The danger of saying “I don’t have time for this”
As ladies, we attempt to tuck our super capes behind our pumps and pencil skirts. Office politics encourage us to check emotions at the door, which we are great at doing most of the time. However, we must also recognize that our super power does not lie in our ability to have it all together. On the contrary, that kryptonite prevents us from reaching our best selves.
There I was at my first big girl job.
After graduating college, I moved five hours away from home and jumped head first into the marketing field in the music business, an industry I dreamed of working in since I was a teenager. I always welcomed a challenge and felt excited about the opportunity, yet I quickly learned things were different in the fire. My Type A personality was struggling to grasp the spontaneity of the ever changing environment, but I was determined to hang on.
By the third month, I found myself standing in front of the paper towel dispenser in the restroom with a tissue pushed up to my bloody nose. My initial thought was similar to that of any other alpha female in a fast paced environment – “I don’t have time for this.” My mind raced back to all the tasks waiting at my desk; including getting my car fixed that conveniently decided to go out earlier that afternoon. I did not want to be known as the girl who had all the problems, so I did my best to keep my mouth shut as I tiptoed out the office to the restroom.
As I grabbed another tissue, I took two seconds to look in the mirror. It was at that moment that I finally connected the dots between my fluctuating appetite, changes in hair texture, and this random body malfunction. I looked in my own eyes and said it out loud, “girl, you’re stressed.”
I had operated in stress plenty of times before and was aware of the emotional wear and tear it could produce; but a physical manifestation like this was unusual for me. I knew this was a red flag and decided that before I dropped dead, I would heed the sign. No one else was in this bathroom and I felt safe to hang up my cape for a second.
I slowly cracked a smile because I looked ridiculous attempting to look like I had it all together. The reality was, I didn’t have a working car, I still had a few hours left in the work day, and my nose was bleeding! I took a deep breath and made a decision: if I was going to survive, I had to learn how to humble myself and ask for help. I had to learn how to check myself before my body checked me. I had to learn how to make time for this.
I pulled myself together and returned to the office.
I told my boss what was happening and she arranged for me to catch a ride home with one of her friends after work. Although I still carried some of the anxiety of the day when I got home, I released the idea that I had to be perfect. No one makes it through their careers alone and I realized that choosing to drown in a sea of stress when there are life savers available to use at my disposal was not a wise decision.
Humility is a thread interwoven within your super cape alongside many other attributes.
When times are busy at work, stop for a second and take inventory:
Are your comments more abrasive than usual?
Have you gained/lost weight?
Have you rocked the same outfit or hairstyle more than two weeks in a row? (seriously girl – take down that bun)
Begin to schedule in recreational activities, sleep, and meals just like you do any other meeting. Setting boundaries will help you stay in tune with yourself mentally and physically. It is important to distinguish between doing your best and being the best. Both can be accomplished, but you must take care of you in order to do so.
Always speak life,
This article was originally written for TwentyTenTalent.com and was repurposed for my site. To read my original post, visit TwentyTenTalent.com