Dear HRart Worker,
For years now I have been working with one mantra in mind:
“Less is more”
This mantra has served as my guide as I attempt to establish more balance in my life as a whole. It has been a challenge to release the belief that my personal worth was directly correlated to my professional status. This belief trumped nearly everything in my life causing me to prioritize self imposed deadlines over family and over myself.
I read the book The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson nearly a decade ago. I took his words of “making time work for you rather than against you” and applied it directly and solely to my professional aspirations. I believed that the work I was so passionate about was what mattered most in this lifetime.
Saying this out loud instantly puts me in a place of shame for how this translates to who I am as a wife and mother. I share this vulnerability now knowing that some of you can relate wholeheartedly. If that’s you, this letter is for you.
I’m not sure where the story regarding worth and career somehow got interwoven, but the idea of undoing that entanglement is terrifying. What if I truly embrace less and find balance to only discover that I am worthless without the chaos?
Here’s the thing: it is this fear that limits us. This fear that materializes as the ultimate FOMO or fear of missing out. Yet, it is this fear that accomplishes exactly what we hope to avoid – missing out. We miss out on life, on moments and on the ability to be present.
The ability to be present is the most powerful skill set in life.
It allows us to fully take in our surroundings. It allows us to fully connect to the people who are with us. It allows us to sit in a place with no fear of the future or dwelling on the past. It is here that we are able to finally know what we need and identify what truly matters. It gives us the space to step into our full being and authentic self.
Let me be clear: I am still on an active journey to master being present regardless of circumstances.
It is still easy for me to slip into my old habit of believing that chaos is productive. However, as I continue this journey, I have encountered more and more moments that show me the power of presence. These moments show me that this change I am inviting will not sabotage my previous ambitions, but actually provide momentum toward those dreams like I have never seen before.
It is time we acknowledge the window of opportunity that has presented itself. Now is the time to revisit what balance means for our working world.
It is time we rewrite the script of professional success so we praise individual wellness rather than burnout.
It is time for us to open our eyes to what’s possible when we care for ourselves and our people.
It is time to own the energy that creates our cultures and brings our organizations to life.
I promise you the world will not end if you choose to move forward like never before. Our working world can heal if we are willing to try something new.
Samm (she, her, hers)
p.s. This blog post was adapted from the Letters From the HRart fortnightly newsletter. I invite you to subscribe!