Perseverance in the face of Adversity- A Story
the best way to deal with that knot is to undercut it by acting against it, disproving its predictions over and over.
does it get easier over time, after doing it over and over?
1) little by little
2) the high that you get when you do something you’re afraid of and it turns out okay and you survive is sooo worth the fear.
oh man it’s such a good high
you’ve got me having an existential quandary/crisis in starbucks, congratulations tongue emoticon
when did you figure this all out?
like the past week
I’m not very good at it yet.
I’m working on it and I want to be better!
I made a terrible mistake at my new job. I used an expensive tool at work totally wrong, almost broke it and the thing I was working on.
The sculpture team leader (my immediate boss) saw me do it and yelled at me.
I apologized quickly, and spent the rest of the day reeeeeeeling with sadness and shame and fear.
I was so afraid I’d get fired.
I was so afraid I ruined the thing
I went behind the building and cried for all of the break time.
frown emoticon I’m sorry
it’s ok. It’s true it was hard.
but it was such a good learning experience.
I knew I was going to stay for the rest of the day, because I felt that was the mature thing to do
It sucked, but I breathed deep.
but when I got home, the negative thoughts were just revolving in my head around and around.
I thought that if I went again, my boss would yell at me or make fun of me or just hate me, that I’d get fired, that everyone would have heard about it
so my first thought was, well, I’ll just never go back ever again.
I was just SO SCARED>
like pukingly afraid of going back.
I realllllly didn’t want to at all. My heart was beating, I felt nauseous, all the physical signs your body gives you when it’s trying to tell you not to do something.
that sounds terrifying and awful and how did you get over that feeling?
the first thing I did was thing about it logically. I didn’t do this alone. I talked about it with friends.
who pointed out: well, you don’t know if you ruined the thing? and it’s true, I didn’t. I had just assumed I had.
I had also assumed I’d get fired. That was also not a given.
I’d also assumed my coworkers and especially my team leader would hate me and think I was stupid and make fun of me. Another huge assumption.
Of course, thinking all of that *didn’t* get rid of the physical feelings of fear.
but it *did* allow me to see that going back that morning was the right course of action.
I did like the job, and it’s great money, and I didn’t want to have to find a new one (although goodness, my brain kept trying to come up with all these ploys to get me to forget that stuff so I could just not go in–it was hard to remember the counterargument while I was so scared)
from my house to work that morning, it was just DBT the whole way.
breathing and meditation and listening to relaxing music was one helpful thing.
also, putting myself into action. It felt much worse when I was just sitting, waiting to go in, rather than when my feet were moving me on the way to work.
like sitting on the edge of a diving board when you’re too scared to jump–hesitation actually intensifies fear.
Also, in my head, I just broke the process of getting there into little steps. I would ask myself, am I willing to walk down the stairs of my house? That’s not scary right? Yes. Then I’d get that much further.
when I finally got there
the team leader was there.
I had figured out that I’d apologize for what I did professionally and gage her response.
If she was pissy or mean, I’d quit.
Because, I reasoned, I wouldn’t want to work with someone who acted that was.
If she was nice and smiley, well, then I’d have my job.
If she was ambivalent, I’d stay at the job, but maybe think about whether I wanted it.
Anyway, so I went up to her
and she smiled at me
patted my arm and said everything was fine.
I was in shock!
I hadn’t ruined the piece
I wasn’t fired
She wasn’t mad
and no one else knew about it
Literally EVERYTHING I was afraid of was false
had turned out not to be true
I felt so good. I still feel good. I managed to stay at that job through that. And it made me so much more comfortable there, both with her and with everyone, because I know it’s not scary to ask a question or make a mistake, and that makes it way easier to learn something there.
thanks for reading : ) I was really proud and it was a special experience I can’t share with many people, because not many would get it.
that just sounds like the most incredible act of strength and perseverance
and I’m really proud of you
because I know exactly how hard that was
grin emoticon grin emoticon grin emoticon grin emoticon
thank you so much
it boosted my confidence by a million times. that night I went home and told Jim I felt like I might not be that bad or horrible or gross of a person after all, that in fact I thought I could be pretty cool if I kept working on the stuff I was doing. He said, “Holy shit, I think that’s the most positive thing I’ve ever heard you say about yourself.”
heart emoticon heart emoticon heart emoticon heart emoticon
YES YES YES YES YES
we’re doing it Andrew
we can beat these things
it’s so hard
but we can
it’s slow, but we can do it
christ jesus, I’m crying in this starbucks andI’m just so happy
tears of joy?
yeah, I guess they are
thanks for letting me tell that to you. It really made me feel good to tell you, and to have you respond so positively and exuberantly.
grin emoticon how could I not.
I’m going to leave this starbucks before they kick me out.
well, good night : )
sleep well and dream deep, I’m so proud of you
: D thanks.
you’re gonna do the thing you’re afraid of.
break it down into steps, do dbt and cbt, breathe deep, meditate, think about it rationally, and most of all, if given the choice between ruminating and trying something out, go for it and try it.
I’m sorry my advice wasn’t sympathetic from the getgo. I totally get how scared you must feel.