It would be very easy for me to blame my employer or my leader with the reasons as to why I had collapsed on the 19th April 2013, however I needed time to reflect and analyze my situation instead of pointing the finger. It was an emotional rollercoaster at the time and unfortunately still sits with me to this present day. It isn’t until you look at yourself in a deeper sense that you have an opportunity at looking at your situation with both eyes open. I believe its called “Reflection”.
In relation to my personal situation, I decided to write down all of my working attributes whether they were good or not so good and looked at them from a holistic view. The more attributes I wrote on my list, the more it became clearer to me that if my attributes represented the ingredients for a cake mix, then I was fairly comfortable that the end product of the cake would be good. Whilst I had some not so good attributes/ingredients (as illustrated / highlighted in red below) that were present, the good attributes/ingredients outweighed the not so good attributes/ingredients and providing I maintained a balanced measurement of these ingredients, the end result would still be good.
It wasn’t until additional ingredients (Business Additives) were combined with my good cake mix that I was now to have a “Bad Cake Mix”.
You see the truth be known, my Specialists have made me aware that I have always worked hard and had all the attributes listed below throughout my working life and my personal life. We are all made up of many attributes and these are just some of the key attributes that are what I am as a person. I have always been able to have attributes such as being a perfectionist and being flexible to work extra hours when the need arises however in my case when the business demands reached such an excessive point, it is virtually impossible for a person with my attributes to just walk away and let the work build up. In short, my personal attributes and the business demands were a recipe for disaster.
So how does a person like me sustain working long hours, night time and weekend call outs?
Well as I found out the hard way, I didn’t sustain this level of stress that I had put on my body or my mind.
We have to not only educate businesses and leaders about the Mental Health & Wellbeing of our workforce but in addition we need to educate the association that Mental Health and Wellbeing has with excessive workloads, work environments, leadership styles and importantly leadership support. As businesses, we need to address such associations sooner rather than later for it is what I see as the “sleeping tiger” that will cost businesses in the long term.
I sometimes wonder how many “bad cake mixes” are out there these days being undetected.