Hi, all. I'm new here, just started online therapy this week. I'm excited, at 31, to finally be embarking on overcoming the fear, anxiety, and isolation that has dogged me ever since preschool.
Social anxiety has held me back in pretty much all areas of my life, but it's made a heavy impact on my career. I've had sooo many jobs since graduating from college and I feel like I've blown all the good opportunities that I received because I didn't know at the time what SAD was and I was just trying to survive (or avoid things) the best way I could. I never rose to my fullest potential and usually I ran from jobs because the anxiety got too great.
Now I'm unemployed and discouraged. I'm having to face my less-than-stellar past with a choppy work history that raises a lot of red flags. I have finally identified a career that I am actually interested in, but it requires a lot of excellent communication and people skills and would require me to lead projects and do quite a bit of speaking in front of a group. Once again I feel held back by my fears. I just think that now would not be a good time for me to pursue that career because I'm just starting the SAI series and I don't know how to deal with my SA yet.
Has anyone been in this situation before? Have you intentionally not pursued a career that you want because you don't feel ready for it? Have you gotten a survival job (low-level) that you don't really care much about so that you can build up your coping skills? I feel scared that I may not ever get to that place of feeling confident. Or that I may not be able to get into the career anyway, since I've made so many mistakes and bad performance in the past.
I am feeling discouraged about my employment future.