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Sunday, August 1, 2010

My fears

A few weeks ago, an email came out at work that announced that voluntary packages were being offered to employees with certain criteria. Basically, the package is a way for a company to get rid of employees in a nice way... they basically pay you a good chunk of change to leave. I fit the general criteria, which got me to thinking if that would be something I'd want to take advantage of. A combined feeling of excitement and utter fear came over me. I'm at a point where I've saved up enough money, plus with the benefits that were being offered, I could survive for over a year at my current lifestyle assuming no income. Not a bad buffer to have as I try to figure out how to make an income outside of a corporation.

I was in this excited but utter fear state for a few days until they had the meeting to explain the program. I couldn't help but tell my dad, which if you remember from the sabbatical experience, probably wasn't the best person to tell first. That same look of "why are you doing this to me" came over him.

It turns out I wasn't eligible for the program, because in my department my position wasn't included in the offer. But it got me thinking, why was I so scared? I know I have skills that aren't being utilized. If I were picture myself on my deathbed looking back to where I am now, I would absolutely be disappointed at myself for continuing with the status quo when I have nothing to lose. I decided to read
 Making the Courage Connection by Doug Hall for the second time, which helped a lot.

In the book, it talks about bringing your fear out and looking it right in the eye. In one of Martha Becks books (either Steering by Starlight or Finding your North Star, I forget which) she talks about the "Fear Dragon." So today, I'm going blog what my biggest fears are... I'm going to put those dragons out in the blogosphere and exaggerate the crap out of them, so hopefully you all can help me shrink it down to size.

Fear #1: My dad will be pissed/scared/hurt

I've blogged about my dad before. He loves me. I love him. But he just doesn't understand why I would even think about giving up all the security of a great paying job. He's going to be so worried about me all the time that he'll have health problems. He'll call me all the time in that worried, "why do you do this to me" tone.

Fear #2: I'll fail miserably and hafta take a job that's much worse than the job I left

My current Fortune 50 company pays very well and takes great care of their employees. If I leave, and then it turns out things are worse, I'll need to take a job at a worse corporation that doesn't treat their people as well. Plus I'll probably need to move cities and start completely over socially. I'm someone who likes a core group of friends and doesn't really like to mingle for the sake of mingling. This fear has really been accentuated by the last time I did something that went against my parent's advice and was risky: I got a puppy. I was scared to do it. My parents weren't real keen on the idea of me getting a dog, but I felt like I had done my homework and was ready. I was an emotional wreck with the puppy, feeling like I was neglecting it and all stressed out because of all the time it required. I was bailed out when my best friends were looking for a dog and took him, but that experience weighs on me whenever I have a risky commitment to make.

Fear #3: I just don't have the drive to do what it takes.

I have an issue with getting things done. I have a hard time starting things or getting this done because I'm so afraid that it'll just be a waste of time. I'm also afraid that I'll need to stick my neck out there and risk looking stupid. And finally I'm afraid I'll hafta ask people for help. I don't really like asking people for help, I just like to take care of it myself.

Fear #4: I'll never find a mate.

Most of my friends I've met through the company I work at (we are a major company in the city). I have no idea how I'd meet people to date if I'm working on a project at home without the company providing me a social circle. I'm not a bar guy. Plus if I did meet someone, instead of being able to say "I work for (Fortune 50 company)" I'd hafta say something like "I'm trying to figure out this entrepreneur stuff but still working on it" in which she would think "unemployed loser." It also doesn't help that I just ended a year long relationship recently.

So there they are, out in the open. Be happy to hear if others of you have had similar fears and what you did to overcome them.


1 Comment:

Rob said...

Hey Dale,

Good post. I think the fears are shared by many - certainly there are a couple in there that are the main ones I worry about, but that doesn't mean they're worth worrying about.

People generally regret things that they didn't do much more than things they did do, and, if you've got a good track record with your current company then I see no reason why you wouldn't find another job in the future with the same, or an equally good company.

Why would you need to move to a different city? Because of work? It sounds like that's not really the most important thing to you when you talk about your social circle. As for finding someone - plenty of people meet their partners outside of the workplace, so just because you're removing that aspect of your social life isn't particularly a reason to worry.

All in all, I think that while your fears are common, they're not things that should put you off shooting for your dreams.

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