I have been working at my current place of employment for over fifteen years. I have had a variety of positions but I have been in my current position for a little over three years now.
When I first started my current position I was basically just thrust into my job duties and not really given any cohesive training, as my coworkers were in the middle of implementing a large project. I was handed a bunch of training guides and expected to figure everything out. This was a little difficult for me, because it was all very new and different and my job is very multifaceted. I had to train myself to do so much.
Part of my job is to train new associates. I have done this job duty for a long time and am comfortable with it, but one thing I had not done was to train nurses. I have trained office managers, office staff, CNAs, but never a nurse. I have always felt scared to try, overwhelmed by the amount of information I would need to pass on, and unsure of my knowledge and ability to do it correctly. I have somewhat avoided doing it, always waiting for someone else to volunteer to do it first. I don’t know why, but it has always freaked me out. Perhaps part of my hesitation was that I felt like if I tried to train a nurse the curtain would be pulled back and people would see that the great Wizard of Oz was really just a weird little guy talking into a microphone. People would see that I didn’t know as much as they think I do, as much as I claim to.
Fast forward to the present. One of my coworkers called in sick and had sent a text message asking if someone would either reschedule a training session she had set up for a nurse or train the nurse. My other two coworkers were leaving early so I decided to take the leap and face my fear. I dove in and did it. Fake it ’til you make it, I told myself. I met with the nurse, I acted confident and like I knew what I was doing, even though I was shaking in my boots, quite literally.
And you know what? It really wasn’t so bad! I surprised myself with how much I really did know, how at ease I felt once I got in a groove, how well I did. (Insert mental image of me jumping around ecstatically here.) I did it. I cannot explain how good I felt.
So I guess the moral of the story is that when I faced my fear head on I rose up to the challenge and found out a lot about myself. I realize that I need to apply this approach to other areas of my life. Maybe it will be successful, maybe not, but I need to at least try.
Have you ever been in a situation where you’ve faced one of your professional fears? How did it turn out? I would love to hear from you.