Indulge me a moment.
Monday night I lay in bed working myself up into a good deal of anxiety about work. Didn't I quit the job that makes me anxious? Yes, yes I did, and I'm in a great job now. I like the work I'm being asked to do so much that I worry about not doing it well enough. Monday night I blew past anxious almost to panic. It's no wonder my dreams were frantic and in each of them I was helpless.
My inclination in such times is to shut up, hide, and hope no one notices. That's led to some predictable results. Sometimes I get through, but the anxiety seed takes root and waits to bloom again. Other times things fail to detonate, like a kid waiting and waiting for his lie to be exposed (not that I've had childhood experience with that, no not me). Still other times the whole thing blows up.
Tuesday morning I woke figuring I would go with the usual plan. Habits. But, in the waiting room of my daughter's MRI, I read a Harvard Business Review article "What Makes A Leader?" (subscriber only link, sorry) about emotional intelligence and leadership. Good leaders show "a propensity for reflection and thoughtfulness," something I like I'm well practiced i doing. I was still feeling anxiety from Monday night, so I stopped reading to acknowledge that.
Then I wondered, now what?
Here's a lot of why I like my job: I have four people to whom I report and I talked with two of them today. I told them about my anxiety and not only did they wave it off as nonsense but they assured me I'm doing well and suggested ways forward. Both also offered specific assistance instead of "anything I can do, let me know."
This is my new job. In my old job, it was all too easy to be alone in my anxiety. In my old job I had to hide from management. In my new job I work with leaders. What a difference.
I still feel like I have to do a better job, but I get that I need to grow into things, and I'm pretty sure I'll get there. I know I've got help. I expect to sleep better tonight.
Thanks for listening to my therapy session. We now return you to your regularly scheduled program already in progress.