It's been just about a year since I walked out of the worst job EVER and started the next chapter of my professional life.
What a year it's been.
Quitting that job was still the best decision I've ever made on a professional level. And yet I'm still haunted by what happened to me while I worked there. As much as I have forced myself to move forward and move on....it's sometimes easier said than done.
When I worked for The Bully and her minions I often felt worthless, stupid, and like everything I did in my job was wrong. The green trolls don't ever tell you that you're doing a good job or that your hard work is appreciated. Instead they thrive on telling you how terrible you are, how much you're unliked and how you are a failure.
Trust me when I say working in conditions like that really makes you question your abilities, and your self-confidence wavers. A lot.
Fast-forward to this spring. I started working at a job that is OK and it's making me a little bit of money. So that's always good.
A few weeks ago I wrote something that in my mind was just "meh"...so the response it garnered from my "supervisor" and the managing editor was a bit surprising. The managing editor emailed to tell me that she didn't know how she survived with me and said the item I wrote was the best example she has seen. Ever. They're even going to use it as an example of how that particular job should always be done.
As much as I wanted to just run with that compliment, I questioned it. I wondered why they were acting this way. Why were they heaping praise on me? I didn't do anything that great. It was "just" words on the screen. I wasn't anything special.
As I obsessed over it that night, I realized that if someone in an authority role bullies you enough and makes you feel like you're worthless enough times, you really do start to believe it. I had spent so many months taking abuse from The Bully and her minions that I started to believe what she said.
Because of that, I have spent that last year questioning my own abilities and doubting my skills. I've wondered why certain organizations would want ME at their events and I've questioned why I'm still blogging. I haven't been blogging as much because I was lacking drive and motivation. I didn't have it in me to write.
And then last week a couple things happened that made me realize that I really AM good at what I do. All it took was a nice compliment from a trusted friend, being told that I'm appreciated for what I do, and having an interviewer tell me that the 25 minutes we spent talking on the phone had made his week. Those things all mixed together made me stop. And think. And realize that the person holding me back was ME.
I was allowing all those nagging, hurtful words from a year ago still haunt me and keep me from being a the best writer, blogger, editor, and "social media mom" that I could be. I was allowing my fear of failure keep me from doing things that the "old me" wouldn't think twice about doing. I was allowing those negative thoughts to take up residence in my head. I was allowing bullies to win.
And that ends today.
As I head into a final interview for a potential new job - the prospect of which both excites me and terrifies me - I have to remind myself that it's OK to feel uncertain and unsure of the road ahead. I don't know if this potential new job is "The One"...but who cares. I see it as a potential adventure and one that I'm willing to start if they want me.
I need to try something new..without that little voice in my head telling me I'm not good enough or smart enough. Because I know that voice is wrong.
And really, what's the worse that could happen?
I could fail.
The very worst thing is I could really suck at this job.
But so what?
If I fail, then I try something else and keep trying until I succeed.
You never know until you try.