Journey of Life

the place formerly known as control your destiny

Comfort Zone, Perspective and Gratitude

I am on day 2 of a 2 week training course basically learning how to do a job I have been doing for the last 8 years but for a different organisation. I started the job 4 weeks ago most of which was spent studying in preparation for this course. The studying involved getting used to the policies, processes, products, systems etc, which I actually prefer to learn on my own.

A few people have questioned why I have had to go through so much training when I have the experience and I understand the reason for the question and have questioned myself. The main reason is because  the government body that regulates the financial services industry in the UK stipulates that any organisation has to have enough evidence that whoever they employ, regardless of experience is sufficiently competent to do that particular job, especially when it involves giving advice to the public. I am completely in favour of that and since we live in a “blame culture” I can understand why any organisation would want to minimise the risk of liability claims from clients.

From a personal perspective it has provided me with a great opportunity to learn stuff again. Stuff that my ego had convinced me I didn’t need to learn because I already knew it all and it worked very hard to try to convince me that this is still the case.

I have chosen to park my ego and learn with an open mind. I may know a lot of it but I may also learn it from a different angle.

The past 2 days have been quite an interesting journey, not so much in terms of the curriculum but more in terms of how being forced outside of my comfort zone made me feel. On day one it involved a very sudden attack of anxiety as I first arrived in a room full of complete strangers. I decided to get a cup of coffee from the vending machine and when I picked it up my hands started shaking so much I had to put the coffee down in the hope that no one had seen this whole event. The day did improve although I somehow lost interest in coffee for a while, which in my book is like a heroin addict giving up heroin!

London Tube Rush HourThe training course takes place in London, which is normally just over an hour on the train and then another half an hour on the tube (subway). I got there 15 minutes early on day one but felt slightly stressed about not knowing exactly where I was going. Today I decided to leave earlier (6.30) to have plenty of time and also avoid rush hour. I did have plenty of time, which for the most part was spent on the train that was supposed to get me there in just over an hour but took 2 hours instead. This then triggered a spell of “worst case” scenarios in my head which in turn then made me on edge again!! I did get there on time (just) and had another slight flurry of “coffee anxiety” but only slight.

When I got back this evening at 7.30 I was so tired and grumpy.

I know that my comfort zone is expanding with every day. I am really enjoying the course and the people I have met are genuinely nice.

These past two days have turned out to be a lesson or reminder to myself.  A lesson or reminder of gratitude! I have a 25-30 minute walk to work or a 5 – 10 minute bus journey. I don’t have to spend 2-4 hours every day just to get to and from work and if I do it will only be until next friday.

If you hear nothing from me until then, I’ll be on a train!!


13 responses to “Comfort Zone, Perspective and Gratitude

  1. viv66 October 7, 2009 at 9:22 am

    I did read it and I sent good vibes your way; as far as I was able after my grumpy day. i went and watched QI on tv and that managed to lift my mood a little. My freind Sarah had been doing a commute similar but longer to the one you write of for 17 years so I am familiar with the issues.
    Do they have a creche for all the egos to be cared for while you park them and what are the penalties for not collecting yours at the end of the day? Can you take home a different one instead just for a change?
    Tick off the days you have to commute for and celebrate each one; make up stories about the people on the trains. I do this when I am travelling and I hope sometimes that no one can read what’s going on in my head because it’s sometimes not flattering!!!

    • J October 7, 2009 at 7:14 pm

      Thank you, the good vibes must have been working a treat cause I have had a really good day where everything was just flowing, trains, mood, journey time, the lot. I have a new found respect for commuters.
      As far as the “ego park” is concerned I am hoping my ego can be kept there until further notice and as far as I am aware there are no penalties for late collection!!!

  2. viv66 October 7, 2009 at 8:20 pm

    Glad to hear it.
    I am almost human again. I do think when I have days like yesterday something has gone profoundly wrong with my brain and I need to go to sleep and let it reboot. I could have killed half a dozen times over yesterday and during my night walk, I sat on a park bench and the only thing I could think about was that I had left my phone at home and I only had my swiss army knife with me. Barmy.

  3. J October 7, 2009 at 9:50 pm

    You sounded very human on the phone. I am still mulling over the concept of ego parking by the way!!!

  4. viv66 October 8, 2009 at 10:30 am

    Human is as human does!
    I woke to find I have cystitis and feel very scratchy and in pain. Grrrrr.
    Hope you have another good day!

  5. Brynn October 8, 2009 at 11:57 am

    Hi J,

    I did my fair share of traveling when in London. Was really grateful when I came home and was able to drive my own car again.
    Seems to me like your ego is really fighting you on your new journey, just remember to accept yourself.
    I took some advice from Louise Hay, I repeat to myself ‘I love and approve of myself’ over and over, sometimes hundreds of times a day. I can feel it’s starting to work, my self esteem is improving.
    Give it a try when you are sitting on the train…

    • J October 11, 2009 at 6:31 pm

      Hi Brynn,

      You are right about the ego fighting me but I feel better equipped to deal with it at the moment. After the day in question I know what train to get to be in good time and the rest of the week turned out to be very enjoyable. I have used “I love and approve of myself” for quite a while now and I can now look at myself in the mirror without instantly finding faults!!

  6. shiona October 8, 2009 at 12:40 pm

    I’m so glad you are gradually starting to feel more comfortable.

    This very much reminds me of my experience a few years ago when I had an English course and my group of students consisted of tax inspectors and auditors. I felt so terribly nervous before meeting them the very first time, that I ate a small bar of chocolate to give me some strength, but it caused my hands to shake instead. They proved to be such nice people, so eager to learn and so intelligent.

    • J October 11, 2009 at 6:33 pm

      Thank you Shiona,

      On reflection, it has been a really good week, even the first 2 days, which at the time wasn’t the most pleasant, but it brought me some awareness of how I behave and act in stressful situations and it also taught me to plan ahead a bit more.

  7. viv66 October 16, 2009 at 11:37 am

    Well? How’d it go??

  8. J October 16, 2009 at 7:50 pm

    Thanks you for the text this morning, I saw it just before I went in for my “Formal Practice”, which I failed 😦

    The good news is I passed the real thing and have just got back. Thank you for your support x

  9. enreal October 20, 2009 at 3:44 am

    J… sounds stressful, hope you can get some down time… during big changes our minds can play all sorts of nasty tricks on the body, so when you can take a breather… hope it gets better, sending positive thoughts and energy your way.

  10. J October 20, 2009 at 11:08 pm

    Thank you enreal, your positive thoughts and energy are very much appreciated and welcome. Soon I will be back to some kind of normality and be able to take a breather.

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