A New Opportunity

When did I stop believing in myself?

I’ve been asking myself this question a lot lately. There’s a new opportunity for me at work- to apply, get interviewed (hopefully), and advance (fingers crossed)- but I keep doubting myself. When I take other people’s opinions of myself out of the scenario, I’m fine. I’m raring to go. I’m 110% thinking I CAN DO THIS. But when I look at myself through the lens of other people, my vision becomes completely skewed. I start to believe that people at work can only see me as what I have been- a competent volunteer coordinator. But nothing more. And my pioneering spirit takes a hit.

The real kicker is, no one has ever said anything negative to me about my job performance. Quite the contrary, actually. So why do I put this false negativity on myself? Who will believe in me if I can’t? How can I achieve my career goals if I won’t let go of the negative self-talk?

This new position within my agency is exactly what I was hoping to do when I moved to Seattle two years ago. I even turned down a higher paying position just like this at a different agency because I felt more pulled to the mission of the non-profit I currently work at. I had a gut feeling and, as I am wont to do, I went with it. Even though it was lower pay and work that I felt I could do very easily. Sometimes I’ve wondered if I took the easy way out. But I was new in town and wanted to have a job I was sure I could be successful at. And I have been.

I think.

I feel like an island though. Like my position is isolated with a bunch of bridges to other programs but mainly, I operate on my own. Everyone at the agency has had to work with me in some capacity and the work I do can positively or negatively effect their work. This is both good and bad. This new position would allow me to do what I used to do back in California- something I was very good at. But unfortunately, that former job also came with a lot of drama and frankly, I have what I would call PTSD from it. It’s a long and involved story but the short of it is: I was seemingly very well supported by the higher ups for years and then, in a heart beat, back stabbed by the Board of Directors and the Executive Director (who was also a close friend) while being scapegoated for serious issues within the agency that were not mine. It was painful to be betrayed like that. To believe that one thing was happening when something entirely different was happening. It felt like how I imagine being in politics feels like.

So when I think about applying for this new position within my agency, I freeze up. I start to think of how it was back then at the old job and how awful that experience was. I start to wonder if I was any good at all. I begin to imagine similar shit happening now and panic. And then I wonder if anyone at work can see me as more than I have been these past two years to them- pigeonholed in a job that is only using about 25% of my actual talent.

I know it is time for a change but can I muster up the belief in myself to go for it?

66 thoughts on “A New Opportunity

  1. You are the kind of woman who can do anything you set out to do. And I’m not just blowing sunshine up your ass. You totally have your shit together and you know how to make things happen. You are confident and talented and smart and if this job is a dream job for you, then you will get it. And you will deserve it. And hopefully a nice raise comes with it.

    I believe in you!

  2. I have so much to say on this… perhaps I will send an email this weekend. But in summary, go for it. You’ve said that you are doing a good job, you need the new challenge, and it is better to know that they are appreciating your talents.

  3. I always tell my friends this who are nervous about interviewing for a new job… just go for it; if you get the position, you can say NO if you’re still unsure about the move.

    (But I know you can do it!)

  4. You can do it, you must! You are talented, insightful, genuine and experienced. Things may have turned out badly at the other job, but this new one is an opportunity to create the exact experience you wish to have with this position. Past is past and we can’t change it, nor should we continue to be punished by it. Now go get your fantastic new job!

  5. not to make light of what happened in the past but here is my question: if you don’t try for this, how will you feel about yourself? i’m guessing not well. if you try and fail, my god, then you at least have the knowledge that you didn’t let fear get the best of you. fear is healthy, it can be a catalyst, but it can also be a huge obstacle if we let it be.

    i’ve done plenty of recruiting in the past and have helped friends tweak their resumes. just did it again for someone I met a few weeks ago. if you’d like me to take a look at yours, i’d be happy to. just let me know. i’m sure you have others you can ask for help but i thought i’d offer.


  6. GO FOR IT. Please don’t hesitate and don’t let your perception that others think of you negatively get to you. Take a chance. Take a leap. You really have nothing to lose. You are a smart, intelligent, sassy, warm hearted young lady. What more could they want?

  7. You *must* go for it, S! If you can, try to look at the fear and anxiety as a good thing – and then stop laughing at me. 😉

    Before a big job change for the Kris, I was panicked. Absolutely *panicked* – could I handle it? What if I failed them? My sister, the guru of all things employment, told me that no career move is a worthwhile one unless it makes you anxious. The comfortable is never the place to be for too, too long. I took the job and it was one of the best moves of my life. So seriously, YOU GO, GIRL! (Come on; I couldn’t resist.)

  8. Absolutely you can. Trust me, self-doubt can be crippling, I know. The doubts and fear may not go away, but I think you just need to push all that shit aside and go for it. GOOD LUCK!!!

  9. I do this too. Nobody in my office has ever said anything except wonderful things to me. I’m about to get promoted, my boss, my boss’s boss, and the head of the whole department have told me I’m great, I recently won an award for my work, and I get nothing but good feedback during formal reviews. And yet I am so quick to toss all that aside and convince myself that my boss’s boss secretly thinks I’m a bad writer and doesn’t want to tell me, or that my career is going nowhere. I wonder why we do this to ourselves.

  10. Ok…the doctor is in!

    I think it is a defense mechanism. You KNOW that you’re very good at what you do but you’re guard is always up because of past hurts. You’re afraid to trust people because you don’t to get hurt again so you keep everyone (personally and professionally) at arms length. Don’t let past ruin the good things or your life. Don’t let the past define who you are. Rise above it!

    Am I close? =D

  11. Events in our past do shape us, it’s true. Those footprints on our hearts people talk about– sometimes they leave a mark! BUT, I think you are up for a challenge. The air may be a little let out of your tires at the minute, but you absolutely have what it takes to get out there, and grab a job that will challenge you personally and professionally! You can do it!

    Personally, I think if you do not pursue this job opening, you will in the end leave where you are at for a job that offers more challenge to you. You want it– so give yourself credit for the guts and determination that you possess! You will feel good, for even having tried. It’s affirming.
    Just step forward and believe.

  12. Not that I WANT to sound like Stuart Smalley, but is words really do apply here. I say go for it because you’re good enough, you’re smart enough and doggone it, people like you. Go in there and knock ’em dead!

    And be lucky you get to use 25% of your talent where you are, it might not seem like much while you are there, but I rarely get to use even 5% unfortunately.

  13. Stop the negative self-talk! It serves you no purpose. You can do anything you want, if you follow your heart.

    “That’s just your ego trying to make sure it stays in charge. This is what your ego does. It keeps you feeling separate, keeps you with a sense of duality, tries to convince you that you’re flawed and broken and alone instead of whole…. Don’t listen to it.”

  14. I think now that you are settled after moving, you are able to concentrate on committing yourself to something bigger and bolder. My philosophy is: you have less than a 1% chance of having the last situation happen to you again. I say, you’ve lived it, survived it and will kick some ass if it ever tried to happen again.

    the end.

  15. One thing to consider is that situation happened and you moved on and learned from it. The new job does not have the same people nor environment. Sometimes you just have to force yourself to do it and once you do you will be so glad that you did.

    go girl go!

  16. Muster you must, I think, as you are clearly supremely qualified and it sounds like you would be happier in this new position. And also! you are not cemented even there, so if it turns out you are not a fan, you can always do something else, right?

    Our doubts are traitors,
    And make us lose the good we oft might win
    By fearing to attempt.
    -from Shakespeare’s “Measure for Measure” (1.4.87-9)

  17. I know it is difficult to forget past hurt but you have to keep reminding yourself that these are different people. Yes, it is possible that they could end up stabbing you in the back like your former employers. Then again, they might not.

    It sounds like you want the new opportunity. The only way to find out is to take the chance. It’s scary but I’m sure you’ll kick yourself later if you end up not trying. Best of luck!

  18. One tip… all lenses have caps. Put the caps back on the negative-view lenses and focus (pun totally intended) on the lens that brings you the 110% positivity rating. We all know you can do it, it’s time for you to BELIEVE IT!

  19. What if you try? It always helps me to think about what the worst that could possibly happen would be. Almost always it is not as bad as my fear is making me think it would be.

    Good luck! I know you can do whatever you set your mind to and I hope you know it soon too!

  20. Close your eyes and take the leap.
    You are strong and more than capable of anything you put your mind too.
    And know that all of us out here believe in you, so all that good karma is on your side.
    Good luck!!

  21. Take this in baby steps. First, get your resume updated and submit it. Feel good about just doing that. When they call you for an interview, deal with those issues then. And when they offer you the job, you can worry about the “what ifs” from the past. Change is good. You have been talking about wanting a new job for months.

  22. Well… either the drama at your old job was inherent to the position itself or it wasn’t. Do you think it is the sort of position that always brings up such issues or that the drama was due to that particular group of people? If the latter, give the new one your best shot. If the former, maybe reconsider what position you’re really aiming for.

    I remember when you made that choice between the jobs when you first moved to Seattle. You were so stressed out with finding a place to live and looking for work. I believe you made the right choice for that time, but now it’s time to move onwards and upwards.

    I have confidence in you (if not myself 😉

  23. This isn’t your old job, these are different people. It won’t turn out the same way if you go for the new position.
    You have been at this job for 2 years right? And in that time, did the person who had the position you’re applying for seem to enjoy it? Or was (s)he stressed and stuff? Look at their experience, note how you are different/better than that person and then decide what to do. But don’t listen to the self-doubt caused by other things. You have to be confident about how you are perfect for the position when you interview for it. You pretty much kick ass (how many other people could hold down two jobs, spend all this time with their nephew, help their mother move, and still have a good relationship with The Fella and not totally have a meltdown of epic proportions?)
    If you don’t do this for yourself now, when are you going to do it? Will you be happy in 3 months when you are still doing your current job utilizing 25% of your talent and abilities? And to be the reason you held yourself behind by not applying for the job you really want?
    I think we both know you won’t.
    Ok enough tough love. Hugs and fingers crossed!

  24. People see you as you make them see you. I hate to use the analogy, but if Mariah Carey can resurrect her career after a year of complete insanity and rise back to the A-list and win Grammys, I assure you, so can you. I think even dear Britney has a chance. Now those are two complete extremes, but it makes the point that we all have it in us to become better versions of ourselves. To reinvent ourselves. To take the pain and heartache we have gone through in the past and turn it into wisdom for our next endeavor. You are smart, you are detail oriented, you are compassionate, you are passionate. YOU CARE. YOU MATTER. You will do whatever you want to do if you make it happen. People will see you as strong and respect you as a leader if you present yourself as such. People will know you how you want them to know you, so long as you are authentic and do not hide behind your insecurity. Continue to wear your heart on your sleeve and soldier through with the sheer authenticity that has been the Sizzle I have loved and considered my best friend for eighteen years and you will be all that you can be. I know it. Without a shred of doubt, I know it. And I also know that I just ingeniously without even trying it called you a soldier and used the army motto all in one sentence. xoxo

  25. Sure it’s scary, but sometimes you have to just take the leap – I wish you all the good interview vibes in the world, you can do this Sizz!

  26. It would be worse to do nothing and then hate yourself for not taking action! You know you can do it. Just apply and freak out about it once its too late (my personal philosophy).

  27. I can’t say your name here, but if you can imagine me saying…

    X**** O****

    Don’t give up on yourself
    Deep down YOU DO know your worth
    Find that space, access it, breathe it
    It’s there


  28. I ended up in the job from hell prior to this one… I know it still haunts me when I apply now for new opportunities. (I also love the gang here.)

    I believe in Sizzle. Just go for it… if you don’t get it, you don’t get it. But they’ll know you aspire to other things and maybe keep you in mind for next time.

  29. 1) You’ll never know unless you try
    2) You’ll never be happy unless you try (because clearly you’re not happy now)
    3) Take no risk, receive no reward.

    Just do it, girl! I know you’ll do great! And if you don’t love it, well, it’s time to move on anyway, right?!

  30. What if this actually has nothing to do with beleiving in yourself and more to do with the past trauma and drama? I had a horrible work environment that made me doubt myself and when I moved on I learned it wasn’t me but them. I still have the scars from it but I try not to give them any credit. If this is a job you want then don’t give your past the credit AND don’t let it be about you. You already know you can do this job just apply for it.

  31. Go for it. Put on that Obama t-shirt and stand proud, and apply for the position. (well, maybe wear another t-shirt, knowing their policy)

  32. Could you maybe try for a few minutes every day to close your eyes and picture yourself just completely kicking ass in the position? Visualize your own success. Inside, you totally know you’re capable of it – it’s just a matter of doing the homework to shut off that doubtful inner voice. Daydreaming always helps me focus on the positive and work to manifest good things in my life.

    Good luck! Keep us posted!

  33. Go for it, Sizzle!!!! Apply, apply, apply. You got nothin’ to lose and you could regret not taking a chance on it. Go for it. You have all your loyal fans backin’ you up.

  34. I think your fears are legitimate, and I was going to say that I doubt myself too. But at least some of these reasons require some thought, that’s for sure.
    Also, though, the risk in going for it and possibly changing your mind later will be far easier to live with than not going for it at all. That’s just my opinion, of course, but in the end I think we might think the same way about these things.

  35. Go for it!

    Worse case scenario, you don’t get it but at least you tried. Best case scenario, you get it and have a chance to show all those backstabbers that you’re damn good at your job. And yourself, too. 🙂

  36. Something tells me you’ll feel worse if you don’t even try, esp. if you’re qualified to do the job and you’d probably like it. Your past troubles sound a lot like people that hesitate with new relationships because of past ones and the fear of repetition. If memory serves, I think you might have even blogged about that as well, so if you were able to get things going with The Fella, I think you already have that courage.

  37. Go for it Sizzle! You will shine. I can understand your concerns from the past…but this can be a great opportunity for you and a whole diff. experience, right?

  38. It’s scary, yes, but if it’s something that gets you excited and energized (you seem really interested in it!) then go with that gut feeling, not the other feelings that come in after you start analyzing it…you can do it!!

  39. Do it Sizzle, just do it. No more second guessing.
    If it is the job you want, apply for it-NOW :-).
    Get out of your head and all your self talk and
    be the GREAT woman you are.

  40. Go for it, sizz. While I don’t necessarily *know* you in the traditional sense, I can tell by reading your stuff that you’re smart, and strong, and funny, and you deserve more than to keep yourself pinned down under low self-expectations.

  41. Change is always scary — but the thing is? There are sinkers and swimmers, and you’re a swimmer. You’d be great at the job, because you have no other choice. Rock it, sista.

    If it makes you feel any better, I was terrified inside to take my new job. But haven’t regretted it for even one second.

  42. Two quotes from wise sources…

    “What we think, we become.” ~Buddha

    “You can do it!” ~Waterboy
    (the Movie)

    EVERYONE doubts themselves, some just show it less than others. Keep your head up and go for it!

  43. Just remember what Helen Reddy sang…

    “I am woman hear me roar!”

    Keep thinking that over and over and over… it’ll boost anyone’s confidence level 🙂

  44. I am in a very similar work/PTSD situation. So much of what you said rang true. That being said, you can work through this. Sometimes I have to force myself to block out the doubter (uh, ME) and move ahead. All the best.

  45. So, we need to give you an injection of sorts then. Yes Sizzle, you can do this, what happened in the past, belongs in the past … take the chance, go with your gut and above all, trust yourself …!

    Have a stunning day

  46. I tend to always lean towards the easy option because I prefer to be comfortable. If you’re a person who likes to be challanged then I think you’ll inevitably end up in the not-so-easy option. I know everyone else will say have faith and take the plunge, but I’m a wimp and quite honestly I know I wouldn’t do it. But whenever I’ve done the hard thing and made the leap I’ve always known when to do it. I believe you’ll know what to do and when to do it 🙂

  47. You CAN do it. You CAN do it. I know how hard it is, especially when you are fighting yourself… and believe me, I’ve been exactly where you are with the self-doubt. I’ve beaten myself up plenty for all the same reasons. You CAN do it, tho’… I know you can. You are not the same woman you were then… you have the support of so many people and an inner courage that gets stronger every day. Go for it, hun.

  48. I had a mid year performance review with my boss and he told me that I needed to have more confidence in myself and my work. It’s not even a case of having to be perfect, you just have to act like it. I honestly think that having confidence in yourself is just a habit. Your self doubting is a habit. Make a conscious effort to be confident and it will eventually become a habit. You can get that job!

  49. I think you’ll do wonderfully – but I DO understand the hesitation. But remember – we are always harder on ourselves than anyone else. I’m sure everyone at your work sees you as the fantastic person you are!

  50. Pingback: Pep Talk « Sizzle Says

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