Last week I had a review at my work. I have only been at this job for about 6 months and I was a bit nervous for this first review, especially since it would be me and 4 "critics".
First of all, let me tell you a little about my job. I work for a very "flat" company. 75% of the people I work with are shareholders in the company, and they expect the other 25% to act like owners. Nobody is "the boss", nobody is "promoted". We all work together, mostly independently, to get work done. My work is also very difficult and draining. I was worried what my first review would be like, especially since I don't have a boss telling me what to do all day. I am accountable for my time and actions and need to act like an owner from day one.
I felt fine about this review for weeks. Then all of a sudden it started to really get to me. I am usually very good in front of others and have no problem with constructive criticism, but for some reason I was really starting to get apprehensive about this review. I knew I worked hard, knew I didn't have much to worry about, but I still kept worrying. The number one thing I was worried about, I realized, was hearing the criticism. What if they weren't kind? I really am hard on myself when I feel like I've let someone down, so I started to mentally prepare myself for this attack that I felt was imminant.
I was very withdrawn the night before my review. In fact, I started to count the days in my cycle, hoping I was pregnant so my career days could be over. Not that it would have saved me from my review the next day, but this still seemed to calm me down. (by the way, no baby on the way yet).
The morning of my review I drove to work and spoke to God the entire way. I asked for calm and peace and control over my nerves. Then a thought suddenly popped into my head: All that matters is what God thinks of me.
Revolutionary! I was so caught up in my turmoil that I forgot that God is the only judge of my life, and I answer only to him. What people think about me should only matter to me so far as it relates to God and my ability to live in his word.
I didn't go into the review completely confidentely, but I did go in a lot calmer after that. It reminds me of the D.L. Moody quote: Our greatest fear should not be of failure, but of succeeding at something that doesn't really matter. I have that quote tacked onto my board at work to remind me not to take all of this too seriously (somehow I forgot about that in the days before the review). My true calling is very different, and this job is just a stage in my life.
Just so you know, the review went great and I didn't get much criticism. I got a lot of praise and felt SO much better after that.