IT WAS ME! IT WAS ALL ME!
When I set a boundary, it’s set. I am very clear about it and don’t waiver. In other words, “no means no”! So, when my boundaries weren’t respected in the workplace, it was me who disrespected them!
I began to take more work home. I began to keep my work phone on a little longer in the evening. I began to check emails a little earlier in the morning. I began to work through my lunch break or eat lunch at my desk. I was not forced to do any of these things, but it was a huge red flag that I was doing them.
My team and colleagues were surprised that a lapse in honoring my boundaries was happening more frequently because I was such a stickler for boundaries and self-care. “You can’t pour from an empty cup was my mantra.’ I was reminding them to get support, eat lunch, take mental health days, and leave work at work, but I gradually started to do the opposite. It didn’t happen all at once. Looking back, I’m not sure if I can pinpoint when or why it began. My guess is that it was a series of internal and external work occurrences not one single incident, and likely a mix of personal and professional events that led to disconnection, sadness, compassion fatigue, and burnout. Who was coming to save me?
What I know for sure is that a little turned into a lot and pretty soon I felt like I was carrying the weight of the world. on my shoulders. The only solution to save my professional and personal life was to take off the Superwoman cape and embrace my needs and desires. I had to save myself.
Have you noticed a change in your professional demeanor or routine?
Please don’t ignore the warning signs. It’s time to respect your boundaries. We’re being intentional about self-love and self-care all month long. It’s difficult to get clear on what you want and require in your next role if you can’t find the time to dedicate to self-reflection or inventory of your assets and strengths. You can’t get to your next level if you’re weighed down by exhaustion, doubt, or any number of other negative emotions.
If this resonates with you, I want to help you get back on track! Let’s set up a time to talk.
Nicki Sanders, MSW, ushers high-performing women of color in mid-level social work and human services leadership through promotion to senior leadership. As Founder and CEO of Nicki Sanders Leadership Consulting, her mission is simple – to eliminate toxic workplaces by developing skilled, empathetic, and goal-oriented leaders who have the vision, support, and resources to create a culture where business prospers, and employees thrive individually and collectively. Nicki has an extensive background in nonprofit management leading high-functioning, multi-disciplinary teams. She is an accomplished professor, coach, trainer, and group facilitator who has combined her gift for authentic relationships, Master of Social Work degree, and over 20 years of diverse work experience to create a life and career aligned with her values and purpose. Nicki is a lover of cupcakes, travel, and 80’s hip hop and R&B music.
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