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Promoted But Still Worried Of Failure

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  • #366546
    Holly
    Participant

    Hi All,

    I have a situation here with work. For a while, I was stressing so much about my work performance, if they liked me, thought well of me, wanted to keep me, etc. This was because no one had a performance review in a year. A few of us were stressed and worrying. It was draining and I was putting in 10 hour days, getting in super early, not taking lunch breaks, doing way more than I could handle. I was just trying to do the absolute best (be perfect) to avoid being fired.

    It’s not like I had anything to worry about. I have a great relationship with my boss and some of my co-workers. I did however have a co-worker who always tried to push me under the bus, blame me for her own mistakes and just overall try and make me look bad, which of course added to my stress and perfectionist attitude. However, recently she was caught doing this to many others and since then, her behavior has gotten better because management spoke to her.

    Recently, I had my performance review (I had been almost 2 years) and got a really good, positive review. My manager wants me to actually become office manager (her role) and become more involved in HR in 2021. She thinks very highly of me and gave me all 5/5’s or 4/5’s. She said areas to work on would include Confidence and Attention to Detail (since sometimes I tend to rush things). But overall she was smiling and happy with me as per usual and I got a raise.

    Since that review, my confidence did go up, the worries did subside a lot, I stopped doing these 10 hour shifts and avoiding lunch breaks, stopped checking work emails after hours and started acting more normal. Overall, for the most part I’ve felt better. However my perfectionist attitude is the one thing holding me back sometimes. I still want to be seen as “the perfect employee” and make as little mistakes as possible even though realistically, especially planning to take on a new role, I know I will for sure make some mistakes. I fear in becoming office manager and making a ton of mistakes and them changing their minds or making mistakes prior to becoming office manager and them again changing their minds. I made a small mistake today and told an employee some news that I apparently was not meant to share (I didn’t know), and my boss brought it up but also said “don’t worry you didn’t know, this is just for you to know for future”. But I still had that gut-wrenching pit in the stomach feeling that lasted over an hour. My boss was also showing me earlier this week some HR related work that we were both confused with but I felt like I should know it (I don’t know why I felt I should…there really is no way I could without her showing me how it’s done). She said not to worry and that she was just as confused and that we will figure it out.

    I am lucky to have a caring boss. I would like to feel ready to take on office management and HR further and part of me believes that I can considering how my boss treats me and my good review, but the other part of me is always afraid to mess up and have her opinion of me change into something negative if I make a few mistakes along the way.

    Am I being too hard on myself?

    #366550
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Holly:

    “Am I being too hard on myself?”- yes, I think so. I wonder if it’s because one of your parents, or  both, were too hard on you, expecting you to be perfect, over-reacting to mistakes you made?

    anita

    #366551
    Holly
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    I am not sure where it comes from actually. Do you think I have nothing to worry about?

    My parents never did put that kind of pressure on me that I can recall. I am an only child but I do not remember them ever putting pressure to get perfect grades or anything.

    I just cant seem to shake the worry that if I am not perfect at my job, they will find someone else who is. And the weird thing is, I know the worst case isn’t that bad? Just get a new job. It’s never taken me longer than a month to secure new employment in my field so technically I should not be worried but still do.

    #366554
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Holly:

    It doesn’t read to me that you have anything to worry about. I bet your boss is very appreciative of how much you care to do the best job possible- lots of people don’t care this much. But of course, you care too much for your own well-being, you worry and this anxiety is not benefiting you or your work performance.

    Are you anxious in other areas of life, outside work?

    anita

    #366557
    Holly
    Participant

    It’s mainly work that worries me. The fear of being let go and having to struggle for money. It’s always been a fear because one time a while ago I was let go unexpectedly and had to scramble to pay my rent and had to borrow money, use my savings and just felt horrible. It was a really, really low point for me. I worry about having to go through that again.

    My anxieties about work have definitely improved over the past few months compared to how I was before then. But now it feels like it’s creeping back because I made a mistake today and now am thinking, “uh oh what if I’ve made more mistakes…”?

    #366562
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Holly:

    “what if I’ve made more mistakes..?”- but your boss too, she makes mistakes and will make more mistakes, and I will too.. think of the mistakes leaders of countries did in regard to the pandemic, costing people lives.. we all make mistakes, but it is a relief when your mistakes don’t cost lives, isn’t it?

    anita

    #366570
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Holly:

    I would like to return to your thread when I am more focused, as I know I have more input for you on the topic. It may take me as long as 18 hours to return. If you would like to add anything before I return that may shade some light into the topic, please do.

    anita

    #366585
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Holly:

    You wrote today, regarding  your parents: “I am an only child but I do not remember them ever putting pressure to get perfect grades or anything”.

    Three months ago, on your first thread, you wrote: “I grew up in a very impatient household“- impatience means pressure, as in: hurry! faster! They didn’t pressure you perhaps to get good grades, but they greatly pressured you in some ways, somehow.

    I asked you today if you are anxious outside of work, and you answered, “It’s mainly work that worries me”. Back in June you were worried/ anxious about your relationship, and you wrote at the time about your boyfriend: “He never worries or stresses out the way I do”- meaning you are inclined to get stressed out outside of work, as I understand it.

    You wrote back then: “He asked me to give him patience till end of the year, so I plan to give him that”- I think that the “very impatience household” you grew up in, which I assume means that your parents were very impatient with you , and/ or with each other, has a lot to do with your current work related worries/ the pressure you feel to not make any mistakes.

    An example of a possible connection between your parents’ impatience and your fear of making mistakes: let’s say your parents pressured you to get ready to school quickly- that meant that you didn’t have time to make any mistakes, you had to perform all tasks perfectly so to be ready quickly, and not to be criticized by them.

    What do you think about what I wrote here?

    anita

    #366591
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Holly, my perfectionist stuff is my codependency. It is about my need to be perfect to earn praise from others. Because I didn’t have self love and value. And I was raised by overly critical parents. I needed validation from others and them liking me so I could feel okay about me. I focused on changing others or being perfect at work to earn praise so that I didn’t have to work on changing myself. This perfection stuff is also kind of manipulative because we are not being our true selves. Working ten hours a day when you are paid for eight is one way to cover up our normal everyday imperfections. Those who feel good enough inside, go home after the eight hours. It is chasing a ghost to over do and over give and we don’t receive as much back from others. So we burn out and get angry. A book that helped me find my own value and self love was The New Codependency by Beatty. I used mantras and notes with positive sayings on them and read them over and over. The more we say positive to ourselves, the more our brain changes to accept this positive and go into positive first. Figure out why you don’t believe in yourself and then actively work on counteracting  this negative thinking.

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