Seth Godin, as is his wont, had a thought-provoking post on choosing those who choose you a few days back. He wrote –
“Pity the foolish 8-year-old boy who gives a kid just a year older the power to make his day. In that moment, being picked for the kickball team is the most important thing in the world, and his dreams are in the hands of a kid with a demonstrated history of poor judgment. If you were walking by the playground and he yelled, “Hey Mister! Wanna be on our team?” it would (I hope) mean little to you. You’re no longer willing to be judged by a kid who can’t even ride a bike.”
I’ve had a few recent experiences that have only reinforced this idea. The amount of unhappiness created by idea of not getting picked is incredible. So, the best way to reduce its influence in your life is to just take initiative regularly and pick yourself. There are going to be many many areas where you will be engaged in the picking process anyway – finding that important first client, looking for your next job, recruiting high quality team members to join your team etc. These processes will have enough reasons for you to experience a few ups and downs anyway.
So, when you can avoid it, avoid it. Create your own basketball team, your own event, your own project team and just have fun running with it. It doesn’t mean it’ll work any better. It just means you’ll focus on the game and quit worrying about whether you’ll be picked.
Seth goes on to say – “The ultimate privilege is to pick ourselves.” My only addition would be that it isn’t just a privilege, it is a necessity.