Anxiety · Happiness · Personal

Tunnel Vision

I did something very positive for myself today, I applied for a job.

I suppose that’s not the only positive thing about the whole situation; I guess that would be the fact that I was able to look past my tunnel vision.

The internet informs me that the informal meaning of the words “tunnel vision” is; the tendency to focus exclusively on a single or limited objective or view, and for the purpose of my story, I use tunnel vision a lot to subconsciously talk me out of things.

Tunnel vision, for me, starts to come into play when I’m stressed or over-thinking things.

Let’s just get into the story and you’ll see what I mean.

A lot of the time I spend a couple of minutes a day scrolling through job ads online looking at positions I would either never apply for because I don’t have relative qualifications, or that I wouldn’t do (probably because I’ve already done it and don’t want to do it again.) I also, because of the way I was made, have certain limitations – I like to work hard at my job, but most of the time that’s limited to mental rather than physical, and my history of anxiety makes seeking out a job on the other side of the city hard.

Anyway, I came across one that I thought suited me straight away. It was doing something I had general experience in, working for a company that helped people (which I’d be searching for) and was really close by (only a couple of blocks to be exact.)

Everything in me said, “give it a go!”

And theeeen the tunnel vision kicked in. All the “what if’s” and “but then’s” and the more I thought about it, the more my tunnel vision gradually phased out all the good stuff I was thinking about the possibility of this new job and focused on one thing: I might not be able to do it therefore I won’t try.

The sad thing is that this has been going on for so long that I believed myself.

A few days later, having decided to forgo applying for this new job, I was at work filling in for a few hours – and that was all it took to realise that I actually needed to apply for this job. Mixed messages from management, the “possibility” of shifts, the erratic way this job had me living my life, not to mention how totally out of the loop I felt again.

Even though this new job would have me paid $6 less an hour (more so on weekends and public holidays) I would be gaining much more: the possibility of loving to go to work every day, being a part of a wonderful organisation, a company that would look after me with benefits that I don’t get as a casual, and helping people live a better life.

I sat down this morning and looked at the application – and tunnel vision started straight away. It told me what this job would be like, what I’d have to give up, losing freedom, the fact that I might not like it, the interview process… well it make me physically tired!

But I tell you, just one thought of how angry my current job made me was enough to break out of it.

Even if I did get an interview, or even get offered the job, I didn’t have to take it!

I don’t have to quit my current position, as I could still work weekends, so if I didn’t like this new role then I could easily go back to my old one.

The more and more I though easier, simple thoughts like this, the more I started to like the prospects of a new job.

And so, that’s the end of my story. I’m sure I use tunnel vision in a lot of other areas of my life (I mean, hey, what’s anxiety if not one, huge tunnel of vision) but I’m glad I was able to break a habit and just give something a go.


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