Last week I sprained my neck. To say it was painful is an understatement. I was immobile for an entire week, and for someone like me who is constantly on the go it was really tough.
At work, we are approaching the end of Q3, and that means that I don’t have time to be sick. My medication wasn’t helping me with the challenge of working with a sprained neck. The medication I was prescribed kept making me drowsy and I had to force myself to fight the sleep. At that point I decided I needed to be strategic about when I took my medication. That way I could still work, and recover from my injury. I would wake up around 5am, take my medication and go back to sleep. That way my neck wouldn’t hurt as much (it still hurt, but not as much) until 11am. Then at 12:00pm, or whenever I was up to date on my work I would take another dose of my medication, sleep for an hour (my lunch break), and then wake up and keep working. I was a trooper, determined to not let my injury affect my work.
Looking back at my actions last week, I learned something. I placed more importance on my work than I did my health last week. Why did I do that? Deep down I know that if something happens to me that the company I work for could find a replacement candidate to fill my position, but my health, that is irreplaceable. So why did I make the choice to jeopardize my health? It was extremely painful for me to sit in an upright position and support my head, but I made the choice to push myself to the limit. I love my job, and the stress that comes with it, but was it worth me compromising my health? Probably not. Correction, definitely not.
Lesson learned: I need to place more value on my health. Even if I love my job, I need to love myself more. I need to remind myself that I need to take care of my health first. If I am healthy, I can do and achieve anything. If my health is poor, I need to focus on improving it, and let everything else in my life take a back seat.
Lately, I have been working hard to fight the psychological conditioning I received growing up. I am not a feminist. Actually I am a feminist, but I don’t like the negative emotions that the word “feminist” rises in people. I believe in the power of a woman. I believe in her strength, her confidence, and her willpower.
Society has taught me that as a woman, I need to compromise on my goals and become less ambitious. That I can only achieve a certain level of success in my career until I am must choose between it and my family. The media taught me that my self-worth is directly correlated with having children, and not the level of education I have attained. That I should focus on finding a husband, get married and not focus on becoming the CEO of a large multinational company.
For lack of a better term, I call societies social conditioning ‘bullshit’. Why? Because I believe that as a woman I am great. My goals in life should be internal to me, and not impacted by the world around me. Ones surroundings can cause one to create my own mental limitations and roadblocks that prevent them from accomplishing my goals. As a woman, I have a gift. A gift to create any life that I see fitting and the willpower and motivation to climb any mountain.
The waiting game. We all play it. We wait to get “the job” we have always dreamed about, to have kids, get married, or to buy the perfect house. We waste our lives away, waiting for the right time. At some point through the course of our lives we take a minute to pause and realize that we wasted our lives away waiting to live. How do we maintain some control over our lives while overcoming all of the obstacles that are placed in our way?
In recent years, I have had to face the challenge of finding a great job and in all honesty, I have possessed a defeatist’s attitude. I have gone through the emotions that many unemployed or dissatisfied employees have felt. I’ve been angry, frustrated or upset. For a long time, I let these emotions regarding one aspect of my life control my overall mood, and I stopped living my life. Until one day, I woke up and realized that I was missing the opportunity to live my life because I let the dissatisfaction of finding a job consume my life. I was allowing outside factors to affect my internal well-being. When I realized I was doing this, I decided something had to change and I took ownership of my life back.
I adapted the saying “I know my worth and I understand my value”, and whenever I felt myself slipping into this negative funk I reminded myself of this. I didn’t want to waste my life away, nor did I want to allow finding the perfect job to take control of my life. My employment status was only one aspect of my life, it was not my entire life.
In life, we make choices. Some choice will have a negative impact on our lives, while others will be positive. But our choices are our own and we control how obstacles in our lives affect how we choose to live our lives. Living our lives with a defeatist’s attitude, we become the loser. We need to take ownership of our lives and control how we allow outside factors affect how we choose to live our lives.