We were discussing my job quest and how I have been having meetings with women- at least once a week- whose careers I respect. Women who can offer me advice and help me network in my current place of business. I knew my therapist would be proud of me for doing this. It is waaaaaay out of my comfort zone. It is somethingI am doing without preparing for really. Because the more I prepare the more ways Anxiety can find its way into my brain. So I am just showing up, being me, and asking questions I really want to know the answers to. I am trying to find a path and hoping that these woman can help me forge it. They are already taking time out to meet with me, which is huge, and I respect them so much for even doing that. Helping a stranger.
Anyway, back to the point. I don't remember how the sentence came out of my mouth, or what exactly led up to it, but in a nutshell I had a realization. I have been in this job so long because I fear going into a new environment and having people (a) not like me or (b) judge me. In my current job I am safe. I know people like me. I know they accept me. I know that I have earned their trust and respect and no one is going to tear me down. But at a new job. With new people. People may not like me at all. They may be displeased with who I am once they get to know me. They may regret hiring me. And THAT, my friends, has what has kept me sitting in the same job for over a decade.
I will be 40 in 14 days. 40. And I still crave acceptance. My therapist of course asks where that fear comes from, and it comes from growing up poor, and people making fun of me for living in a trailer, and being fat. I was actually teased for those things. That actually happened. My self worth was destroyed before I even hit first grade. But I have grown out of that. I need to quit thinking that is who I am. I DO NOT live in a trailer. I AM NOT obese. I realized the things I didn't like about myself and I clawed my way out of it, and that should be commended. I WILL commend myself on breaking the cycle. I did that. I am proud.
I will not get mad at myself for the things I have done in the past. I made excuses to stay in my current job. They were safety behaviors. BUT they were the right decisions for me at that time. I will remember that, I am mad at Anxiety, NOT myself. Because I AM MOVING FORWARD. Anxiety is the one who wants to keep me in the safety zone. Anxiety will not win.
I have to be proud of who I am today. I am a loving mother. I am a fantastic wife. I am an avid and happy exerciser. I am a loyal friend. I am an impartial therapist to my friends and coworkers. I am shoulder to cry on. I am a fierce competitor. I am strong both mentally and physically. I can do hard things and I WILL DO HARD THINGS. Now that I know that I let fear beat me for all of these years, I now know my enemy. Yes, it is Anxiety, but it is also Fear. Those bitches go hand-in-hand. I will win this battle. I will not choose "safe." I will choose rewarding! I will choose life!