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Learning to Let Go and Move On!

During one of my 1st jobs as an RN, I had an experience that I will never forget and it taught me two very important lessons that I remember to this day.

First, I decided that when I became the boss I would be open with employees about expectations and job performance. If someone was disciplined they would NEVER be surprised.

Second, I learned that I could persevere through something awful, even if it was right in my face. I learned that even though bad stuff happens, I was still strong enough to do what needed to be done and take care of the people in my life.

I learned this years ago when I worked as a Nurse Manager for a scary boss. She was loud, hostile and confrontational at least half of the time. We learned to quickly decipher what kind of a day it would be after our stand up meeting with her. When she was “in a mood” staff literally scattered into patients’ rooms when she walked down the hall, just to avoid meeting her. Her superiority complex created a hostile work environment and made it hard for anyone to feel like they were doing a good job.

After a year of work and two spotless evaluations, I came to work and got the surprise of my life. Out of the blue, she had written myself and another RN up for a number of issues we knew nothing about. Without warning, she put both of us on a 30-day probation. We were sent on our way without any plan and left totally depleted, ashamed and astounded. Neither one of us had seen this coming.

After my initial shock I kicked it in to high gear. I found resources on how to professionally react and I got to work. MY career and MY reputation was on the line, so I became tireless in my efforts to improve. Every day I made sure that every “T” was crossed and every “I” was dotted. I got the doctors involved, got copies of my evaluations, and rebutted every item on her list.

Like one of my mentors taught me, “You can do anything for a short time.” So when I had to work side by side with her I rolled my anxiety up in to a little ball and tucked it in to the back of my mind, in a little treasure chest. If I wanted, I could take it out at night, but during the day I wouldn’t let it in. I was a single mom with 3 little girls, paying the mortgage and light bill on a farm. I didn’t have a choice and that was probably a good thing. It makes us do things we didn’t think we could.

We made it through our 30 days probationary period doing what we had always done, good work. We hadn’t changed a thing. We were cleared and good to go. It wasn’t fair, but no one ever said life would be right? Like my mother taught me, “Give yourself time to feel bad, fix what you need to fix, then move on.” Bad things happen, but how they affect us is our choice.

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