Friday, April 17, 2009

Worried over nothing

Statistics show that most of the things we worry about never happen. I've known that for a long time but still fail many times to act upon that knowledge. Yesterday I learned a few lessons all over again. I sure hope I'll remember it for next time but it's one of those things that doesn't come easy for me.

One of the most important core values I have is a standard of excellence and personal work ethic. As I've gotten my feet wet in my new [additional secular] job, I've had some stressful moments of learning new software, company protocol and procedures, and all kinds of other stuff. I'm the type of person who always wants to do something not only well but uncommonly well and as my resume states, "Leading by example, I consistently demonstrate the ability to take on new challenges and achieve objected outcomes on time, every time." Nothing is more important to me than that, with the exception of integrity.

The past few days my boss [at secular job] has been pressing to talk to me. That's not always easy as I work remotely from church and home. We've been playing phone tag as both of our schedules have been crazy. She kept persisting and finally set up a formal meeting since we kept missing each other and so it was on for 4 pm yesterday. I was dreading it. Being that I set a high standard for myself and I could see my shortcomings, I was sure I needed to be corrected and I had visions of the meeting being really bad.

My husband said that was crazy. He said, "there's no way that meeting is going to be bad. You have a work ethic like nobody I've ever seen, and it doesn't matter what setting you are in, you're a producer."

I still doubted. Because my expectations of myself are high and if I don't meet what I expect I imagine I don't meet what someone else expects. My fearful thoughts persisted despite achieving my goals last week. Management decided that they were going to do a 24 hour blitz and any coach who engaged clients during that period of time would get a Starbucks gift card for each one. I went after every client like crazy. Not because I wanted the Starbucks cards (although I'm definitely a fan) but more importantly to achieve objectives. At the end of the 24 hours, all of mine were engaged! (Starbucks, here I come!) A few days ago, management told me I was the only one who engaged every client assigned. So why the anxiety? Well, after coming on board, some of the clients subsequently backed off and became inactive. Being new, I didn't realize this is completely normal and not necessarily my fault at all. It happens to the best of 'em. It's inevitable in a few cases , but I was plagued with thoughts of, "what could I have done to prevent this or create a different outcome?" Nagging thoughts persisted..."maybe they don't think I'm doing a good enough job."

Four o'clock came and I took a deep breath and faced the music. Far from being a come to Jesus meeting where I was told all I was doing wrong, it was a meeting where she wanted to take time to talk about everything I'm doing right. She was concerned about me and wanted to (in her words) "reach out to me and find out how I'm feeling about things". She wanted my thoughts about what I'm enjoying about the job, as well as what I may need help or advice with. She wanted to know how I'm balancing everything in my life. (She knows how much I have on my plate and is totally supportive.) She also wanted to tell me what a good job I did on some specifics of coaching my latest client. Then she recommended a book that would really inspire me on the subject and...that was it. This was the pressing reason for the meeting.

Can you believe I was so flippin' worked up over all this? I was sweating just waiting for the bomb to drop. The sad thing is, I really need to be delivered of this kind of thinking so I don't get worked up over it again because truth be told everytime I hear, "I'll need to meet with you asap" my first thought is always, "what did I do wrong?" instead of "what did I do right?"

Does anyone but me ever struggle with these kinds of thoughts to this degree?

11 comments:

Pastor Lisa said...

Girl I am up late tonight or this morning if you will because I worked myself into a fit over a presentation for class. Can you believe it? So no, you are not alone. You have a sister in Houston who over thinks as well.

In my business ethics class we're learning to focus on only what is asked of you. Leave out all the what if scenarios. Just on what was asked.

Well if I apply that to life, that's going to free up a lot of mental space and I'll be getting quality sleep from here on out.

Love you.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I've had these kind of thoughts and still struggle...to the point of tears and nausea. Sometimes we are harder on ourselves than the world. In myself, I believe it is an inner strive for perfection. I set unobtainable goals and then fret because I can not accomplish my "list" in a 24 hr. period. I've prayed for God to keep my eyes on His desires and not my own. To go easy on myself and pamper from time to time. Deanna, we want to do our best, to be excellent in all we do...but what good are we burnned up and burned out for God. Hey, I'll pray for you and maybe you could do the same for me! ;-)
You are special in His sight!
Ruth, PA

Michele said...

You are not alone in these thoughts!

Leanne said...

All the time! Every single time my pastor says, "let's get together and touch base sometime today," my mind starts racing and wondering which parent complained about me, or if I'm going to get chastised for calling in sick last month, or being 5 minutes late to Saturday night prayer...on and on it goes...and it's NEVER that! First of all, my pastor is SO not one of those kinds of bosses. Second of all, the few complaints he's gotten about me in the last three years were so ridiculous, he blew them off and told them in a nice, tactful, pastorly way, "You're full of it." And usually the meetings really ARE just to touch base - we're all so busy around here, we rarely get time to connect!!

It comes with the Type A territory, I guess...

DaNella Auten said...

Yep... But I try not to. I have to remind myself I can only do my best, and if I truely do my best, God will meet me there.

Toots said...

Yes, that is one of the things I struggle with as well. I dread when someone says then need to speak with me.

Tara Sloan said...

As a fellow work from home colleague what you described is something I deal with too. I find myself working probably twice as hard as my in house colleagues and I too worry and stress over upcoming meetings by scrutinizing every one of my tasks. I guess I want to be a woman of integrity as well as prove that I am a valuable employee no matter where I am working from. For me, it is hard not getting that "live" face to face feedback on a daily basis like I used to. It has however, made me as a leader and "boss" more "in tune" to those I work with or who work for me in ALL situations.

I am so proud of you D... what you are doing is making an impact on people nationally!

Deanna Shrodes said...

Thanks for the feedback everybody. Glad to know i'm not alone that my heart starts pounding when I get a request for a meeting.

Tara, thanks for your words...I told my boss yesterday one reason this job comes easy to me is that I really believe in what I'm doing, and in our company's core values and product and honestly I couldn't do this for 2 seconds if that weren't the case. I'm convinced in my heart the whole world needs to be exposed to what we offer, and my boss told me yesterday (can't reveal the details) however it looks like the direction of our company is going to go from being exclusively a corporate product to hopefully an individual product made available to the general public, and indication was yesterday that a door is open for me to help them in the process of making that possible!! I would do some projects beyond what I am doing now. Pretty amazing...I am not even fully "there" with what I'm currently doing, in fact I'm still in the beginning stages and learning, but I can already see greater things that are possible for both them...and me!

With God and hard work, anything is possible...

Melissa said...

Being a recipient of what you are doing now, we can honestly say going public for the company would be a great move and would benefit SO many people. It's amazing! Again THANK YOU!

BTW, I hate when people call or say hey I need to talk with you and give me no idea as to what it is. Makes me very nervous as well.

Deanna Shrodes said...

You are most welcome. Working on your project gave me confidence that I can do this, and I shared your story with my boss yesterday. :-)

Sharon said...

Hey Deanna,

I struggle with those thoughts ALL THE TIME!! These thoughts as well as other things KEEP me grounded in God's word! Otherwise... Thanks for sharing!

Much love,
Shari