2 min read

Feeling less than yourself

Feeling less than yourself
Photo by Cosiela Borta / Unsplash

One of the reasons that I haven't been writing as much the past few months is because I've been finding myself waking up and going to bed with a constant knot in my chest and a feeling of dread. Anxiety is something I've always dealt with on and off, but over the past couple of months, it has felt like a constant companion. It's has taken a lot of the joy out of my daily life, and made it hard to be present in the moment.

There's a theory that anxiety comes from losing touch with who you are. You start doubting yourself and rely on others for approval, leading to constant exhaustion and misalignment burnout. I've definitely fallen into this lately.

Leading a large tech organization has been a bigger source of stress than I expected. There's a lot of "noise" to deal with – managing expectations, emotions, and perceptions – not just technical problems. People often ask "What's your 6-month roadmap?", but I sometimes find it hard to answer the question of "What's going to happen next week?"

On top of that, I often feel like just another resource. People expect results, but they don't necessarily want to help you with overcoming roadblocks. Keeping everyone happy is tough (and isn't necessarily even the goal), and being surrounded by disagreements and tension takes a toll.

All this has left me feeling lost and operating on autopilot. It's made me look to others for expertise and answer, rather than trust my own judgment and ability to execute. The worst part is the constant feeling of that I'm doing everything wrong and making everyone around me unhappy.

Yesterday, I realized something: this is all a story I'm telling myself, and I'd like to get back to feeling like me.

I had a conversation with my mentor, where she reminded me that I have always known how juggle a hundred balls at once and get things done, and being a people person is one of my greatest strengths.

I've been struggling because I've let myself trust other people's advice, albeit very senior ones, dictate how I should operate. I'm ready to trust my own judgment more again, starting with connecting more with my body through Monday evening yoga.