It’s no secret that I’ve held myself back a lot, when it comes to my job, because I’m just too damn scared to push myself out of my comfort zone. Every now and then, just occasionally, I do though, and it usually results in a really great outcome.
A few weeks ago, I was part of a really great project with some really great people. I even had the worst possible thing happen ( a show stop! ) and guess what? I dealt with it, we sorted it and we nailed it. So if I’m good at a job I love, and there are more opportunities out there, why do I not do more? Well …
I’ve had my confidence knocked over the years by bad bosses, bad job markets and just plain old bad luck so *confession time* I have a bit of a rule which, as a freelancer, is a pretty shitty rule to have. I only apply for or take jobs that have a level of comfort about them., That can mean a venue I know, a play I know, a cast I know or members of a company that I know. I’m lucky that I live a major city with a vibrant scene and everyone knows pretty much everyone else but it can still seem like an insurmountable task to push myself forward for things, even if, on paper, it would be perfect for me, and I for it.*
I didn’t train to do my job and there will always be things I don’t know or don’t have experience in but many years ago that didn’t bother me. I’d only just discovered that my job even exists and I’d already decided that I wanted to give it a go. I had amazing colleagues who were supportive and helpful and dragged me through those early days when I really had no idea what I was doing. Thirteen years later and I now realise it was the career I should have been following from the age of sixteen. It’s what comes most naturally to me. It’s what all my character traits merge together to become. For want a less dramatic phase, it’s what I was born to do.
I now have a fair amount of experience, but my self belief has been bashed and I’m stuck in a day job that I don’t hate but which offers no progression and very little job satisfaction. I know that there’s work out there and on good days I know that I could do it but on those not so good days, and the mercifully rare really bad days, I doubt my ability to even do my day job well, let alone my career job.
I know it’s all down to confidence but I’m so afraid I’m going to get found out for being a fraud ( imposter syndrome, anyone?) that I just don’t push myself, anymore.
Self help books are mostly trash, life-coaching is expensive and also mostly trash. I just need to give myself a good kick up the butt, but that’s the hardest thing isn’t it? knowing that you’re the only person who can make this stuff happen. You can have all the support and love in the world but being your own cheerleader is the only way to push through the doubts.
My life isn’t terrible and I am grateful for the work that I have but how much longer can I keep pushing down this nagging feeling that I could be doing more? I don’t have any answers, so for now I’ll just keep going to work, and sit here waiting for someone to offer me a fantastic piece of work, with a load of people I know, without having to leave the comfort of my own living room. FFS.
*Do I at least get any credit for using this fabulous vintage X-Files image?