Thursday, July 19, 2012

Stop, Look, and Listen

One thing I'm really good at is being loyal- loyal to friends, loyal to coworkers, loyal to a job, loyal to a customer. One thing I'm really bad at is being loyal to myself. I often put my loyalty to others before my loyalty to my own needs and desires. One example: I stayed at my old job for way longer than I should have because I felt as if my presence was needed. I led myself to believe that I occupied a role that no one else could fill. People depended on me; the company depended on me. The problem was, I no longer depended on my own happiness. I became so wrapped up in making others happy and doing what I was told that I neglected myself. While I've gotten better at this, I still struggle. 
I received a phone call yesterday about a potential opportunity for my career. Immediately my head started whirling in various directions- what if I get another job? Will I like the job? What will my current coworkers think if I leave? Will my boss hate me? Is this the right decision for me? Now, this was all before I even had an interview. I had to remind myself to breathe, resist the desire to say no, and continue to listen. We all heard the phrase "Stop, Look, and Listen" when we were young before we could cross the street safely. Well recently I've had to revert to my five year old self and remember those words. Just breathe. I have the tendency to get ahead of myself, weighing the pros and cons of a decision before I even get the chance to find out whether I will have the opportunity to weigh them. My mind immediately floods with questions and I lose sleep worrying over what will happen. I really do need to take a chill pill. 
I'm reminded of my favorite Spanish phrase "Que sera, sera" (What will be, will be). There's no use worrying and stressing over things that may or may not occur. One major lesson that I have learned when being presented with potentially new and scary opportunities is to relax. Okay, so I may still be freaking out internally, but I have calmed myself to the point where I can ask informed questions and figure out whether the opportunity is worth exploring further. Sure, maybe the new position isn't in my field, but it's a step up with better money and better hours. Is this what I really want? I'm not sure, but I have the opportunity to figure it out and learn more. Just because you receive a tip or a call doesn't mean you are hired. Just because you go to an interview doesn't mean you are obligated to take the position. Just because you weigh some options doesn't mean you necessarily have to embrace change. These are all the things I remind myself as I am hyperventilating due to something new and different coming along. After all, wasn't it change I was searching for? Who am I to know in what form it will present itself? 
So I guess what I'm saying is allow opportunities to play out. Explore your options, and resist the urge to say no right off the bat because having the courage to learn more might actually lead to wonderful things.

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