Measuring results is part of any project, but how often do we have that awkward conversation about the unmeasurable elements? Our feelings, struggles, disappointments and fears?

I’m a “why” kind of person. I love to ask why all the time. I decided to accept that fact and go deeper.

Very recently I worked on a very challenging project. The main goal was to test new business models for a large organisation. I had six months and many doubts. Now that we have reached the end, I started the “why”questioning. For the first time I decided to reflect upon my journey, feelings, and actions and I can’t help but feel excited.

I decided to start with three main reflection categories; My attitude, The Team and the Environment.

My first thoughts were about my attitude. During the six months I kept switching between “mentally active” and “mentally numb.”

While I was “mentally active” my activities were:

– Coordinating a Plan B (diminishing pressure)

– Discussing one idea with various people from different departments (strong communication)

– Going out of the office and watching customers behaviour (exploring)

– Crunching data (analysing)

 

When I was “mentally numb” I was:

– Trying to organise my thoughts into a presentation (lost)

– Procrastination (discouraged)

– Worried about other people’s behaviour (insecure)

– Starting too many different tasks (disorganised)

 

Looking at those two very distinctive moments, it’s obvious that mentally active is the way to go, but the big questions are:

Is it possible to be at “mentally active” mode full time?

Can one live without the other?

What instigates each of those mental states?

 

When I think about the team and environment, I feel the need to compare with my previous experiences. There were moments in my life where the environment was extremely challenging, but my task wasn’t. This time I felt the opposite, the environment was OK and the project was really challenging. I had the impression I was working under “mentally active” more often at scenario one. When I felt confident about my task, no challenge seamed big enough to stop me. Team is still a question mark. There was support and kindness, but I wonder if there was trust. Also my ‘mentally numb” state is not a social state. There was something missing, which I’m still not sure.

My reflections are far from a conclusion, but this time I’m open to analyse it deeply, like a scientist would in an experiment. I’m not necessarily worried with success or failure, but which elements helped my journey and which ones paralysed my actions. How amazing would it be to start the next task, project, job or company knowing myself that well.