I admit it. I am a straight up 'frady cat. (Otherwise known as a scaredy cat.)
It finally dawned on me in my late-20's that I am, by default, always afraid--or nervous, stressed, anxious, whatever you call it. I used to think only special incidents brought on my sense of dread, but looking back over the last few years, I have to say it was pretty constant.
In undergrad I was afraid I wouldn't graduate. After graduating and getting odd-jobs, I was always afraid I would get fired. And then in law school I always harbored a secret dread that I would get a letter from the registrar's office stating something like: "We rescind your acceptance. There was an unfortunate clerical error. Please leave."
And after law school I was afraid I wouldn't be able to find a decent job. And now that I'm about to start my job in just 3 short days, guess what? Suprise surprise: I'm afraid!
I'm afraid I won't live up to my employer's expectations. I'm afraid I'll annoy people by asking too many questions. I'm afraid I'll annoy myself because I asked too few questions.
I'm afraid my bosses will look down on me if I don't speak up in meetings. And I'm afraid I'll look stupid when I do open my mouth.
I'm afraid I'll dress too casually and frumpy. But I'm afraid I'll look too boring and uppity if I were a suit.
And I'm ultimately afraid that after busting my butt for 6 months, I'll get a bad performance review that feels like it came out of left-field cuz no one TOLD me that I was doing something that should be changed.
And I'll be the weakest link among my peers.
And basically hate my job.