Remember the song, "It's Not Easy Being Green," that Kermit the Frog made famous from Sesame Street and the Muppet movies?
I hate feeling "green." By that, I mean being in new situations where I don't know what I'm doing or I don't feel in control.
I recently started a new job after being out of the nursing field for a while. The experience was very stressful at first. New setting, new faces, new responsibilities, new protocols to learn. By the third day of orientation, I cried all the way home that night because I was overwhelmed by all the changes. It also didn't help that I locked the med cart keys in my cart and had to call my supervisor to unlock it for me.
In short, I felt stupid. Which I know isn't true. I'm an intelligent, capable woman with twenty-six years of experience as an RN. But that didn't stop me from feeling that way.
We've all been there. We go back to school and discover we're the oldest student in the class. We embark on a new job or career and freeze when a customer or fellow employee asks a question we don't know how to answer. We bring our first bundle of joy home from the hospital and find ourselves calling our mother long distance to ask, "How do I give her a bath?"
I've learned that when I find myself in those "green" situations, the worst thing I can do is give in to the panic. After my meltdown in my car, I pulled into my garage, turned off the engine, and took a deep cleansing breath. Then another. And another.
Instead of berating myself over all the things I didn't know or did wrong that day, I turned the equation around and made a list of what I did right.
"You got all your charting completed."
"You learned how to do the paperwork for an ambulance transfer."
"You took off those new orders and logged them in the computer."
"So what if my preceptor had to help me with that last med pass? It's only your third day!"
"You made one of your patients laugh."
By the time my list was completed, I felt energized and much more confident. I got out of my car and said, "You can do this!" I kept repeating that mantra the next morning as I crawled out of bed at 5 AM and got ready for work. I even wrote a note to myself with those exact words and placed it where I could see it throughout my workday.
Kermit was right. Being green isn't easy. It's uncomfortable, intimidating, and sometimes scary. But it's also a good thing. It means we're growing - that we're moving out of our comfort zones, trying new things, and becoming better people.
Now that's something to croak about!
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