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?