I had a dream last night that I just landed a huge corporate job with a big conglomerate. The company was really fast-paced, I need it done yesterday, New York kind-of-vibe company. I’m not sure what the business was, or in fact, what on earth the position I was taking on in the dream. I just remember feeling overwhelmed by the energy of the place.
My new boss was polite enough, but kind of the stereotype ‘Im too busy to be filling out paper-work for a new employee, just get to work already’ and ‘if I say it out loud you’d better remember, because if you don’t I’ll think you’re an idiot’ kind of guy. So, I was sitting in front of him going through my HR paperwork and, in the dream, I was thinking Oh shit what have I done? I can’t do this, I have no idea what I’m doing and I’ve never done this type of work before! You want me to do what by the end of the week?! It’s already Wednesday! As I already had the job, there was really nothing I could do but fake it until I figured it all out and hope they wouldn’t discover I was really not that smart or worse-incompetent.
I woke up in a cold sweat of fear at about 430a. I got out of bed and really wondered at this dream. Because, I may question everything else about myself and my life, but my work has always been an area where I feel the most confident about myself. I’ve always done a good job. I’m a go-getter, ambitious, I learn quickly, and I have an incredible work ethic. I’m good at what I do because I need to be for my psychological well being.
But it’s not to say that I feel confident completely-I’ve accepted the fact that I seem to require constant feedback confirming that I’m doing the right thing, or I do feel a bit off track. I don’t necessarily need ‘atta-boys’ to be honest, I only need to know my train is definitely moving in the right direction forward, if that makes sense.
I know where this dream is coming from, though I find it interesting my angst has made it into my dreams. Last week I was given a new project that will, quite frankly, be my biggest challenge yet. It is so challenging that I have asked my boss for a mentor to shadow me on this project and be my resource for if and when I may get stuck. We have a wonderful team and that kind of thing is not frowned upon-as in, it doesn’t ‘hurt’ my career to make this type of request. I welcome the mentorship-I asked for it-but I am also more nervous for it too. Simply because I am completely out of my comfort zone asking for help like this. I’m supposed to know.
My therapist said to me two weeks ago, quite vehemently I might add, “You cannot be great at ALL things ALL of the time! You must be patient with yourself and learn to embrace the ‘learning’ process!”
So I think that me asking for a mentor was a really big deal, and a giant step for me personally. Does it magnify my desire to be ‘perfect’ at the stuff I do know in front of my peer? Absolutely. But I am proud of myself for seeing my weakness still, and facing it to make sure I have a better chance at success.
Have you ever asked for help in the form of a mentor? Did you feel that it was a weakness? Were you glad in the end?