Leader

I’ve been at my current job as a nurse educator, for six months now.

My boss recently asked me…”is this job what you expected?”

My answer was NO. It’s so much more, in a kind of good kind of not so good kind of way.  I’ll explain.

Career wise, I’ve hit the jackpot, but when it comes to balance and my mental health, I’m struggling.

I told my therapist a few weeks ago that depression has robbed me of my creativity and ability to act ‘fast’, or think fast (depression does make life slow down, according to research and my psychiatrist).

So, I have struggled these pass six months to perform at my absolute best, while battling the woes of depression and anxiety; anxiety from the lack of creativity and slowness plaguing my life right now.

Am I qualified for this job? Can I perform and put on that mask that’s needed to appear as though my life, thinking isn’t slow, and to show the world that I am a creative person? All of these things have wondered in my mind.

I was afraid, in the beginning of starting this job, that involves teaching nurses, that I wasn’t able to put the mask on as well as I have been in the past; I was getting bad criticism from my colleagues, saying that my presentations were monotone and lifeless…I was afraid of that ( I was struggling with my depression, my mood during that time).

Well, that feedback continued to happen for another month, until I finally was able to fix my mask on another way- I had to do better and not let depression rob me of such a great opportunity.

So, how did I conquer my mood and perform on my job? I’m not gonna lie, it was difficult, but the key to donning on a strong mask, was to deny myself, my feelings, and be the best actor who put on the greatest show- it worked; smiling more, even when extremely forced, worked and the bad feedback stopped.

Just because the bad feedback stopped, didn’t stop my anxiety from acting up from the sheer fear of bad criticism from my colleagues; and this fear I battle every time I get ready to present or go to a meeting where I have to lead it and be able to think fast, or create new plans to better nursing and my profession; it’s hard.

But, I continue to truck on, though it’s hard to get up sometimes knowing that those I work with our expecting a strong leader rather than a mentally weak individual; I know I’m not alone.

I know there are other business women and men, like me, who are mentally struggling professionals.  But it’s important for us to remember that through all the meetings, expectations from others, and enormous workload, we can’t forget to remember to care for our mental health- a true leader knows how to serve others and most importantly yourself.

 

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