This morning, I woke up with a terrible stomach ache, headache, the whole bit.
And I know exactly why.
It’s fear, creeping in. Or in this case, literally taking over my body.
Shall I enumerate my fears? Well, here they are, as of the moment I’m typing this:
- That I’ll look like a fool today in front of 60 people (I’m on a panel discussion at an amazing startup company, who asked me to come into their office and help them improve their online video creation tool)
- That I’ll actually be successful at something (isn’t this crazy-making?)
- That I’ll bomb with my very first e-course (I’m going all out to have a beta version on July 11)
- That I’ll get fired from my 9-5 job (I’ve had dreams about this the past two nights)
The last one on that list is the one that is really playing games with me. On the one hand, if I actually did get fired, I could get a very nice severance package, I’m sure. I’ve been employed at this organization for 7 years, and I’d be eligible for 6 months of my current pay. Since they’d really be firing me without cause, I’m sure I could negotiate something pretty darn good for myself. So that wouldn’t be a totally bad thing.
But the part that has my stomach and head all tied up in knots is that I feel so totally insecure in this job, which is something I have never, ever felt before. When I was hired for this particular position a year ago, I was returning to the role I had 7 years ago when I started — one that I really enjoyed. Long story short, I left and went elsewhere within the same organization because the person in charge of my division back then was completely incompetent, and I simply couldn’t work for him (I wasn’t the only one who left!).
But then, things changed for the better, so I decided to come back when this position opened up again. For the first few months, everything was really, really good. Then, a new boss came in, and a coworker who I hadn’t met and who had been on maternity leave, returned. Since then, everything has gone downhill, not just for me but for another colleague on this team. He and I are not in the “clique” that our new boss has formed with the two other people on our team, and our duties have been slowly stripped from us — to the point where now, we almost feel like we’re superfluous.
This is not a good feeling to have every day. He and I often laugh because we’re completely shut out of important conversations. Our boss and the other two people make decisions that affect all of us, and he and I are not included. Before the new boss and this coworker returned, he and I were doing everything ourselves — and we got incredible results, I should add. We’re hyper-capable!
And that’s what we think the problem is. We’ve concluded that our new boss, and the woman who returned after maternity leave, are intimidated by our abilities and unfortunately, have made the choice to cut us out — ironically, through fear (since that’s the topic of this post).
What can I do? Well, I’ve accepted this reality, although not fully enough, as evidenced by my dreams. I have a performance review coming up on Monday, which should be interesting since my boss has barely spoken to me for the past 6 months and has no idea if I’m competent or not. Whatever she says, I’m going to let it float right through me and realize that, in the end, it doesn’t matter.
What does matter is how I feel about myself.
With everything that I have been through in my life, all that I have faced and overcome, why would I ever lose faith in myself?
And the answer is: I won’t. No matter what someone else thinks of me or says to me or does to me, I retain faith in myself. I believe that I’m strong because I absolutely know that I am. My job is not to make my boss like me or talk to me or anything of the sort. My job is to live a life that is based in love and not fear, in presence and not worry about an unseen, unknowable future.
So that is my mantra today: I am choosing love and faith over fear, and I’ll treat myself and others accordingly.
Because let’s face it. When I’m on my death bed, am I going to care what my boss thought of me back in 2014? Or am I going to care about how I felt about myself and how I treated others?