Fighting the fear


Hey, have you signed the leaving card for X?

I’ll put ‘best wishes’ because putting ‘so long you useless shafter and good riddance’ isn’t very British 😉

Or so I wrote on social media, t’other day. X is another casualty from the team I didn’t join. About a year ago we had a consultant come in and merge two teams. After about six months he announced if we wanted to be in his team- let’s call them Team A – we’d need to apply and be interviewed. Alternatively, we could move straight into a new team under a different manager and it would be a different role.

The new team felt, at the time, a bit of a step back. The Ever Lovely Mrs J, who is wise as she is pretty, said: “If you can’t decide. Write a list with two columns. Write down all the good as bad things about choice A and do the same for choice B.”

Being a man I did the unusual thing of actually listening and taking her advice. I may be a bloke, but I’m not 100% there. (“Hey, can we get a guy’s opinion on this?” Sure, I’ll help find you one. 😛 )

So, looking at the consultant being temporary, the inflexibly around process (because all work issues are the same right?) and some of the… frankly arrogance, I’d have to put up with, I decided not to join.

Yes, I was scared of the unknown around Team B, but I did know who I’d be working with. Plus, the work there was also a chance to shape things and collaborate, rather than dictate. I felt the fear and jumped. Despite my initial concerns, the new team have been welcoming, down to earth, practical and flexible. Consistent, yes, rigid, no. I don’t think I’ve been happier and so productive in years.

Given Team A – and I’ll let you make your own jokes about what the A stands for 😉 – has now lost five people. There’s a sixth (contractor) in his way out too, I’m feeling very glad I listened to my lovely wifey.

If there’s anything to be learned from all this, it’s these:

  • A step up may only be based on one person’s perspective.
  • A list of yay or nay can truly help you focus.
  • Feel the fear. Think. Do it.

For that last one, if I’d allowed fear to rule me, I’d not have:

  • Started this blog. 
  • I’d never have made it to Chams. 
  • I’d still be in the closet. Not honest with the Ever Lovely Mrs J. 
  • I’d never have been out in the day time.
  • I’d never have had an evening meal with (trans) friends.
  • I’d never have done Karaoke (actually, that may be a negative 😉 ) 
  • I’d never have gone dancing with friends.
  • I’d never have made friends who know all about me and don’t judge me for it.
  • I’d not have pierced ears (a small thing for some, a big do for me)

All things to be thankful for.

Be brave. Be fabulous. Be yourself.

L x


    1. I'm ok now thanks. Was a bit poorly and had a short notice op – so have been a bit out of it for around 2-3 months, but recovering well now. :o) x

  1. Ugh, consultants. The organization I work for took one on board too. I remember an agency nurse seeing him about the place, and saying, "Don't tell me you've employed that guy – he's a real c***!" According to the nurse, who'd dealt with him before, his modus operandi wherever he's employed is to recommend to management to save costs by slashing everyone's hours (but not their duties by a commensurate degree, of course!). Sadly, her warning proved only too prescient (and that's probably all I should say about that!).

    Ugh, fear – that's something else I'm all too familiar with. I've heard that one of the surprising upsides of being a psychopath is having a complete absence of fear (or something pretty close to it) – unfortunately, of course, to balance things out, that means there'll be those who receive more than their fair share of this thoroughly unpleasant emotion. Alas, I seem to have fallen into the latter group. Um thanks God, Nature or whoever! Still, I've done my best over the years not to let it hold me back, and like you, have found myself doing all manner of things I probably would've once never imagined myself having the courage to do. Often when confronting fear, I find it helpful to call to mind that line from Dune: "Fear is the mindkiller." How true that often is!

    1. Why does the word consultant start with the letters that spell out 'con'? Shouldn't we be more worried? 🙂

      Sounds like your co-worker was right on the money. The less than useful consultants seem to wander from organisation to organisation, applying the same ol' routine again and again. As a friend once said, be wary of someone with only one answer.

  2. fear can be a ruler, it can paralyze you for ages until you take that plunge.

    And yes ear piercing is a big thing when your trying not to upset other people when all you do is upset yourself because of fear.

    Anyway got mine done last week so you'll see them at Chams

  3. I try to tick the fear off the checklist whenever I need to do something outside of the normal or what others perceive to be the normal. It's like…

    Decision (tick)
    Fear from that decision (tick)
    Enter the shop (tick)
    Fear of entering the shop (tick)
    Take lovely dress off rail (tick)
    Fear of someone seeing me take the dress (tick)
    Enter changing room…. etc, etc

    That's just a very simple example. But for me, the more fear I tick off the list, the easier it becomes to the point that I often forget about it. And yet the damn thing bites me in the bottom at times I'm not expecting, even when I'm doing something that I've done a number of times before as Tanya.

    Sometimes you have to fight it. Sometimes you have to embrace it… 🙂

    1. Pushing back or accepting it, so long as you're moving in the direction you want – and not leaping blindly – I think that's a good thing. As Fyona said, to be ruled by fear (and let's skip the Bladerunner reference) is not, IMHO, a good thing.

      I don't think The Fear is a trans thing. Speaking to friends and listening to what they've got to say, it seems to form a large part of the human condition. Am I an imposter? I couldn't do so-and-so job. I couldn't go to the make-up counter. If I ask a question about the car, the salesman will laugh, etc.

  4. To turn into Tom Wilkinson in Batman Begins "the fear is what you don't understand". The lesson I suppose is the more the you know the less you are scared of certain situations and to not make an enemy of the guy who becomes batman.

  5. Thanks for your blog, Lynn. I am off to get my ears pierced tomorrow. The fear will come at the end of my 3 week holiday when I attend our team meeting. However, by then I will have got used to them!

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