I got this wrong for a very long time.
Some aspects of my story you may already know. I started working in Information Technology in 1997 and immediately threw myself into my work. I had a 3 month opportunity to prove my value and to gain permanent employment in the company. I went all out! Long hours focussing on mastering my skill and pleasing others. My family responsibilities were always second fiddle. I sometimes worked until 3am and lived on Steers Rave burgers with added cheese and tomato. Yip we all have these stories to tell.
I was 18 and still had many years ahead of me, proving myself as one of the few women in a technical field in this industry. I recall arriving at work one day in a skirt, unlike me, and having to climb a ladder to gain access to the computer equipped. That was the last of trying to dress in a femine manner until much later in my career in this industry when I was mainly customer facing.
When you are young you are still trying to own your identity and come to grips with your self worth. I buried my head in the sand for many years chasing the next advancement in my career. Until 2010, aged 32, I arrived at work one day and felt exceptionally overwhelmed by anything I was faced with. I wasn’t able to function in this sea of emotion. I was diagnosed with burnout. During my recovery at first focussed on doing all the things I never had time for, even though I could not disconnect from work. The responsibility I felt was overwhelming. Thankfully my services to my Blackberry (yes it’s way back when) could be switched off and I was forced to take the much needed rest. I started to question the position I found myself in and realised that there was much needed support required. I could no longer go at this all by myself. I was also my worst enemy. My life had become my work. My sense of worth was fueled by my recognition and reward from my work and colleagues. My life seemed on hold otherwise. Always waiting for the opportunity that I would be present and available.
I have recently learnt about the Energy Zone Map by Dr Ela Manga.