Another Post of Things I’ve Learned

The past two months have been full of growth. I’ve learned so much of my potential and what can hinder it. Where my confidence is thwarted and insecurities overpower.

I’ve learned about what’s held me down, refreshed to find the widespread normality of it, and that *thank God*, I’m not the only one.

Things I’ve learned about myself:

I can take on anything and everything.

I know that sounds so perfect and positive, but it’s more a weakness than a strength. The result is finding myself full of anxiety because of all the self-assigned missions and purposes I place on myself. I’ve officially changed my college degree fewer times than I’ve changed my own mind about what I want to do with my life. My Enneagram 9 tendencies have me interested in several avenues, and it can be a juggling act for my mental health. On the upside, at least I know I won’t settle for committing my life to nothing. Which brings me to my next enlightenment…

I get anxious with boredom.

This one sounds more negative when it’s actually proved to be positive (with some discipline). It’s the kind of anxiety that won’t allow me to ever stick to one project or one mission. I’ve learned to embrace how beautiful this is, instead of battling myself to shape into the mold of the rest of the world. Imagine having multifaceted passions and purposes in a world where it seems everyone else does stick to one mission their whole life and finds a lot of success in that lane. I’ve accepted that my lane just happens to branch off into multiple ones, sometimes with a new curve, loop, or hill that you didn’t remember being there last time. Whatever it is I land my career in, I know it will need to be one that allows nuance and progression. I know there’s a need out there for people like me.

I fear being different, and at the height of that fear is suffocation of any self-confidence.

Read that again, because I think at the heart of it, is all of us. Think about it, the areas we most lack self-confidence, is one way or another based on fear of what others think of us.

I’ve had to put myself out there in new environments after moving to a new state 4 months ago. It’s been surprising how different everyone is out here on the southeast coast as opposed to the southwest desert.

Accents are thick, slang is drastically different, culture customs even seem like a foreign country at times. In light of all that plus wanting to make friends and prove myself, I’ve struggled to feel like myself. As though I was socially set-back in my middle school days, full of anxiety to interact with anyone, let alone show my true, weird, bubbly self. My introverted nature was to shell-up and draw as little attention to myself as possible. So much so that I went to the extent of minimizing myself. If you’re an introvert like me, and working in an extrovert’s world, this can be so degrading when caught-up in toxic work environments.

I recently listened to Brene Brown’s Dare to Lead Podcast episode about the rise of toxic work environments and how it’s leading the “Great Resignation” of our generation. I plan to go more in depth about my thoughts on this topic and the scientific findings in her podcast on a separate blog post because there was so much there to expound on. But I will say I feel so much more normal. Studies show that such a rise in people feeling excluded and disrespected in the workplace has significantly increased.

Having worked in customer service for 10 years now, I knew it couldn’t just be me watching the workplace turn colder and colder. Having these insights now, I’m inspired to continue on, asking myself daily, “What will make my surrounding environments a better place today?” Full of compassion and smiles, regardless of the stink-eyes I might receive as a result.

Note: I’ve since parted from these most toxic workplaces I’m referring to. Thankfully I’ve found a workplace home that is good to me while I’m working my way up in the world. Stay tuned.

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