Melody Beattie says to feel the feeling and release it in order to cope with uncomfortable or painful emotions when you are a recovering codependent. Anytime I feel the rising panic, fear, doubt, pain, loss, grief, I try to follow this rule. I believe, today, I am suffering from a crisis of confidence. I am at the launching point for my new career and I have made great personal strides in my emotional health. I am poised for success and my hard work is paying off in 2013. So what is driving my crisis? Fear of the unknown is the unifying principle; unknown in career, in professional peers, impact on training which somewhat defines my existence in all of my roles in life–motherhood, finance professional, licensed teacher, runner, swimmer, friend, cousin, niece…..how will this leap change me? What will the impact on my identity be? I am not just changing jobs, I am altering the course of my life, and I think some fear is normal, it certainly isn’t paralyzing me, but I am uncomfortable nonetheless.
I am at times painfully self-aware, and other times when running on impulse, I lose that filter. Today I am in slow motion, very aware of every nuance, every light change, every moment. I am grieving the impending loss; disconnecting from the family of coworkers that has supported and walked life with me for over six years. If I were to analyze my job changes over the years, I would say it is the pattern of a child who did not come from a stable home environment; I changed companies and even careers to avoid permanent attachments. If I look at it from an intellectual perspective, I was simply bored and seeking new challenges and new life experiences. There is likely truth in both analyses. I know that as a teacher of students with exceptional learning needs, the opportunities for new experiences and growth are virtually endless; I can work in different schools, different assignments, different populations, different subjects. The field is always evolving the rules are always changing and I enjoy that; it does not intimidate or frighten me. I intend to pursue more licenses and additional degrees; I am nowhere near “finished” and ready to settle. I was ecstatic but today I think my old demons of doubt are haunting me, perhaps because I’ve been trained to doubt myself, or perhaps because I am experiencing sensory overload.
Good news is, I am not resorting to any unhealthy addictions to deal with these emotions. I am facing them head on. I am hugging my coworkers and telling them how I feel here and now, not wasting precious time keeping all of these sharable feelings to myself. I think, and hope, these emotions are a normal part of this transition as I continue down the life path that was indicated for me. I fought for this, I put every bit of myself into the process of becoming an educator, and it is my time to put theory to practice, to have my own students, to truly make a difference. I know where I am headed, in a general sense, I know where I will be teaching, and I know what the expectations are, and I know I am on the right path. The crisis of confidence is passing as quickly as it came, because I have no time for doubt; I must continue down this path, wherever it may go.