Leave The Door Open ...
Picking things up, putting things down, and centering yourself
Happy New Year! I wanted to slide into your inboxes to get my well wishes in before things started picking up again. I used the last month of 2021 and pretty much the first week of 2022 to slow down. All last year, I was going nonstop. As soon as one task was done, something else required my attention. What about you? Was your 2021 as challenging?
My conversations are now prefixed with “Before COVID” or “Before the pandemic,” and I wonder how much longer that will hold because, well …it is what it is now.
Throughout 2021 I saw women constantly asking questions about how they could level up in their careers, garner support from other women in STEM, and hold themselves accountable. I really believe the universe provided answers. We saw on the world stage Olympic-level athletes choosing their mental health over gold medals. We witnessed unprecedented acts of kindness where companies gave their entire workforce time off for respite. We also watched women walk away from what appeared to be golden opportunities realizing that preserving their peace was way more beneficial.
I know that we’re conditioned to leave things behind as we start a new calendar year. Still, I’ve learned so much I’ve decided to bring a few rediscoveries and epiphanies with me. There are too many to list, but I will share the one that got me back on track: breathing.
At one point, my default position involved my shoulders being up to my ears and shallow breathing. I actually became aware of it once on a conference call: fist clenched, back hunched, shoulders drew upward while taking short quick breaths, almost panting. Yikes!
Stressing is exhausting. Worrying is exhausting. Speculating is exhausting. Taking on other people’s problems is exhausting. Wondering about the state of the whole world is exhausting.
I didn’t realize how much I was carrying. Can you say the same? Are you carrying too much?
I’ve also learned that everything is not stress-related; it could be (dare I say it) boredom! Professionals get bored with their jobs. It happens. And despite popular belief, more to do does not always combat boredom. If where you are and what you’re doing does not align, then there’s a clear opportunity for improvement. Here are 3 quicks steps to consider:
Assess: revisit your goal sheet or professional development plan – whatever you use to help guide you. Does it still ring true? What’s your vision?
Compare: is what you’re doing (i.e., tasks, responsibilities, etc.) a step towards what you want? Are you in an environment that will get you there? Are you taking on the type of work you envision? Is it challenging you? Growing you?
Decide: If where you are and what you want align, talk about recalibrating some things at work. If it does not, you may consider making a change or adjusting your vision.
All in all, I have faith in that you’ll keep the focus on where it needs to be: you. In your attempt to get to a better place, be sure to keep you at the center. You’re the heart. You’re where home is.
I’m getting good vibes and inspiration from some tweets I’ve seen recently:
Word up, Career Priestess!
Say it louder for the people in the back, Adam!
I’ve been listening to good music and reading good books this month.
Music! You can find a curated list on Spotify:
Books! You can find a curated list in InclusivelyHer’s BookShop. These are the books I’m reading (re-reading) this quarter, join me!
Thanks so much for supporting InclusivelyHer. As always, thanks for reading. It’s my hope in sharing stories and other bits of information, you’ll be inspired in your own journey.
If you’re not a paid subscriber, consider upgrading from the free version. It’s the cost of a cup of coffee and will allow me to expand the reach of this newsletter. My goal this year is to establish a fund to help students and professional women pay for certifications, conferences, and bootcamps. I can get there with your help.
Cheers to a safe and prosperous 2022!