Saturday, 21 March 2009

Diffidence, geekery, occupational therapy and me

Earlier today I *almost* tweeted that I had just been reading my shiny new copy of The British Journal of Occupational Therapy in the bath and thinking how interesting the articles were this month (OK I would have to have condensed it down a bit but you get the idea!). But then I stopped. "Cant tweet that!" I thought, "I'll sound like a right geek!".

But its true I am a geek, or so I keep telling people. What is a geek anyway?
"a peculiar or otherwise odd person, especially one who is perceived to be overly obsessed with one or more things including those of intellectuality, electronics, etc."[1]
Hmmm, not sure I like that, so my do I keep saying it?

Well I do love my job, and I'm passionate about occupational therapy, and freely admit I spend lots of my free time doing work related stuff. But given that OT is about facilitating other people to achieve optimum well being I should be proud, right?

All this got me to thinking about a presentation I went to from Jennifer Creek at the Cheshire Occupational Therapy Conference. She was talking about celebrating achievement in occupational therapy and pointing out that, on the whole, occupational therapists aren't too hot at blowing their own trumpet. She gave a great quote from Dr. Thelma Cardwell, former CAOT president, and reflected though we have made much progress, we are still a bit backward in coming forward as a profession.
1. Lacking or marked by a lack of self-confidence; shy and timid. See Synonyms at shy1.
2. Reserved in manner.
Now I'm not sure I'm diffident as such. I'm highly likely to be the person in the room to put my hand in the air and give and occupational therapy slant on a discussion, to volunteer for a project which I believe will further the profession, and to try my hardest to find innovative ways to develop OT services.

So why do I term myself a geek? Maybe despite all my gusto I'm still not as confident in myself as I am in my profession. Being the outwardly confident person I describe above doesn't always come easily to me, but if something scares me I'm compelled to try it. Maybe it's a grown up extension of risk taking behaviors in my earlier life? Who knows, but I think what I will take from this reflection is that its OK to be true to my Gemini starsign and be at once unconfident and self doubting if this propels me to action, but at the same time a vocal advocate of my profession.

Some people might say it's a bit of a risk posting this on a publicly accessible blog but I'm quite an open person, and fine with talking about my flaws. In fact I think some of the most interesting blog posts come when people reflect with honesty on a situation. What are your thoughts, how confident are you in promoting OT? Would you critique yourself in a similar way in a public forums?

P.S. I'll do another post about the great articles in BJOT!

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