26 October 2009

Big things in disguise

Image by Free-StockPhotos.com
Sometimes big things happen that feel like little things. Sometimes it's the fact that they are little that makes them big.

Today I walked into a big meeting feeling calm and relaxed. I walked out feeling the same. Which in itself is nothing. Millions of meetings happen every day and no-one dies. Usually. I hope.

The difference today was, that's not me. Any occasion where my professional skills must stand on their own without back up or someone senior to defer to is preceded by insomnia, panic, shaking and nausea. Afterwards comes the adrenaline let down. It is fight or flight, every time.

So why not this time? The job was in a new discipline that I've only been doing for a year and a half, and I had to step up to the plate on the highest profile job I've done yet and stand or fall.

And yet... calm. Confident. Happy, even.

As I walked out without the hint of a tremor, I asked myself what had changed, and the answer is, my boss. My new boss.

He has built me up into someone new without me even realising it. Five years ago I made a career move that nearly broke me. It destroyed my confidence, my motivation and left me a self-doubting, responsibility-avoiding wreck. A lot of that was down to the person I ended up working for, for whom I could do nothing right. When I transferred out of his team and into a new role he asked me what made me think I could do the job if I couldn't even do the one I had despite holding a master's degree in the subject.

I went anyway.

And I found out that when you're walking the narrow bridge of your life, some people are the banana skins in front of you. Some are the cushions that break your fall.

Some are the trampolines.

And I am grateful.


  1. Congrats on getting some of your own back. :)


  2. it couldn't have happened to anyone more deserving. congratulations.

    lisa (aka alf.)


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