Happy Wellness Wednesday! This week I wanted to share a little story with you all.
Five months ago I was working as an Associate Therapist/Program Manager at a nonprofit in San Francisco. I’d been working there for over a year and a half and convinced myself it was where I’d be for the long haul. I was so convinced that I let myself ignore the red flags that should have made me leave long before.
I began feeling ill at the beginning of March and it continued through July. After many scans and tests and no diagnosis, I tried to figure out what else could be causing it and my first thought was stress. There was/is a lot going on in the world and it made sense that I would be having such an intense physical response to these stressors. When my time at my job came to an end I quickly noticed a decrease in the symptoms I was experiencing.
It was really no surprise to me that my body was relieved to no longer have the stress I was experiencing at that job. I have to admit I was disappointed in myself for staying in a position that made me feel uncomfortable and undervalued. I was too afraid of the unknown to recognize when it was time to walk away. One thing I feared the most was that I wasn’t good enough to be hired anywhere else.
I immediately began applying to jobs, I started before I was fired since I knew the end was near. I even had an interview scheduled four hours after I was fired. That job offered me the position a few days later and I immediately accepted. My fear of unemployment showed itself, so I settled for a job a dreaded starting. I attempted to find the silver lining and wonder why God placed me there. I’d almost convinced myself it was where I was meant to be. Then a huge sign told me to get out as soon as possible. After two weeks, I quit. That fear of being unemployed came back again but this time I had a new attitude(sings in patti labelle).
The Real Work
I was going into this phase with a feeling of empowerment. I was going to find the right fit and stop this pattern of settling I often repeat. It took the help of my friends and family to feel comfortable with this new mindset. Had one of them been like “you’re mad, get a job!” I would have accepted the next offer. Instead, they empowered me to trust my instincts.
As I mentioned the idea of not being good enough floated around in my head for weeks. I went into every interview feeling like I needed to impress them. I left every interview feeling like I hadn’t. The negative self-talk needed to come to an end and the actual truth of my situation did it. More times than not I was getting calls from the jobs I’d applied for. These calls ended with an interview scheduled, and those interviews led to second interviews, which led to multiple job offers. There was no reason for me to believe I wasn’t good enough and only proof of how capable I am.
Time For Change
As a therapist, I often feel that I should be more confident than I am until I remember I’m also a human being. In order to get over my imposter syndrome, I often fake it till I make it. I’ve found even doing that takes strength. There is always time for self-sabotage and self-doubt but there is power in jumping over that hurdle. Now that I’ve made it to the end of this test, with a job some might call their “dream job”, I have seen myself grow. I’ve grown to be a little more fearless than the Cirrena Marie from three months ago.
There are two things that this experience has taught me that I hope to carry with me through the next challenge. Since I can’t always be my biggest fan I am empowered by the people around me. Who often believe in me more than I believe in myself. I give myself permission to trust my gut. I give myself permission to stop settling, it’s ok to say no especially if it doesn’t feel right.