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Growing pains

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

This blog has been brewing for quite a while. It might be incoherent, but I need this place to sort some of my thoughts here while I think through my life right now.

I'm still struggling with balancing my Work & Personal Life.

This is the one life I get. This is IT, and it's important (to me) that I find a way to live through pressures which are certain to return in my life.

If it isn't the current object of my frustration (huge re-organization at work), it will certainly be something else some other time.

I get to choose how I react! I GET TO CHOOSE.

So I can choose to imagine that these insecurities, the stress, frustration and how overwhelmed I feel right now can be labeled growing pains. It can be really painful to grow as a person and learn about myself.

Now I'm in a position as a leader from being a co-worker to my staff before. There's a whole new dynamics right there... I've got a lot to learn and I have to learn to handle some new responsibilities for the first time. Being conscientious and perfectionist makes ME put the pressure on _myself_.

I can dare to rise above the detail focus I've had lately.

I can dare to let my staff make mistakes (which THEY will learn from too).

I can choose to focus on what is important in the long run and set some milestones to reach on the way there.

The expectations I have had of where we "should be" are unhealthy!
And unwarranted, because those around me (my bosses) do not expect "everything" to be ship-shape tomorrow.... or indeed next year! According to my boss we won't be back to "normal" until 2012.

How long can I live in this state of (slowly improving) limbo?

I have put the pressure on myself because I need some structure and some things to be done with - and soon!

I can take baby steps through some of the ongoing problems.
I can't solve everything tomorrow, but I can make some improvements on many fronts.

And I can begin to work on what I want to do when I grow up. Will I ever?
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • KARBIE18
    Came to catch up - so sorry this is belated. Having balance issues of my own. Hope by now you're sorted it all out. From your comment, it sounds like you have. Keep your chin up, and keep on moving! I have no doubt you'll handle it all beautifully!
    3831 days ago
    I know how you are feeling, because I am in much the same place. I have been feeling frustrated with my inability to fix some things quickly and my boss kindly pointed out to me that they have been broken for years and that he is seeing progress and that I shouldn't put so much pressure on myself.

    I have a new favorite quote -- "if you don't like something change it, if you can't change it, change the way you think about it." I am trying to practice this for those things that I can't change.

    And I am also reading a fabulous book right now "Don't Just Do Something, Stand There" -- it is mostly about leading meetings, but applies in other ways as well. It's a bit of a different philosophy about leading -- and one that takes some of the pressure off you as leader. I definitely recommend it. Easy reading and practical!

    Lastly, one thing that really helped me last year was to sit down and think -- really think -- about where I am right now and where I want to be. And then how I can get there. I spent a whole day working on a plan and am gradually putting it in place -- recognizing that the change in my life won't happen overnight. It ended up being a three year plan. It has been a year and I need to revisit and update (just like goals!) but it's helping me keep some long term focus and pull my head out of the day to day.

    Good luck!
    3862 days ago
    Thank you all for fabulous comments! I'm practicing my own advice of choosing how I react, and really feel the tension ease inside just by thinking that.
    I love all your suggestions and ideas and will think more about this.
    Life is pretty exciting, isn't it - we get to grow and learn and practice and work on improving ourselves non stop!
    3862 days ago

    Comment edited on: 10/20/2010 3:29:58 PM
    I think it is probably natural for you to want to excel and to be good at what you do and that is why you ended up leading a team. If there is a job to do, do it spectacularly well, Right? It is who you are? I have always wanted to be spectacular at my job, be a spectacular lover and life partner, friend. It was and is not so much the rewards I am after as the accomplishment of doing something really well. Life is delicious. This stage of your career is probably the same as lifting that extra weight and losing all the pounds till you get to goal. Sometimes it is going to seem impossible. But you know it is not impossible. With practice, technique, determination. You will do it and you will do it well. You will fail on occasion and that is ok too because you will learn from your errors and be better next time. One thing I have learned is that managing work stress requires managing nutrition, exercise, water and communication with pals. What do you know about that?!
    3863 days ago
    When I was in a job I didn't like (and I've been in several of those, unfortunately), I was in a mood once and made myself flash cards. The front said something like Smile More. Or Things Won't Happen Any Faster If You Worry. And on the back I put the name of a song I liked. I shuffled them and put them in my nightstand drawer. Then, when I was feeling lousy, I'd shuffle them again and grab one at random. Whatever it was, that was the song for the day and that was the thought for the day.

    I wonder where those cards are now? :)
    3863 days ago
    Once, when struggling through a very similar situation at work, my boss said to me "VJ, why don't you put on MY personality for awhile?" His point was that I was stuck in MY personality, which caused me to act and behave in predictable patterns (which were causing me stress). By suggesting that I "slip into" HIS personality, he was just encouraging me to "try out" a different way of reacting to things. I've never forgotten that. And I still, to this day, think of it in those terms. When I find myself getting stressed, I just "slip into" an alternate personality for awhile.

    So go ahead, marit! Slip a nice little NEW personality on at least once a day. Try it out. Admire yourself in it.
    3863 days ago
    Ahhh I too have been a peer then the leader and it is tough at times. As Teri said, some will help you with the adjustment and some will not.
    I think you're really onto to something here. You probably expect much more of yourself than your bosses do. It will take time and it will be slow, which can be really difficult. Great insight on saying that you can choose how you react.
    I think you're on the right path, my friend.
    Way to go !!!
    3863 days ago
    I have a lot of things to say here...so get ready.

    I have been in position of having been a peer and becoming a leader. It is NOT easy. Some of your colleagues will make it easier...and you will know that....but some of them won't. It's just human nature, nothing more. Everyone wants to "win". And you "won". I will forever treasure the relationships I had with those who made it easier.

    I love your statement "I get to choose how to react". I have to shout that too. It's too easy to act like a victim. We DO get to choose how we react.

    I like what I hear you saying about allowing yourself the time to accomplish what you have ahead of you. If your bosses don't expect results until 2012, then embrace that!! If it happens sooner then you're a hero.

    I find it hard to live in a state of slow improvement. It sounds like that's true for you too. So, while you're taking the baby steps you mention, take some time to see if you can find what would make you happier. I plan to take that advice myself.

    3863 days ago
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