The past few days have been particularly difficult ones for me. I have recently started my new job, and with this, comes fitting into an already established group of people and finding my niche within the environment.
Many people, even those without anxiety or depression struggle in new situations, especially within a new job role where you seek to impress, but are also aware that you have to start at the bottom and work your way up, in all senses of the phrase: social standing, knowledge of the job, inter-personal relationships etc.
When I started my job, I was quickly established as the new friendly member of the team, who is up for a laugh, fiesty and can take a joke at my expense. Of course, these are all qualities that I do possess, but within its limit. I have perhaps presented myself of too much of one and not enough of another and been too “bolshy” in my presentation of myself.
Everyone wants to make a good impression…but have I, now 6 weeks in, made the right one?
Ask yourself…are you being true to yourself in every sense of the word? In every situation? In every relationship? Are you doing the best for you? Are you allowing yourself to be undermined? Are you scared to speak up? Do you know your own limits if they are crossed?
In new situations, you learn more about yourself than if you stay stuck in the same routine and socialise with the same people. This can be both a blessing and a hinderance. Learning things about yourself that you like can be wondrous, and testing your anxiety to the limit is always a good test, however when you learn things about yourself that you’re not so comfortable with, this is where new situations can really challenging.
In my first weeks at work, I integrated myself into the environment by being friendly and bubbly, and in the mean time, pushing my social anxieties to the limits, and coming out the other side unscathed. I have been incredibly proud of myself for challenging myself and succeeding, there is no better feeling. Despite this, as I have been a friendly new member if the team, who has always seemed up for a laugh and a joke, this has put me in the firing line for some people to overstep the mark when it comes to ‘banter’. As a result, I have had to stand my ground and put my foot down, drawing boundaries that were previously not drawn.
I know that as a person I can be: friendly, fiery, funny, intelligent, positive, honest, thoughtful.
These positive aspects to my personality are great when people respect them, however when pushed I can be even more fiery, angry and strong-willed, as well as emotional. After a few private tears, my work situation worked itself out as I asserted myself, and established boundaries to ensure that people did not cross them again. And for this, I am proud of myself. I know myself, I know my boundaries and I know when they are crossed. Therefore, I took back the power that had been taken from me, and protected myself from future hurt. I have my own back.
I have learned that it is vital to know your own strengths and weaknesses, but also to know your own boundaries and limits, and know that you are strong enough to lay down the law when you think people are crossing them. Of course, it is important to assert yourself in an educated and diplomatic manner, but you will feel much better if you feel the people around you respect your boundaries, and know when enough is enough – I certainly do!
In order to learn my personality traits and my limits, I compiled a list of traits that I am proud to have, a list of limits that I feel I can have, and then a list of ways in which people may push my limits. I have then tried to come up with scenarios in which to successfully handle being pushed to the limit. Why not try doing this too?
This all works in the way of positive personal growth, and helps us to feel stronger in new social situations, knowing that we have our own back, and we can handle any situation that is thrown at us. We can also boost our self confidence, by recognising our positive traits, and realising how many there are!
It is important to build a confident, positive relationship with yourself…starting here, now, today.