Building a Barn with unwarranted optimism
As most of my clients know, we have been helping our friend build a barn. I have limited (pronounced “zero”) experience with building a structure from the ground up, but I’m still a welcome team member (right, guys??). I arrive at the job site with what we are calling unwarranted optimism, but few technical construction skills.
First a definition of unwarranted optimism: optimism that is larger than reality could support. As in, “Wow, I think we can crank out this whole floor this weekend!” … and in reality it has taken the better part of January. I suppose I could have said some pretty negative things (This is taking forever! Why is it so cold?) but with the unwarranted optimism option, I said things like, “This looks amazing! You are really going to love this space.”
To successfully pull off unwarranted optimism, you will also need a dose of self-advocacy and carefully worded realism. For example, I regularly announce, “I need a snack” and wander off. I don’t ask permission, I just take care of myself. (And sometimes I hear, “Where is Rachel??” – but sometimes I’m too far away from the barn to hear that!!) I also suggest that we ALL break for lunch.
The realism comes with the understanding that whatever I thought was going to happen will happen, but on a revised timeline. Maybe flexibility is what I’m thinking here. The floor will be completed, but not in a weekend. And honestly, not even in January, because it is cold out there!
Ultimately, I will be taking these skills (optimism, realism, flexibility) to other projects in life. I’ve already done a few of things that were beyond my perceived skill set (3 books, a driveway, a pandemic puppy). Given that, I think I can use my unwarranted optimism to get at some other life goals, and so can you😊