too that I dint give in to the coercion of accepting something I dint want to, and most of the times I have been on the winning side. While people easily term this as me being “lucky“, I refuse to indulge that opinion. Luck has played a big role in bringing opportunities to me but I don’t credit my personal/professional growth to luck. I attribute it to my ‘sweat-and-blood’ only, including overtime and weekend work to mention the least. I have been lucky to have people around me who have respected my opinionated and blunt nature but the situations were presented to me and it was up to me to react – to take it or do away with.

But when this becomes a norm, there comes a day every once in a while when I genuinely doubt myself. Let me tell you these days are rare but yes, they do come. And on those days I am scared and not-so-confident. Those are the times when I feel the need of an honest mentor who can guide me to the ground when I am forgetting my limits and getting over aggressive.

Again, these are interesting times. On one hand I feel that if I don’t demand for what I deserve, I will very conveniently be ignored and undervalued, as it happens with colleagues around me all the time, because hey! nobody is doing charity here (in the business world I mean). On the other hand, what if this has become my inherent nature and I have become unapologetically needy-greedy-clingy. What if I have in fact blurred the thin boundary between self-respect and ego?

Luckily for me, time is on my side. I still have the benefit of age and options to make mistakes and learn from them. I’ll savor while it lasts. While these consternations keep happening from time to time, I know one thing for sure – I am where I am because I have set my priorities straight, I have not compromised where it was a one-way deal, I have never been where I dint feel valued or respected and most importantly, I have never given up without putting up my best fight.

I have not yet carved any milestones but I am happy. I try to be a better person every day but I have no qualms or regrets about my past actions. That guarantees a peaceful sleep at night for me. And that’s what I call a nice life, isn’t it?


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