I love the irony of life and how our brains work! I promise to get to the irony at the end.
At work we used to joke that we were changing the tires of the car while it’s still moving. Personally this phrase really resonates with me right now. Though I am thriving in new ways, I am experiencing a lot of change and with it anxiety. I know with change comes anxiety, but why this much? My anxiety barometer has always been the tightness in my shoulders, the tension in my jaw and the deepness of my breath. As I come home from work each day, I can feel the tightness increase. I’ve been watching my anxiety rise as I change each tire. The most recent, accepting a new job with eBay and preparing for the transition this summer.
After being with PayPal for two four year stints, I am reflecting on my time with the company and everything I have experienced. I joined PayPal in 2001; before the company was public, before the company was bought by eBay, and before so many other things happened. I still remember my first project as the Credit Card Systems Manager adding American Express and Discover as payment options to the website. After the first 36 hour day and sleeping in a conference room, I knew what it meant to work for a start up. Months later, when we were bought by eBay, if you would have asked me then if I’d leave PayPal to join eBay I would have said no. Today, I am excited about this opportunity.
Last week, a leader that I work with scheduled lunch with me to find out more about my decision to move to eBay. I felt anxiety about the lunch and having to answer the question- why. As I reflect on my time at PayPal and all the people I have met, the risks I have taken, the great days and the bad, I have learned a lot. I am anxious… something isn’t right.
While browsing Facebook, I saw a link to the Cirque Du Soleil video “Why Trust is Worth It”. It’s a beautiful video of two acrobats who must trust each other with their lives. While the acrobats perform their routine there is a voice over about trust. They talk about all the right things: the tension and energy spent when we don’t trust, how trust allows us to relax, what happens when trust is broken, and that trust is learning about the capacity of the world. The video ends with the question, who do you trust and how do you grow it? The video is beautiful, it said what sounds like all the right things… something isn’t right.
Than it clicked. The video forgot something. I almost forgot something. The who, starts with you.
The lesson I’ve learned at PayPal, and that I offer you now, is to take risks and trust yourself. By taking risks and trusting myself, I have gained personal power and my voice. When I trust myself, I take responsibility for my own destiny and learn to trust my own capacity. I’ve realized that the question why is a trigger for doubt. Doubt undermines trust. How often does this happen at work? We doubt leadership. We doubt the process. We doubt and we slowly give up. I think in doubt, we doubt ourselves and we loose trust. In that lack of trust we give up our power to change.
Now when I hear the question why- I can hear curiosity and an opportunity to continue learning about my own capacity.
Ok- now for the irony. I had the answer this whole time! Four weeks ago I started a new collage. The key word being started. For many reasons, I have yet to finish it. I recently pulled it out and realized there in the middle are the words “Trust Yourself”. I think it’s time for me to finish the collage.
To mimic the video, I end with a question. Do you trust yourself and how do you grow that trust?
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