Pick Yourself

CaptureI used to hate the line up in gym at school.

Two boys would be chosen – one for each football team. Then they would each get an alternating pick of their classmates until the entire class was allocated each to a team.

I was never chosen last but I was closer to the end than the beginning.

But then we’d have Highland dancing lessons in the hall with the girls. Oh yes we did. And every other dance was the girls’ turn to pick their partner. That’s a pressured environment for everybody concerned when you’re fifteen.

Then I try to get a job and I am reliant upon someone else picking me. Now they did pick me and I have no complaints about my corporate years, but I still had to get picked to get in.

And then there were the promotions and all the “getting on” stuff – again, no complaints but still always looking to get picked.

But “getting picked” is not just about work. It’s about everything.

  • Want to publish a book? Need to get picked by a publisher.
  • Want to become a rock star? Need to get picked by a record company.
  • Want to get “stuff A” to “market B” for profit, you probably need to get picked by some industry that controls the supply chain/market etc etc.

But no more…

The wonders of the internet and print on demand publishing and your ability to sell through Amazon and eBay and to advertise with Google and others and track your ROI without spending a fortune and make video and audio and the written word and get it out to the world at costs tending to zero…

This is a game changer.

Your dependence on getting picked is at an all time, history of the species, low.

I think I’ll say that again…

Your dependence on getting picked is at an all time, history of the species, low.

And when you no longer need to get picked, I find this happens:

  • I don’t need to impress anyone. I suspect this makes me more natural, relaxed and therefore, more impressive…
  • I don’t need to “play the picker’s game” when in fact my natural inclination is to play a different game. This allows me to play to my strengths and win the game.
  • I get to choose whom I work with and to say “no” to those I don’t like or who no longer fit with what I’m trying to do.
  • I get to do work that touches my soul from time-to-time and that in itself will keep me energised and enthusiastic.
  • I still need to get picked by my clients, but there’re so many potential clients out there that I can be who I am without fear and if that puts some of them off that’s OK because there will still be enough left to pick me and help me to pay my bills. So they come to me and I do not chase. This is hugely refreshing compared to corporate life where you usually have to fight with your competitors for market share. Been there. Done that. Dreary.

So I try to pick myself whenever I can…

When I do pick myself I get a massive psychological boost that comes from lessening my dependence upon what only others can give me. (Less junky behaviour basically.) This leads to heightened self-respect. And greater control over your time and what you do and who you see, etc is a massive stress-buster because one of the primary stressors in life is lack of control and picking yourself increases control massively.

So, although I hold fond memories of the girl who picked me for the Gay Gordons on a rain-lashed Tuesday in Bearsden Academy a fair wee while ago, I do try to pick myself whenever I can.

I guess the question for you is “what do I want to do that I thought I couldn’t make happen by myself but now I can?”

Once you find out what this is – then pick yourself.

The phrase “pick yourself” really strikes me. I first read it recently in Seth Godin’s blog. Thanks Seth.

One Response to Pick Yourself

  1. Keith Plumb June 13, 2013 at 9:59 am #

    Thanks for the bit about football, I was usually picked last, I have no eye limb co-ordination when comes to hitting a ball so I a bad at all ball games. I also take an age to warm up so as I never got near the ball I never warmed up when playing football.

    When we went cross country running it took me so long to warm up I was nearly always near the back by the half way mark. Once I had warmed up I could run like the wind but no matter how much I screamed at myself (usually out loud since it worked better) I could never get back up the field enough to come close to winning – so I never go picked for running either.

    Girls did pick me for dancing, since I can dance, in fact I have medals to prove it and it is how met my wife – although I picked her.

    Not sure about the picking myself bit – but I am going to read this blog through again until I understand what you mean.

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