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Staying sane in a job that's driving you nuts.

A man with his blue tie across his face, looking tired and upset, with a white board full of blue and pink post-it behind him. It looks like work is making him crazy and is killing him slowly.
Sometimes you don't know if you are not losing it, feeling like work is killing you softly. | Credit: Gratisography.
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// Every month, I send a text born out of my experience and my reflections - like this one. Sometimes with learning and sometimes with unresolved dilemma, I share how it feels to be a corporate activist. If you'd like to receive the next ones directly in your mailbox, here is where to subscribe - it comes with a no-spam promise  😇 // 

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My dear friend,

 

I don't know of your personal situation but I know that the end of the year is tough on many of us. 

 

I know that hell, it's tough on me...

 

So much so that my routines is all messed up - and it starts to show.

 

I haven't posted my insta posts in the last 2 weeks, this newsletter was supposed to go out this morning at 10am, and all of my good intentions remain hypothetical concepts for now. 

 

It's not that the inspiration is missing!!

 

But my energy level is at a new record low. And what makes me proud right now is not how much I deliver against my personal mission.

 

Right now I am proud just by the fact that I'm still hanging in there. 

 

I am surviving. Yet another day, another week, another month.

 

I can absolutely confirm that having a clear personal mission provides a massive amount of motivation.

 

And on some days, there ain't no mountain too high or rivers too deep - I can feel unstoppable and I am eager to get out of bed to face the day and make something good out of it.

 

But on other days - or weeks - the point is not to proactively drive change.

 

The point is to stay put.

 

My goal at the moment is to stay where I am, and stay who I am.

 

That's enough of a challenge for me and for my company apparently. 

 

When just facing the demands of a crazy job suck all the life energy out of you, there is no energy left for driving change. No energy left for picking up a fight for action. No energy for challenging the status quo.

 

And even if there was, is it the smart thing to do? The right moment, the right intensity?

 

Is it a workplace environment in which you are putting yourself at risk just because of your convictions?

 

When the circumstances of your job create a toxic atmosphere, because of tyrannic hierarchy, disproportion between workload & amount of people or two-tier employee culture, there is no option of sticking your head out and be identified as an activist, as positive as your intentions can be.

 

When the pull of your mission is not strong enough, what stands between you and the tempting 'f*ck it all' of the resignation letter?

 

What makes you stay sane in a job that reduces your life to a commute / work / sleep routine?

 

What makes you stay sane in a job that feels like it's killing you slowly?

 

Obviously a lot of us HAVE to stay in their jobs because of the money. A mortgage, a family to take care of, the fear of unemployment - these are all valid reasons to stay in your job.

 

But if you have to stick a salary slip in the inside of your wardrobe to get dressed for work in the morning - it's probably not sustainable.

 

You are likely to go down the road of fitting in and keep your head down, forcing yourself to be someone you are not to not make waves and slowly, with the years passing, actually losing the grip between who you used to be and who you have become...

 

It happens to a lot of people - corporate zombies who have muzzled their cognitive dissonance, who have accepted to fit the mold because it was easier than stay themselves.

 

True resilience is precisely about being able to stay clear about who you are and what you stand for, even if you need to keep a low profile temporarily.

 

You need to play the game knowing that you don't accept them.

 

It's playing the fool who is fooling the fools who think they are fooling you.

 

Wait for the storm to pass and focus on your resilience.

 

What do you need to stay yourself? What do you need to stay strong? 

 

What are your priorities in life? How do you protect them against all external aggressions?

 

Put yourself and your definition of success first.

 

For me it's my kids and family number #1. with a close #2 being my daily joyful craziness - because you can't pour from an empty cup, right?

 

Then my health, with SLEEP as my first item!! Having time for others - since it['s a beautiful win-win for them and for me. 

 

And only then somewhere my career. Clearly I will not compromise the list above in the name of my career.

 

Putting your health and/or family at risk is NEVER worth it - it just so happens that you can lose track of the choices you are making. I know I have in the past, and it did not end up very well.

 

Many others have a different order and it's just great, and by the way the order or priority might change with time and circumstances!

 

My point is that when the going gets tough - regroup and stay closely in touch with your order of priority.

 

Do what you makes sense to you so that you can stay strong - and so that you can keep looking at your reflection in the mirror.

 

That person in the mirror is the only one you'll ever truly have to impress. 

 

Now more than ever - I wish you to be well, be strong, be you.

 

Love always,

 

 

Marie