Fear has many faces

In my workplace I had to face yet another area of fear. I mothered an intern who had been placed into my care, I taught her many things. This teaching and helping came easy for me. My intern has a self-assertive attitude. Sometimes she does not pick up the phone, nor does she call me back, disappears for longer time period to do her own things without telling me about it. She assigns a holiday in the calendar without having checked it with me. She does not respect me as her superior. On the other hand she does not tell me when she has issues at work.

I help my intern, I do nearly everything she asks. I am understanding with her, I also encourage and aid her. Besides that I should be delegating tasks to her.

Yet so far I have not told her my expectations clearly nor have I given her deadlines for the tasks. I feel that I go the other extreme. I do not act as the superior. I have a deep fear: what if she disagrees with me or disobeys me? 

Nevertheless I feel that I should tell her my expectations and share my opinion! This task has created a great internal conflict in me which I can hardly overcome. According to a Christian command: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” (Fil 2:3-4). This has prevented me, as a leader from giving an order to my subordinate. It does not make it all come together in me. 

A cute childhood memory of mine shared in the group is connected to the topic. I dearly loved my first dog called Caeser, Muli. I used to say that I either marry my Dad or my dog  Once my brother’s friend brought his dog to our place. That dog wanted to bite Muli and I put my hand in the way that I should be bitten instead of my doggy. It did hurt but I was happy because my dog did not have to suffer! Based on the story the following started to dawn on me. As a child I was self-sacrificing in order to get appreciation, love and praise. A false interpretation of life has developed in me according to which I can only be loved or appreciated if I do something in return. I cannot be loved for who I am, only if I do at least three times more in exchange. Or when I do things I would like to get appreciation and praise in return. 

I have realised that I have problems in self-assessment and in the office there is a clear distinction in rank between us and I am the boss.

I have realized that I have to put away with my inferior way of thinking ingrained in me and I have to improve a lot in my leadership role. This tough battle with myself will result in my finally accepting my worthiness. I should not feel worthy only when being praised. I have received unconditional love from God and that is the most important thing! I ought to learn to see myself with the eyes of God. Then I do not have to worry about what others might think about me as my worthiness will not come from that fact anymore. I have to accept that I am a precious, beautiful daughter of God who has a constant status: saved, redeemed and worthy because of the Lord Jesus! 

Lévai Szilvia