When you are bad at your job you might feel like you are bad at being a person or bad at being an adult. You will feel like you are stupid. You probably will dislike the majority of your life because 40 is a lot of waking hours per week to feel stressed out and unhappy and like a failure.
Only, you won’t realize it at the time. Like driving in slushy weather your world will grow dim by the mile, the extent will only be revealed by cleansing everything entirely. You probably won’t notice that you stop meeting up with friends for happy hour; it just seems so much more comforting to go home and change into your sweats. It’s fun to watch TV in bed and fall asleep at 7:30 once in awhile. Only, this happens once, and then once a week, and then it becomes hard to schedule around. You’re exhausted and sludgy and the only way out is to just sleep a little bit more.
It crosses your mind that perhaps this job isn’t for you. At one time your previous boss referred to you as a powerhouse, the meek person you have become hardly seems recognizable. Maybe its not you, maybe it’s them. The solution is to get out, but that requires dipping into your waning supply of forward motion. You’re quiet in interviews because your current experience has lead you to believe that you will pull your new company with you into a deep, dark grave and close the lid.
Confidence is a tricky thing. You are supposed to be confident. People want to be around confident people. This means its a slippery slope from a temporary lack of assertiveness to a cycle of not-good-enough-tos. You need to bring in a ringer. Someone knocks it out of the park for you and you get to see things as they are once again. Distance is your friend. You’ll get your perspective, learn from it, and move on. What you should know is that being bad at a skill doesn’t carry a moral value. It’s most likely not even about you. Move on. Don’t look back.
Your job is not you, in the same way that neither are your bills or your clothes or your dates. It will be impossible for you to recognize this until you feel better, but for now, breathe deep, get a mild benzo prescription if remotely possible, develop your outside-of-work hobbies. It’s gonna be ok because—quite frankly—it has to be. Right?