(Photo courtesy of Ryan Rasmussen)
How many times have we hesitated about having a conversation or doing something with someone because we dreaded what might happen, what their reaction might be? We humans have this thing we do where we project our worries and insecurities on someone else.
If we are worried about someone’s reaction to something we have to say to them, we imagine the conversation. What we would say, what they would say back, what we would reply….In short we have a whole conversation in our heads with someone who we really have no right to speak for.
I would say that 9 out of 10 times, what we think a person thinks, is really not what they are thinking. (Try saying that tongue twister out loud 10 ten times.)
And even if it is, isn’t it better to just go and get the conversation over with instead of stalling and agonizing over it. What is the worst case scenario? That the person really doesn’t like you or thinks you are an idiot or whatever it may be? Big deal. You can then deal with it and move on.
For the past few weeks I have been agonizing over how to tell my boss that I think I have had enough of working in the ER and I want to find a different position in another ward. Part of my hesitation was also that I knew I wanted out of where I am but I was not sure where I wanted to go. The insecurity of making a decision to end one thing without a clear direction of what you want in the short term is tough.
If I am being completely truthful, I probably want a job in another field or career, but for now it is just one day at a time. I have an idea of where I want my life to head, but I still do need a paying job at this moment, and at this point my nursing career is probably the best one I can find. So I am staying a nurse, for the time being.
Ideally at this stage, I would like to find a position in one of the hospital clinics with no shifts or Friday work. (Here Fridays are like Sundays.) I had spoken to the head nurse of Oncology to see what was available and there is a position for me if I want it and the hospital management approve my transfer. I was told that it was best for me to go and observe the work day for at least a few hours to see whether the type of work appeals to me.
I didn’t want to do that without cluing my boss in because I didn’t want her hearing about it and thinking I had gone behind her back. So I sweated it out. How am I going to tell her? What happens if I don’t end up transferring out of the ER? Am I going to pay for it and get stuck with shifts I don’t want as backlash from wanting to leave? I finally just bit the bullet, called her and made an appointment to speak to her.
As usual, it turns out that all my worrying was for naught. While my boss can at times be unpredictable in her reactions (which is why I hesitated), she was as sweet as can be. She said she understood. She also said she would never try to forcefully keep someone who wanted a change.
So it seems that all my agonizing, worrying, planning and the simulated conversations I had run through in my head were a waste of time and energy and all unnecessary. I should have had this conversation weeks ago. Maybe it was my worry about disappointing someone or my concerns for my work status being compromised by a bad decision on my part. Or maybe what was really stopping me was the fact that change is hard. Starting in a new place from scratch after 15 years is not necessarily an easy position to be in.
What I have learned is that I should not hesitate and worry as much. My body and soul know when something is not right and I need a change. This whole conversation should have taken place weeks ago, because the problem was not with my boss, it was in my mind.
(Photo courtesy of Brandon P)