As duties and get piled on to us (or we take them on ourselves), we can have a tendency to add them one at a time without really realizing how much we have on our plates. Before long we are stretched beyond our capacity. The weight is heavy and burdomesome and can start to do some damage to us physically and emotionally if we aren't careful.
I've seen this happen to leaders. There is a new project they pick up. Then someone is away so they cover off for them. Before you know it, the responsibilities increase to the breaking point. The catch is however, to be able to grow and learn as upcoming leaders we do need to stretch. Leaders need to take on new things so they continue to exercise their muscles as well as grow new ones.
How do you know when you are pushing it to far? Because honestly, you don't want to snap! Check out how you feel. Are you challenged in a way that makes you feel engaged and eager to sort through it or are you feeling like running away and hiding? Are you getting opportunities to take breaks and recharge or is it pedal to the medal full time? Are you having the opportunity to look at your workload, evaluate it and readjust if necessary or is the expectation that you just stay quiet and deal with it?
Do you feel like this is growing you or hurting you? Because the reality is that muscles grow when we stretch them and they have the opportunity to bounce back. Branches become stronger by holding heavier birds and being blown in the wind. But if pushed too far, damage can happen.
If you are have that feeling of being grown, congratulations. Enjoy, take time to rejuvenate often and ensure you have lots of supports along the journey. However if you feel you are at risk of hurting yourself because your load is too heavy, reach out! Talk to your HR rep or contact your EAP program. If you have a good relationship with your supervisor talk to them. Find a way that you can bounce back. Because after all, work is only a part of your world, and you need a strong healthy body and mind to enjoy the rest.
I lead a full life full of love, adventure and growth. Check out my latest thoughts here.
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