December 10, 2010

Torture and self-doubt. Surely, I'm not the only one?

“Action speaks louder than words but not nearly as often”  --Mark Twain
Is it just me that seems to have a problem speaking up about certain things?

I often think, particularly in a work environment, that how well I do my job should speak for itself.  And that, when opportunities arise, that my work ethic (which is AWESOME, if I do say so myself) should stand alone.

This is, unfortunately, never the case.  When opportunities arise – I have to fight my natural inclination to sit back and see what happens.  I have to force myself to speak on my own behalf.

In the time leading up to me actually saying something – I will worry myself sick.  This has, at least so far in my life, been an exercise in futility as usually, my outstanding (if I do say so myself) work ethic coupled with my speaking up works in my favor; far better than sitting back to see what happens ever does.

I mentioned some time back that my favorite colleague would be retiring this month.  What is to become of her position has been up in the air and cause for MUCH speculation (some of the rumors actually had me laughing out loud - they were that far fetched).

While technically not a promotion – it really kind of is – at least in perception.  Which, when posted on your resume looks pretty darn good – even if not reflected in the paycheck.

Considering that I have seniority and that fabulous work ethic – I assumed that I would be asked to fill her shoes.  And I was – kind of.  But never directly.  (Yeah – that’s the way the Big Guy works sometimes)

And then, things kind of spiraled into crazy-land (which seems to be the norm around here - because really?  What is the point of actually saying what you mean?)

Finally, I spoke up.  Kind of.  

I ended up emailing the Big Guy – only because unexpectedly he wasn’t here today and I knew I had to get this topic out in the open before I take off next Wednesday for the rest of the year (and yeah, I breathed a sigh of relief - because I'm a chicken and it's easier to email than go face to face sometimes). 

I mean – this really needs to be resolved ASAP - otherwise who knows what kind of insanity I will return to on the 3rd?

To say I worked myself into a state before hitting the send button is an understatement of epic proportions.  But, I finally screwed up my courage and hit send on the email.

To my utter relief (and to be honest – surprise) he emailed me back immediately saying that we will talk on Monday and that he was very open to my suggestion.

Now?  Now, I can breathe.  At least until Monday.

My question is this - why do I make it so hard on myself?  It really shouldn't be that hard to say, "Hey, this is what I think should happen and here is why" and then whatever happens, happens.  But I will have said my piece.

Am I the only one who puts myself through this kind of torture and self-doubt?

Upon reflection though - I realize I do this about EVERYTHING.  Even this blog.  Do you know how long I debated with myself about posting this?  *sigh*  One of these days, I might grow up.  But I doubt it.


  1. I am the same way!! I guess some people just worry more than others. My husband doesn't though which is odd because I am more out going than he is. You would think outgoing would = brave but it doesn't. I even worry when I make comments!

  2. Well, you did it. You spoke up, it was right, you posted this, it was also right. And no, you are definitely not the only one! Many of us do it. I hope it all turns out for the best... crossing my fingers.

  3. Don't you find though that life is so less exhausting when the truth is told? I'm not a veteran "speak you mind" person, but since I have begun to do so, I find life is so much easier, and there is less drama. Good for you, I give you credit Gigi, especially if it was not an easy thing for you to do.

  4. OMG torture and self-doubt are like my identity! I waffle on every single decision I make. I wonder if what I'm doing is the right thing or if it's my own selfish motivation. I ask myself if its good for the kids or just good for me. I wonder if I should stand up for myself or instead sit back and allow harmony to exist.

    I'm so the wrong person to ask! LOL

  5. I think we all may do this to an extent. Freak ourselves out, convinced it will all go terribly wrong. I know sometimes it's hard to tell people how great you are, but no one else is likely to do it for you! I'm keeping all available appendages crossed for you on Monday that you get what you want and need. :)

  6. I can be this way as well. I was raised to NOT toot my own horn (smacks of bragging, you know, and we're not Bragging People). I always think that my work should speak for itself, but it wouldn't hurt to be able to promote myself, too, would it?

    :-) Both of us need to speak up.


  7. I think your opinion counts. Your boas thinks your opinion counts. It seems like you are the only one hesitant about your opinion.

    Methinks you speak from experience and common sense....and I suspect that is more respected than you think.

  8. It's always nerve-wracking to put yourself out there. But now, you can hold your head high and know you said your piece.

  9. Oh, so NOT the only one. I've perfected this. My husband used to kid me that I couldn't even make up my mind where to sit when we would go somewhere.. and truth be told - we have "changed seats" more times than any one else on the planet...

    I really like what Jerry said. You have experience, you do a good job, and you need to share your knowledge and experience with the people who can actually ACT on that information to make a better workplace.

    Your torture probably results in you saying exactly what you want to say, as you probably rewrite and rethink it 75 times before you get it "out there". But, practice makes perfect, OR you just end up with vagueries that no one can follow or figure out what topic you're actually talking about because you leave out the "meat" and get all the "nuances" in there... maybe like this comment. ;-)

  10. Breathing a sigh of relief with you. I too am a worrier. Yeah you for speaking up via e-mail. Life is too short to worry.

  11. I'm glad you said something. So many times I don't because I hate confrontation.

  12. Wow! I'm so glad you posted this, sweetie. I hope you never feel that we won't listen and understand...'cause you know we WILL.

    It's so easy for hindsight to be 20/20. You know this. It's not easy to screw up the courage to stand up and state (what we know is) the obvious.

    I'm so glad you did! So? How did it go??

  13. Hello,
    I am very new to the online world, so forgive me if I make errors. Self confidence is all you are lacking, you have self belief because you know you can do the job, but not the confidence to come right out with it immediately. Now you've pressed the button you've taken the first step. Stride in on Monday, wearing an outfit that makes you feel tall and good about yourself, and you will get exactly what you want. Very good luck and best wishes

  14. And.....? I really hope it was a good meeting. X

  15. just blog hopping and fell upon your blog. Im really enjoying the read and i had to comment on this one! this happens to me too often! in my head im screaming out what i should just say with my own words but you really have to push it out of yourself! but good for you for speaking up!