Before I begin, let me apologize for the wordsmiths out there who know that ‘glitch’ and ‘niche’ rhyme, but look different. It sounds good though!
Glitch: a minor problem that causes a temporary setback
Niche: a place, status, activity, or employment where someone is best fitted
The above video is an example of several successful people who, at one time, had a glitch. Maybe their glitch was lack of confidence, or the need for more practice. Maybe it was lack of emotional support or a physical impairment. Some of the glitches are obvious to us, and most likely there were some that were never made known to anyone. These famous failures have a major connection…they all had setbacks. The great thing about a glitch is that it is temporary. We can find ways to compensate, correct, or cope with glitches. They are major when they are happening, and many times, life changing. Once we discover our niche within them, we can press on and be stronger becasue of the struggle.
I am a very reflective person by nature. Those who know me, know that I am continually thinking on experiences and how to improve in the future. Reflection always connects to change and the future in my world. I have glitches…many of them! We all have strengths and, yes, weaknesses. When we can begin to separate weaker areas of our life from the glitches, we can discover our niche. Our weaknesses can be seen as glitches, and our strengths are where we find our niche. That is the sweet spot where we have the most influence.
Here is how it happens for me…I turn my glitches into niches! (Or at least I am working on it)
office “stuff”… emails, paperwork, etc.
Take it with me and work in classrooms where the action is
Naysayers, attack on public ed, energy vampires
Surrounding myself with positive people, seeking opportunities
Emphasis on testing, competition, grading, etc.
Expressing beliefs even if alone, passion for the WHY
Not enough time in the day
Coffee, coffee, coffee!
|Okay, last one was for fun, but happens to be true in Beth’s world. 🙂|
We all get this way, both professionally and personally. Many times it is when these two worlds collide that we feel the most overwhelmed and ultimately, inadequate. In many ways I create this glitch in my world because I tend to put off the medial tasks that do not directly tie to connections with people. My solution for this is transferring my location in order to be productive, yet involved in the culture and climate of my school. Sometimes I engage more than others, depending on deadlines. For the most part I can perfom the medial task while still being engaged with what is around me in classrooms, hallways, the cafeteria, or playground. Do I still become overwhelmed? Absolutely! I have found that when a day goes by and I have had minimal connections with kids, staff, and families, I feel the most overwhelemed and unproductive.
Isn’t it incredible how powerful negativity is? One comment, one person out of many, one word can suck the energy from a room. Negative people are simply toxic. There is no other way to describe them. My “glitch” is that I try to save the naysayers, the pessimists, and the “gloom and doom” that oozes from them. The truth is, the choice lies within each person on how they choose to view the world. We can influence by providing consistent support and be a light in their world, but we cannot allow them to steal our joy. The time comes where we must continue our influence, but from a distance in order to preserve our own dispositions. #JoyfulLeaders has become my mantra, my filter, my tool for positivity in leadership. What started as a hashtag in my journal two years ago has grown into a movement. That is my niche.
Mandates in Education
This one is TOUGH…one that I am struggling with on a daily basis. I have a major glitch…the tenacious and determined kind. My passion often gets the best of me, and I am sometimes unable to withhold my emotions based on what I believe. There is a fine line between becoming negative about the mandates that have woven themselves into our profession, and seizing every opportunity to make a difference with kids, teachers, and in education itself. When I “cross over” to the desolate side, my core beliefs pull me back out. The laws, mandates, and red tape in our profession does not have to define us. We can find positive ways to use them to our advantage in effort to improve learning in schools. I am learning to turn this glitch into a niche in my current reality. As I learn, my core beliefs strengthen. My voice strengthens. My passion grows. That can only add value to what we do.
One word. Procaffeinate! I am a master of dominating this glitch and turning it into a niche! Coffee. Coffee. Coffee.
Seriously…do more of what gives you energy, whether that is sleep, excercise, eating healthy, or a devotional…DO MORE OF IT! If you do not have an outlet…find one. NOW. Don’t wait. Make it your goal to retire healthy one day.
Find a glitch today, and then find your niche. #JoyfulLeaders do this almost without thinking, but we need to pause and reflect now and then to make sure we are on the right track. A strong personal learning network helps me do just that.
Thank you to all of the #JoyfulLeaders who fill my bucket every day, accept my glitches, and help me find my niche.