It’s become increasingly clear to me that my job, which would have been difficult anyway, has been made much more difficult by the way things were done before I came along. On one level the challenges should feel really stressful – but I am still feeling remarkably calm and cheerful.
Partly it’s because these mistakes are not my fault, and anything that I can do to rectify them is therefore positive. It’s also clear that, though I am relatively inexperienced in this job, my inexperience isn’t really a problem – that my experience in other areas and willingness to ask questions and find things out, is enough for me to do at least as good a job as my predecessor.
But it’s more than that – I seem to have got a lot better at having realistic expectations of myself, and allowing myself space to make mistakes and be uncertain. I’m also noticeably better than in previous stressful situations at self-maintenance and stress-management.
It is so encouraging to notice these changes, and know that I have learnt from previous experience, including – indeed often particularly – from the most difficult and painful experiences.
Few things are more disheartening than feeling that you’ve made the same mistake again, or fallen into an old pattern. Few things are more encouraging than comparing past and present and seeing clearly how far you have come.