Monday, September 28, 2009

The Fear That Binds

We are freshly returned from our long weekend away, which will probably be our last before the baby comes. I went for the job interview for that new job that I so desperately want, and it went very, very well. I still have to pass a few more steps before I find out if I'll be getting a firm offer, but things are looking very good.

And yet, upon learning how well my interview went, I was not ecstatic. I was worried and afraid. Not of getting the job--I would be over the moon if I got the job, despite the major lifestyle chaos it would bring my way for a while (ie, major move + new baby). I'm totally up for that. No, the fear is of NOT getting the job, which is simply ridiculous. I have been beating myself up with worry about all of the things that could go wrong, and what I will do if they don't make me an offer.

After much thought over the last few days, it's made me realize what a negative impact fear has had on my life over the last five years. I have been so afraid of failure on a number of fronts that I have not even tried. Which is so weird, because in life, I am generally bold and tough and a risk-taker. In my day-to-day worklife, I am generally confident I will succeed. In my personal life, though, I tend to try to avoid things I think I might fail at, which is absurd. I almost didn't try for this job, because I'd heard that it was very tough to get in and only a small percentage of the people who go through it actually get a job offer. But look at me--here I am, and I made it through the first three phases of the hiring process, on my first try, despite the crazy odds that I had heard so much about. I clearly need to have more faith.

I have wasted so much time worrying about things that may never happen. All of those early months spent NOT enjoying my pregnancy, because of the fear it would end in failure again. So many opportunities not pursued, because they might not work out. I have not even attempted to do things that I absolutely should have done, because I didn't think they would come to fruition. In some cases, my life is actually worse off because I have not done what I clearly should have done, because I was held back by my fear. But what's the danger, really, in failing? Rejection? I can handle that. Failure itself? I have been there; I can do that. Embarassment? Well, what is to be embarassed about, really? Nothing ventured, nothing gained. If you are afraid to try, then you will most certainly be stuck where you are forever, and that's not a very good alternative. When I sit and think about it, I cannot even articulate why I have allowed fear to reign in some aspects of my life.

This job is the only thing that I want to do next professionally. I haven't been able to come up with another alternative that is even remotely appealing to me. I have decided that I am going to forge ahead, and try to avoid the negative thinking and the self-doubt, the worries in the back of my mind that maybe it won't work out. There is a possibility that it won't work out, but there is an even better possibility: maybe it WILL, and that is what I need to focus on.

PS Congratulations to Jamie , who gave birth to the very gorgeous Cade on Thursday--who is himself the epitome of proof that it's worth pushing through failure, fear, and self-doubt to see what might happen on the other side.


SassyIfLady said...

You are writing on a topic that is really close to a lot of us. I think most of us worry and obsess about so many things we can't control. Remember, you are the maker of your own destiny - and there are so many rewarding moments out there just waiting for you. Good luck on your journey! Hugs!

dreamsofquiet said...

I am experiencing in many ways in my life how hurt/failure in one area can really wreak havoc in many other areas.

Forging ahead sounds really smart (and really brave), and really, the best option. Good luck.

Heather said...

Good luck with the job process. I know what you mean on fear. I've struggled with the same. Hang in there.

~Jess said...

Good luck with the job!
I'm glad you guys had a nice time away. Fear is so absolutely debilitating...I know I struggle with it as much as the next person.

JamieD said...

The fear ~is~ paralyzing. I was working on Cade's baby book (after he was born, of course) and came to a section that said, "After finding out they were pregnant, Mommy and Daddy celebrated by:" and I don't know what to write there. I don't want to leave it blank either because it is like haunting proof of how scared I was throughout this whole pregnancy.

On top of everything else, I was afraid after he was born, I would STILL be afraid of all the things that might happen. Ridiculous, no? But it turns out, I'm not. I look down at him and feel like I won.

You've won, too, Queenie. Embrace it.

And thanks for the shout out!! The other side has been a dream . . .