I’ve always read and heard about Olympic athletes experiencing a sort of depression after winning a gold medal. It’s as if once they reach the pinnacle of success they have difficulty figuring out what is left for them to work for. Perhaps a simpler way to view it is that the gold medal that was supposed to fill the void in their hearts left by a lack of success only amplifies it even more.
I don’t find myself in exactly that type of situation tonight, but I feel strangely hollow. The fund-raiser I wrote about in my last post is over, and we actually did pretty well with it this year. We reached about 75 percent of our pledge goal, which was much better than last year. A good friend of mine who used to work at the radio station before I ever did came back this year and really helped out with organizing things and getting some strategies in place to help improve our focus. He did an awesome job.
He did a much more awesome job than I have the past few years.
In title, I’m supposed to be the general manager. I’m supposed to be the guy at the helm. I was the guy at the helm the last two years, when we barely even reached half our goals. I had lost my motivation, lost my direction, and it showed in how things were being run. Even though I spent a lot of time on the air this year and set the direction for what we were talking about when I was, I still couldn’t shake the feeling that someone had to come in and fix the mess I had created.
There was a measure of success this year. Once it was over, though, I couldn’t enjoy it.
I’ve always prided myself on being a realist when it comes to job performance. If I do a sucky job, then I’m the first person to stand up and say I did a sucky job. As someone who wrestles with depression and low self-esteem, however, I pretty much always believe I’m doing a sucky job, so sometimes it’s difficult to distinguish actual poor performance from the perception that everything I do is inadequate in some way. I know I didn’t do my best before. I know I lost employee trust. I’m not envious of my friend for doing a better job than me; I’m angry at myself that he had to.
This is where my cognitive thinking should kick in and I should begin listing the positive aspects of the situation. I’m tired, though, and I’m infinitely frustrated with myself at the moment. I’m hoping the opposite of the gold medal effect will happen here. Maybe all this will inspire me to do better, to focus more, to treat people better, to be more assertive. We didn’t reach the goal, so maybe this wasn’t the gold medal anyway. When we do win it, I want to be able to celebrate it.