Snowmobile Tilt Trailer Build welding project – Day 8

Snowmobile Tilt Trailer Build welding project - Day 8

Snowmobile Tilt Trailer Build welding project – Day 8

Snowmobile Tilt Trailer Build welding project – Day 8

Today I started the weld out of the rest of the frame. And stared with the worst – the undersides of each crossing angle. These are technically horizontals even though I am right underneath the trailer frame and welding above my head.

I am not going to flip the frame and weld everything flat. If I had the means it would be really nice, but I don’t and after almost a year off work, I want and need the practice.

 

Snowmobile Tilt Trailer Build welding project - Day 8
Here’s where I’m talking about underneath.


Snowmobile Tilt Trailer Build welding project - Day 8

Confidence

Confidence is a huge personal theme for me. While I am very courageous and feisty (I’ll choose the nicer adjectives I’ve been called) A real strong sense of confidence in myself and my abilities is an ongoing struggle. I seem to loose it from time to time. But with that struggle I’ve learned some methods for getting it back quickly and I’d like to share one for those who may have experienced or be feeling the same way.

The only picture of work today guys, which says something about my state of mind.

It’s not going well.

Snowmobile Tilt Trailer Build welding project - Day 8

I’m frustrated with myself on an ‘Off’ day. My confidence is LOW. The self talk in my head is getting really mean. I’m feeling out of practice. I’m wanting to be so much better than I am. – WAIT –  I AM so much better than I am today. THERE that is a critical shift in thought!

Negative self talk, I’ve learned, is not the best long term motivator. I have to challenge that negative self talk. There is actually no evidence for how bad it’s saying I am. It’s just there being an asshole and shifting my thoughts slightly quickly turns the overwhelm into “I got this.”

This feeling is showing me that even professionals have off days and that everybody experiences them. It makes me realize the importance of sharing one of the biggest lessons a welder friend taught me.

“If it’s not going well, just stop”

Doesn’t sound too profound at first does it –  but it is so genius!!

Let me say it again,

“If it’s not going well, just stop”

The genius is in understanding that it’s not difficult to weld- it’s not too hard for anybody – the problem is usually with us. Yeah, we blame the welder, or the electrode or any other inanimate object and the following ‘welder freak out’ is usually the result of many tiny things building to that level of frustration.

We’ve all been here. Why is throwing a helmet so satisfying??

Frustration leads to mistakes, which leads to embarrassment, which leads to a sense of urgency to fix those mistakes, which leads to stress and more mistakes and the situation just snowballs.

If you are in a high pressure shop situation and can not step away there are always other small tasks you can do while you give yourself time to calm down *cough* grinding *cough*  Sometimes it’s tough to see that maybe the problem is first of all, you- not you as a person or even as a welder – just you at this moment. Usually it is something like a blocked liner we weren’t able to realize so worked up.

“Rest if you must, But don’t you quit”

Other times it’s just a bit of taking stock – Whats going on with me physically?? – Like “okay, holy crap, I haven’t slept in 4 days and I am so shaky my usual weld rhythm is off”

Whats going on with me emotionally?? – “I’m racing against whats-his-name over there putting extra pressure on myself” or  “I’m frustrated because my _______ (husband) pissed me off yesterday and I’m still thinking about it”

…. aah. There it is.

Call it out and carry on.

Now take a look at your machine. At your settings. Maybe for an overhead weld you should be set a bit ‘cooler’ and make yourself a bit more comfortable. At your equipment. Don’t struggle with tired consumables. Swap them out for new especially if you’ve just had a ‘welder freak out’ to just be kind to yourself.

Take your own advise Lisa and be more mindful. I think that’s enough for the day.

Stay Awesome,

Lisa

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