Posted by: Daisy | May 1, 2008

Two So-Called-Truths – Part 1

It’s hard to be black and white, when the world is full of colour. Here are two hard and fast rules that I used to believe about myself:

  1. I can’t do math.
  2. I am not a people person.

I have learned more recently that both are false and by having these beliefs, they only held me back.

The first one is easy. I know lots of people who can do math in their head – in fact, you could say I’m surrounded by those kinds of people with that gift. They take numbers and add and subtract, and take percentages, and voila. They finish with a number and say, is that about right?  Frak if I know – you might as well ask me to name the first 10 prime numbers. I say, I don’t know about the final number, but yes, the inputs are correct. 

Given enough time, sometimes with paper and pen and a calculator too, I can handle it.  Let’s face it, even the math gurus rely on those tools sometimes.

In business, although I may be slow in calculating the answers, once they are calculated, I quickly make decisions and plans on tactics and trends.  My perception of “I can’t do math” resulted in lower confidence levels on the planning and decision making required when in actual fact, I was very good at making sense of all the numbers.  I even built pretty darn good models (for someone like me) in Excel to help me make those decisions.  In fact, when the numbers are in spreadsheets, I am able to see trends, and make sense of them faster than some others – I just couldn’t add and subtract them in my head.

Have you got a perception in your head that’s false and holding you back? Try this trick I wrote about in A Different Diet – in my case, instead of saying “I can’t do math”, I said, “How can I do math?”.  The answer was simple – I already use the calculator and spreadsheets to do it for me.  I CAN do math.

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Responses

  1. From the 2+ years we worked together, it didn’t take me long to figure out these two “facts” about you were myths. You might not like performing calculations, but your analytical work was excellent (and fast!). And I wouldn’t say you don’t like people, but I would say you don’t like “can’t do” people…those who always find a reason why something can’t be accomplished.

    I’ve watched you connect with “can do” people, and watched you soar.

    Jim

    Thanks Jim – I’ll forward you the cash in the mail. 🙂 – Daisy


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