Facing Fear

A few days ago I came across Christine Kane’s post called lying works wonders. Mostly she talks about how the lies we tell ourselves prevent us from getting what we want, even going so far as not even being willing to admit to ourselves what it is we want.

She quoted Joe Vitale from his book The Attractor Factor:

If you are one of the few who say you don’t know what you want, you are lying to yourself. Somewhere inside of you – right below what you are willing to admit – are your desires. You simply haven’t spoken them. Dr. Robert Anthony told me, “Everyone knows what they want. They are simply afraid to admit it. Once they admit it, they have to own up to the fact that they don’t have it. They have to begin to take action to get what they want. Or they have to make excuses for not trying. Both may be uncomfortable. To stay safe, people lie.

[clarifying note: I’m pretty uncomfortable with “the law of attraction“, The Secret, intention-manifestation and all of this wishing makes it so types of stuff people seem to be doing right now. I am deeply immersed in objective (not subjective) reality. And yet I do find gems of truth that resonate with me.]

Joe’s  words have been bubbling around in my brain since I read them. I printed Christine’s post, something I rarely do, because it resonated that much.

A few months ago I was working on my application to the HERS (Higher Education Resource Services) Institute in Denver. A part of the application was to describe where I wanted to be in 5 years. I always struggle with these types of tasks. I have the hardest time even admitting that I wanted to do the HERS Institute in Denver, as only 40 women from around the country will be allowed to attend. Because my university is the sponsoring institution, they will let (select) two women attend. I had to get pre-approval from the Provost’s office to even submit the application.

In the application, I did find the courage to admit and describe my dream job, where I would love to be in 5 years, it’s a rather unique job held by someone in the community that I admire. I learned about two weeks ago that this person was stepping down from the position to retire. On May 31, the position was advertised. At least looking at the printed words, I thought I might have the minimum credentials to apply-weak perhaps in some areas but strong in others. Dream jobs do not come available very often. I went on a major limb and asked my boss (and some close friends) to review my credentials in light of the job application since I would definitely need his support to apply. My boss seemed to think that my experiences would make my application at least competitive (and he’s willing to be a reference if I face my fear and go for it). My friends were very supportive.

At the same time, a book I had ordered Over-40 Job Search Guide: 10 Strategies For Making Your Age An Advantage In Your Career arrived in the mail. Now granted, I’m only 39 but this book is all about building timeless resumes and highlight one’s skills to land the desired job. She also provides advice on how to repackage oneself from written word to hairstyle, manner and dress to win one’s dream job.

Applications for my dream job will start being reviewed on June 30. One thing you may not know about meis that I have never done the normal job application thing. Sure I applied for some life-guarding stints way back as a teenager but that’s about it. When I was looking for a post-doctoral fellowship in the early 1990s, a name was provided to me as a point of contact to provide suggestions and make introductions. He saw my CV and hired me himself. Since then it’s all been internal promotions.

I cannot express how much I desire this shiny, fabulous opportunity, how much it would hurt to not be chosen. I really want this and am utterly terrified.

3 comments on “Facing Fear
  1. Kyra says:

    Well, my (totally not worth anything in this) opinion is that you should ABSOLUTELY apply. Does it cost you anything if you do? Will you lose your current position or other opportunities? If not, there is no reason not to apply. It is worth trying for. Credentials are all well and good, and you said you look like you’d be competitive for the position – but the biggest factor will be you.
    It’s your dream-job, Cathy. If you were the hiring person, wouldn’t you want to hire a person who thinks the job is their dream-job? That makes you even MORE qualified for the position. Most likely, it will make you the best candidate for the position.
    And say they turn you down – so what? It’s likely you will learn something vitally important from the experience regardless. Cathy, you are worth it. This is your dream job. This is your time. You can do this.

  2. Cathy says:

    Thanks Kyra,
    Since I already sprang this idea on my boss (and am still employed) I think my current job is as safe as it ever was (i.e. 100% dependent on my grant volume). It’s not like I was or am actively job searching. I also spoke with the other main person from whom I would need support to apply and he was encouraging as well. I am really blessed in this regard. So yes, I will put together an application. It’s a big shift from what I am doing now but it is where I’d love to be in the future. I can only apply and see what happens.
    Cost? overcoming the fear, the possibility of dreams being crushed, the risk of embarrassment. Kyra, to compare it to something you might relate to would be the fear of your first art show where all you are is on display and you want the people looking to LOVE it & you.
    Anyway, thank you for your encouragement & being one more person pushing me to do what I really want to do. Thank you.

  3. Kyra says:

    Well, if you put it in perspective with my first art show let me tell you this: it was a failure. No one came to my very first art show. It was horrible. But you know what I found out? Dreams are not one shot deals. A REAL dream is one that doesn’t end with one attempt. I think that is what makes it your dream. If it’s easy to give up after one failure (even if you worked your hardest) it wasn’t really your dream.
    Don’t be afraid that your dream will be crushed by a bad result. It can’t be – it really is impervious. I promise. I’ll be rooting for you! (By the way, I’ll be in Denver next year and I totally plan on buying my cool academia-lab-professor lunch!)