What do you use your weekends for?
Rest, recharge, or recovery?
In the months and years leading up to my Burnout, weekends were about recovering from the work week that had been, and then just like a wind-up toy, I’d pop back into action, back into robot mode for the next week.
And like clockwork, I could tell you when I’d crash during my Christmas break, once I’d been the hostess with the mostess for family and friends for three days.
And not forgetting my summer holidays where I’d ended up with ‘flu’ aching and unable to move, but I forced myself to have fun with my family so that I didn’t disappoint them.
During the lead-up to Burnout, the stress is what keeps you going.
The good old primitive brain and the fight/flight response keep you moving to try and keep you safe.
In the days of hunter-gatherers, you wouldn’t sit down and have a break and a picnic with your friends whilst surrounded by wild animals, you’d be eaten alive,...
One of the biggest frustrations I hear from my HR clients is that they don’t feel heard. At Board meetings, they feel that whenever they speak, their colleagues turn into nodding dogs, agreeing that things need to change, but not actually taking any steps outside of the Boardroom to action or implement anything differently.
HR feel that they are banging their heads against a brick wall trying to get their Exec colleagues to pay attention to any of the People stuff, whilst everyone else remains so fixated on the money and the numbers.
A question I find myself asking often is ‘Have you explained your frustration?’ and the answer is usually no. The reasoning behind this is that they think it will be a waste of time, particularly given that their colleagues have made comments before about:
· You do the people stuff
· Tell us what you want us to do and we’ll just do it
I’ve been getting a number of messages from women saying that the more senior they are becoming in their careers, the more they are starting to feel like an imposter.
I can relate to this.
When I got my seat at the table, that was when I really started to feel for the first time that I don’t belong. I started to doubt my abilities and whether I was good enough to be there.
Much like the Spiderman quote ‘with great power, comes great responsibility’.
It felt like that responsibility was too much to bear. It didn’t just feel like I had a responsibility for the role and in the organisation, it also felt like I had a responsibility for women, women my age (I was 30) and for young working mums (my sons were 10). I’d never had those feelings before, until I got that seat at the table.
If we don’t tackle this feeling, we reach burnout. That’s where I got to.
I didn’t have a big community of people...
I was going to post a different article with you today, but this feels like the words that I need to share today. And I’m mad, frustrated, heartbroken, sad and overwhelmed by the messages I’ve received this week and the conversations I’ve had, so here goes.
Yesterday I shared that it was 9 years since I had the first of two operations in 48 hours as a result of the physical impact of my burnout in 2013, the burnout that almost killed me, and the burnout that I refused to admit to, working from my hospital bed because I didn’t want to let anyone down, I didn’t want to seem like I had failed, I ‘needed’ to be there for my team. And whilst I was recovering and numbing from the daytime TV I’d been consuming as I lay on the sofa, the day that my sons came home from school and I said to them ‘don’t worry Mum will be back at work soon’ because for me my ability to work or not seemed to prove how healthy I was,...
I’ve made no secret of the fact that after my Burnout I continued in my corporate career and that’s where I thought I’d stay, until, three months after my two operations in 48 hours, I heard myself say for the very first time that I wanted to start my own company.
Never had I ever imagined that this was a path I would take. Firstly, I had no real idea what I would do, secondly I knew nothing about starting a business, and thirdly, my dreams of the super large global role that I would be able to take on once my sons were finished school was the thing that had kept me in my role.
The drive though of starting my own consultancy became overwhelming, and within three months, I’d left my six-figure salary, created a business that was aligned to my values and started to really focus on the change that needed to be made in the world of work. And seven and a half years later, I’m still here and growing from strength to strength.