Fellow savages, this is some real talk here. Be gentle with me.
I’ve been in sales basically my entire professional life. It’s all I know, all I want to do, and all I can see myself doing.
Don’t get me wrong, I want to spread my wings and grow beyond dialling the phones, but honestly I do enjoy it. I love flexing a muscle I’ve worked super hard to build, and it shows. I’ve been in leadership and management for a few years now, but I still see myself as a direct salesperson. Tactics, strategy, leadership are what I get paid for, but I have never stopped rolling up my sleeves and doing the work. That’s the core DNA of what I do.
Someone else recently posted about imposter syndrome, and that’s 100% me. I know I’m good, but like, I don’t at the same time. I’m not down on myself by any means, but I know what I know, and I know what I don’t know. I constantly see room to improve, and what I’m doing wrong, and strive for that growth. But then I see myself in comparison to others, and it’s like damn, I really am good. Other people (in some case 2-3x my age and experience) see my execution as flawless, and all I can see are the gaps.
After years of feeling undervalued and under appreciated, even though I was constantly delivering at a very high level, the tables suddenly turned in 2020. My income (and income potential) exploded - I’m having opps pitched at me that I thought were reserved for the “big fish” just a few years ago, when I was looking up to the big fish. I went from being an AE go on the cusp of the C-suite. It’s flattering, but I also realize it’s all I have.
Since this platform is all text, without the benefit of tone, I should mention that I say that very ‘matter-of-factly’. I’m not sad, I’m not depressed about it, but the fact remains that my life has become my work. Without it, I’m basically an empty human being.
I read to perform better at work. I read fiction, and non-fiction just to give my mind the proper decompression outside of work, to maximize my performance. I exercise frequently to make my body healthy and strong, so I can perform at work. I think about eating well and good nutrition as a keystone to success at work. I think about getting enough sleep so I can perform at my best. I should note that my sleep schedule and nutrition are trash, but I try. Travel is the one passion I have, and will always have. COVID was a bitch, but when I’m on the road, it’s invariably alone but it doesn’t dampen the mood. Travel is the one thing that makes me boundlessly happy, and I do as much as I can.
I’m a single, straight male in my late 20s. The one who got away, got away a few years. She broke my heart, and at the time ruined my life and my career. I spent years putting my future back together and getting back on track. I keep my distance from women, or only partake in casual relationships especially because - the way I rationalize it to myself - “the risk [of vulnerability] is too high”. I don’t lie to or manipulate women, though I definitely could. I’m straight up about what I want and that’s generally offputting to most.
I know this isn’t normal. I’m not convinced it’s unhealthy, but I’m betting that it is. I’m feeling the remnants of what makes me human slip away. I used to have a personality, now I just have a mask I wear in public, and most of me is disturbingly at peace with all of this. I just see this as the way the cards have fallen in my life.. and that’s ok.
Has this happened to anyone else? Can anyone relate? Is there a way back?
I’d love to hear what you all have to say.