Last month, I was having coffee with a friend who was scared out of her mind over a situation at work. Her new manager clearly didn’t want her on his team and he was doing lots of things I would consider mean spirited to get her to quit. Her industry is pretty tightly knit and because she was anchored to a specific location (also the hub of her industry), she was kind of stuck.
Her family was telling her to stick with her job, suck it up, and keep having that (needed) paycheck to help her family pay the bills. On the other hand, was her doctor who told her the stress was causing her to have medical problems that could grow into something big.
“I’m a coward,” she told me.”I am scared to stay and I am scared to leave.”
“Wait a second,” I said. “Courage doesn’t mean a lack of fear – and cowardice is more about pretending everything is fine when you know it isn’t. Courage is actually taking action when you are scared.”
We talked for another hour and while my friend didn’t quit her job, she did make a plan with actions that were accessible rather than formidable.
I am happy to report that my friend is taking Babysteps, building up her beaten down confidence, and feeling a bit more courageous.