The big things matter.
In June 2011, I had a miscarriage. The next few days after that night in hospital, it felt like I was walking through treacle. Everything was an effort. I was writing up my PhD from home so the next day I emailed my supervisor to let him know what had happened. The reply wasn’t what I was expecting.
“I need to see you on Monday to review your latest chapter.”
I was shocked. Clearly he didn’t know what I had been through both physically and mentally. But there I was, Monday 8:30am outside the Chemistry department. As I walked up the path, a friend shouted me.
“How’s the write-up going”?
“Oh yeah, I’m on the final chapter, it’s going well thanks just getting some feedback now.” I smiled.
As I walked away, the smile cracked. To have been asked to come in after a miscarriage must mean it’s urgent. I was expecting I’d messed up. But I was wrong. It was one of those conversations that was almost pointless. Everything was going well, a few typos. I had a really lovely PhD supervisor and I think it was his way of checking if I was okay.
What it did highlight, was my need to show up. Push on through…no matter what the circumstances. Unable to speak up and trying my best not to let anyone down.
I carried that pattern of behaviour a very long time. It saw me taking on more responsibilities until I had become the go to person to get things done. Someone to be relied upon to complete tasks to a very high standard, no matter what. I would deliver.
Interestingly though, the ones around me finding time to take breaks and pushing back on competing priorities were seen as strategic and “management material”. The very work ethics that got me to this amazing position were now hindering my progression.
Feeling overwhelmed, unfulfilled and more than a little annoyed I starting to look for jobs. To get away from the situation I was in. What I didn’t realise was that no matter where I went, I was taking myself with me and that pattern would continue to play out time and again, until I addressed the root cause.
Do you have a pattern?
I’ll be talking about the 3 shifts we need to make to get more personal success and professional balance in my free live workshop on Monday. It’s open to absolutely everyone (you do not have to have participated in my latest challenge to join in). I’d love to see you there.
3 SHIFTS TO MORE PROFESSIONAL SUCCESS AND PERSONAL BALANCE
Monday 20th January 8pm UK time
PS: If this resonated with you, join my live workshop Monday 20th January at 8pm UK time. Register here.
PPS: If you think someone else in your network could benefit from this special workshop, please share the details.