Recently I ventured tentatively back into the world of work after many years. I had no idea how it was going to pan out but as with everything I went into it with hope and enthusiasm and figured that the best thing to do would be to give it a try. You don’t know until you give it a go do you? Optimistic me had surfaced and was ready for action!
So what happened? Well, I found out that after all these years my old anxieties and fears were still there. Can I do it? Am I good enough? What if I make a mistake? What if I can’t do it? What if they don’t like me? I didn’t realise how much my old fears of failure would rear their ugly heads like unwanted ghosts whispering away at me. I didn’t realise how much my innate desire to please would impact on my performance at work. But it did…..these things still matter to me it seems. I did not enjoy not being able to separate all of this from my daily work and the emotional effect it had on me.
My darling husband is more than aware of how crippling my fear of failure has been all my life and how much it has stopped me from challenging myself and doing new things. When faced with something that I cannot be my version of perfect at, my natural instinct is to run from it, making excuses as to why I can’t do it at the moment and go and hide back under my comfort blanket where there are no challenges or threats. (I do actually own lots of blankets in real life so maybe I should have seen the signs!! But hey, who doesn’t love a warm snuggly blanket?).
The trouble is that when you know this about yourself it is really really difficult to figure out when your gut instinct to walk away from something that isn’t actually working out and isn’t right for you is going into overdrive and is shouting at you “YOU ARE FLOGGING A DEAD HORSE AND MAKING YOURSELF CRAZY, WALK AWAY NOW!” and waving a big white flag at the same time. OR if you are just working through old fears. I think that is possibly the hardest thing to know.
I also still appear to have issues with authority and being told what to do as well as a huge fear of looking silly if I admit that I haven’t quite understood something. I tend to hope that things will become clearer as time goes on and that I can wing it and hopefully not get found out or that everything will suddenly click and I will know what I am doing. Sometimes this works and sometimes it really absolutely doesn’t.
So…..this week I made the decision to walk away. I realised that doing that when I knew something wasn’t right for me wasn’t failing or quitting and that was actually very very liberating. It has been a massively worthwhile experience and I have learned lots about myself which I think is always a good thing.
Things that I have learned:
I am very good at writing and editing.
I am passable at social media and am getting better.
I can learn new things but it takes time.
I have nice hands and am good at hand modelling haha who knew?
I can say no, I don’t understand and I am not doing that.
It is better to do one thing really well rather than lots of things averagely/badly.
I am learning when to walk away.
I am good at making friends.
I talk too much.
I care about what I do and I cannot detach myself from that.
I do not need to apologise for who I am and who I am not.
There are some really amazing people out there.
I have some awesome and very wise friends and you can never have enough of those.
I would really like a job but it has to be the right one for me and not make me into a crazy person.
I am good enough.
So if there is someone out there who would like a slightly sensitive person who is good at writing, cares too much about too many things and talks more than they should, give me a shout. But maybe not today!