And Why I’m Not Ashamed Of It

As a professional woman, working at the highest level of business, I sometimes forget to be human. Until it catches up with me in the most awkward of ways. 

Like me, you probably know all about not feeling okay at work, we all do – which is why there should be no shame around it, but let’s face it, there is. 

A few years ago, I sat across my colleague and having not seen me for some months, because we were based in different countries, she asked “How are you?” And just like that, my eyes filled up with tears and although I mouthed the words ‘I’m fine’, my throat went completely dry and nothing came out.

What did come out was a flood of uncontrollable tears. In that moment, my mind was furious with whatever was causing this dreadful water to leak out of my eye sockets, and I just wanted to vanish off the face of the earth. Noting that I was failing to speak, my colleague went to get me a drink and some tissue and came back; miraculously she instinctively knew that I just needed her to sit there and let me cry, and she did, silently. Ten or fifteen minutes passed and finally when I was ready, I spoke.

You see what was wrong with me wasn’t one thing, it was everything. At that moment, I couldn’t pin it down, but I knew I had to change some things. 

Have you ever had that moment where you feel upset about ‘everything’? I call this the ‘frustration zone’. You’re in that place where frustration starts to make everything look grey and genuine joy is hard to reach. That’s where I was. 

Needless to say, I allowed myself to cry that day, and then I when I got home, I began the journey of  asking myself what was really wrong? It took me a while but I finally understood that my frustrations were rooted in me not taking action, or at least feeling like I couldn’t. A sense of helplessness, and once I started picking everything apart I realised my career was in need of attention.

All my frustration fell into the buckets in the image below and I knew I had to change something. Have a look at the image below.

Anything resonate? My advice is don’t ignore it, because trust me, you don’t want to wind up ugly crying in front of a colleague.