I learned a difficult, but important, life lesson this week.
I’d had a challenging few weeks at work, where I was put into an assignment that didn’t match my capabilities and had spent a lot of the time trying to be useful and finding it just wasn’t going to happen. My team colleagues were having to put in more to make up for my lack of skills where they needed them … it was awkward, embarrassing and demoralising. Last week I was moved off the project and told there would probably be other things I could contribute to.
Okay, that situation is part of life – it’s not ideal, it’s difficult for self-esteem, but it’s still just one of those things that happens to us. That would have been okay, I said nothing about it, fearing I would somehow look ungrateful and certainly unprofessional. In a chat with a trusted colleague later, I shared this situation and it was their comment that really hit me …
“… but – who’s got your back? …”
They meant … who can you go to, to discuss this if you think you’ve been treated badly, or just to figure out the best thing for you to do for your career and your own self worth? …
I thought about this for a minute … the answer astounded and disappointed me ..
“Well … nobody”
I already knew that nobody is “there for me” in my relationships – that I learned the hard way … after unknowingly being in an emotionally abusive relationship for ten years that left me with depression and severe anorexia. I know now that it’s me who looks after my needs.
I learned through several years of therapy that nobody has “my interests in mind” in my family – that’s been demonstrated though decades of negative, dismissive and indifferent behaviour.
So … now this third revelation … nobody “has my back” professionally either. Perhaps I was naive, but it hadn’t occurred to me regarding my work before. That was hard to realise.