New Operating System, Part 3 - Confidence

Friday, June 22, 2018

self-confidence insecuritySometimes the changes you need to make sneak up on you.  Sometimes the changes in you are so insidious that you don't even have an inkling that they are happening at all.  It's not until someone else calls your attention to it that you can see something is off.

I started considering a job change last October when my boss was (mistakenly, in my opinion) laid off.  My husband and I made a deal that I wouldn't apply anywhere for three months to allow the dust to settle wherever it landed.

There was one position that came up that I would have just about killed for.  It was everything that I wanted, and I checked all the boxes they were looking for.  I checked with the mister, and given the special circumstances of the position, I applied.  And waited.  I had to wait less than 24 hours before my application was rejected.

Now listen, I'm not God's gift to the world or anything, but I have never - NEVER - not at least warranted a phone call when I've applied for something.  Especially when I was exactly the candidate described.  To say I was devastated is a tremendous understatement.  It hurt - badly.

Why am I telling you this story now?

Because that was the start of something I didn't realize was happening until I got the offer for the position I currently hold.

My self-confidence took a hit - big time.  Prior to last October, I was pretty confident.  I went with my gut and never looked back.  If I made a mistake?  Oh, well, I'll do better next time.  Decisions?  Easy.  Complicated troubleshooting?  No problem; I got this.  I need to handle five tasks at once?  No sweat.

After October?  My workload increased (of course), and suddenly I wasn't getting everything done when I expected myself to.  I didn't warrant a call for a position I desperately wanted.  I had no idea what I was able to do or unable to do.  I began to doubt everything about myself.  I began to doubt my abilities and my value.  Eventually, I wasn't even able to make simple decisions.  I had no confidence in my ability to even choose coffee flavors.

And I never even realized it until I had to decide whether to "stay or go."  Suddenly, I was convinced that no matter what my choice, it would be the wrong one.  Say what?  I've NEVER second-guessed myself like that.  Ultimately, that was one of the biggest reasons I decided to leave my previous position.

Have you ever felt that low about yourself?  I mean, so low that:

  • you feel you can do NOTHING right
  • you are not worth your passions because they are "improper"
  • you are not worthy of others' effort 
  • you feel it's not worth going after something you desperately want because there's no way *you* could ever achieve it
I have to say, one of the few "instant" changes when I changed jobs was a newfound (re-found?) belief in myself.  I began to try new things again - and I realized I could do them!  Now, just to be clear, while I'm more confident than I was a year ago, I am still not where I was way back when.  It's a process, but it's a process that I'm discovering I enjoy.

I've found that I *am* worth the effort - both from others and from myself.  I am rediscovering dreams long-dormant.  And that matters.  So listen, if you find yourself in the same position, do NOT be afraid to change something.  Even something as drastic as your entire operating system.  Because honestly, if you are in that position, anything is better than what you have now, wouldn't you say?

Guess what?  YOU are worth the effort of your dreams as well.  Promise.

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