Just wanted to share something that happened at work today that reinforces a message from this week’s session and that I hope will be beneficial to someone. I attended a meeting where there are various presenters giving updates on various topics. I work in the technology industry and as you can imagine the topics can be very complex. I’ve worked in this industry for many years now and I feel very comfortable with most of the topics that are typically covered. This week, I found myself completely lost on several of the topics. After the meeting I noticed that I was feeling anxious and a bit depressed. I started to think about why I was feeling this way. Needless to say it was an ANT. It went something like this “You are not smart enough to understand. You’ve been in this field for so long and you still don’t understand this stuff? Everyone else understands it but you.“
I thought about this rationally and I asked myself “is it realistic to know everything there is to know about every topic? Do most of the people at these meetings really know everything about every topic? Do the people that I believe to be highly skilled and intelligent know everything about every topic discussed today? The answer to all of these questions was a big NO! There is no possible way to know and understand everything that was discussed today. The next question I asked myself was “ if I had the time and I picked a topic that I knew nothing about, could I learn everything there is to learn about it? My answer to that question was a big YES! It has nothing to do with not being smart enough. It has everything to do with not having the need or the time to know EVERYTHING. No one in the meeting knew or understood everything that was discussed. You see this ANT was wrong and is a liar. It wants to bring me down. There is absolutely no truth to what I was thinking. In fact I would not have thought negatively about anyone who walked away saying they didn’t “get” a particular topic and yet I was beating myself up over it.
After going through this mental exercise I felt much better. It reinforced the truth that ANTs are always wrong and are liars as Dr. Richards discusses. So stay vigilant, catch those ANTs and don’t let them lie to you anymore!