Two weeks ago I made an important decision. I decided to give notice to my job. Without going into the details I will say it was difficult choice, but something I had to do. I left my job for professional and personal reasons.
Leaving my job wasn’t an easy choice. For weeks I reviewed, debated and discussed reasons for leaving and staying. In the end leaving won. Some people have been surprised by my decision, but none of my close friends or family are. They have listened to me for months talk about issues I have dealt with.
Now that I’ve made the choice to leave my job I must deal with the after effects. Instead of feeling confident I feel insecure. I keep thinking about conversations that led up to me leaving wishing I could have handled them better. Although I know my decision to leave was the best one for me I still feel insecure about it.
Insecurity is something I have dealt with on and off for years and now I am dealing with it again. There is no cure to being insecure only an acceptance that it exists. Everyone feels doubtful and insecure at times. I think it’s normal. It’s also normal to leave a situation and analyze your self-worth. I guess that’s what I am going through now. I am wondering what my work value is and how to put it to good use.
Therese J. Borchard has a list of “suggestions on what to do if you are feeling insecure”. I recently reviewed her suggestions and found them to be very helpful.
1. Consider it beautiful
Being insecure is never a beautiful thing in my mind. When I am doubtful I look and sound my worst. But what this means is when you feel insecure it should be treated as a gift. When I feel insecure I self evaluate and look for ways to make improvements. I do a search to see what things I need to work on in order to feel more secure. For me feeling under-educated is something I feel insecure about. I know I need more college work completed to qualify for the type of work I would like to do. With extra education completed I will feel more confident. My insecurity about my education motivates me to go back to school.
2. Read your self-esteem file.
A self-esteem file is a listing of things that make you special and unique. It is talents or gifts that people admire about you. It could be memories of a conversation with a friend who was grateful for your sense or humor or email from a colleague who appreciated work you helped them with. One of my self-esteem files is card from my former staff filled with notes of appreciation. Each time I read through the notes I am reminded how much my work as a supervisor was valued and that I was good at something.
3. Avoid people you feel insecure around.
This is a hard suggestion to follow especially if you want to be known as a nice person. Avoiding may seem like you are not dealing directly with the situation, but really what you are doing is postponing dealing with someone until you feel more confident. Some people are not understanding when you feel insecure. It makes no sense to be around those people because you only end up feeling worse.
4. Surround yourself with supportive people,
On my last day of work I decided to not go directly home and sit in my house alone. I went to the workplace of a good friend who I knew was supportive of my decision and would have a friendly smile to greet me. The people who know and love me are supportive of me even when I express my insecurities. They trust my choice because they know me well enough to know I don’t make rash decisions. I have a list of people I call, text or visit to help me through my insecure times. It makes a huge difference knowing people are supporting me.
5. Know that it’s invisible.
When I express my insecurity people seem confused. I always think my self-doubt is obvious like a sign worn around my neck. But the truth is being insecure isn’t always visible. The thoughts we have in our head are not heard or seen by anyone other than ourselves. No one knows what goes on inside unless we share it with them. Most people are feeling too insecure themselves to notice how insecure you are.
After only a few days from leaving my job I am starting to feel better. My job was a tremendous learning opportunity and a great way to transition back into the workforce after such a long absence. I have accepted feeling insecure for now as I work toward a new path. I am enrolled in school and looking for a new job. I know I won’t feel insecure forever. I am moving forward.