A friend of mine has this saying: Fear is False Evidence Appearing Real. I’ve thought a lot about fear since quitting my job in the corporate world and falling to the world of running-my-own-life-and-livelihood. There’s the oh-my-god fear that says what the hell have you done running away from security. There’s the fear of being stupid in that you don’t understand what you’re doing, the fear of costing a lot of money and therefore not taking any steps at all, and then, oddly enough, the fear of being successful.
I’m having an open house to introduce the business to local HR and Facilities reps. This is a scary thing. I’ve already had 14 companies and people respond that they were going to come and view it. Yikes! 14! That’s a lot on the line. Yet, I’m scared of succeeding. Why? Well, letting people down comes first to mind.
I’ve always been about service – be it receiving or providing service. In receiving, I have high standards and I adore “grace” as a metaphor for how difficult situations should be handled. I want someone to care for me. I have had to learn how to back off from my expectations (which were usually unsaid) and learn to communicate with my service provider (whomever they may be.) I’ve learned that being loud and obnoxious (notice how noxious as in ugly fumes is part of that word?) doesn’t get me anything useful and makes me ugly.
I’ve learned as a service provider to be patient, to listen, and to not get really nasty when things get personal. I’ve learned not to take it all personally and to work hard at providing what is necessary with grace.
When I left customer support, I think I forgot that all those things I learned, all that knowledge, was in the things I packed out of the job. It didn’t stay in the building with the phone, the computer, my chair, and my name tag. It actually was inside of me. What an amazing concept! After working for 25+ years in a corporate environment, I learned that *I* am an asset in and of myself!
What I haven’t gotten though is not letting people down. I want to provide them with fantastic, primo experiences and I want it to be that way every time. Now, reality is often just a TV show and it really should be part of my thinking. It’s not always the way it is. Consciously, I know all of this logic about letting people down – you can’t please everyone, someone will be having a bad day – employee or client – and what happens with the flaky employee?? I worry that one bad experience will bring the whole mess tumbling down. Crazy. I know. It doesn’t mean that it doesn’t become False Evidence Appearing Real when you’re in the thick of your own brain.
Yet, I continue. What if I can’t deliver? What if what if what if…. AGH!
I think what I come back to is that… I’m in control. I control what days I work and what days I’m open. I don’t HAVE to do it all at once. Start small – work into it – and make it work slowly. It’s a new chant that I have. I’d like to do it right rather than do it fast. In the end, I think it will work best. Who knows? Certainly no one I know – this hasn’t been done before. And maybe it will work and maybe it all won’t. In the end, all I can do is follow my path and enjoy the journey.
And maybe, on the other side, I’ll learn that the best thing I get out of all of this is… me.
With caviar dreams,