“I belong in every room I am invited to,” Myliek Teele. The last few weeks have been incredibly challenging mentally and emotionally. A true test and a real indicator of the work I need to do to heal the emotional reactivity…but that’s a story for another day. So, at work it’s been made very clear that one of the departments I run isn’t a priority. I’ve been told, “Not to degrade what you do, but this is something that can be left alone.” Additionally, I’ve been struggling with communication in another department I oversee because I haven’t gotten the full training I need. No matter what you do there is an element of ego to it because you’re being told the work you do is irrelevant. I took it to heart for a minute and then I let it digest. This is a professional opportunity.
I wrote an email to my boss after a miss on our side and I let her know exactly what I needed. I could have phrased some of it better, yes, but when it comes to my livelihood, don’t put the onus of failure on me if you haven’t given me the tools and you haven’t communicated the expectation. So I level set with her. I laid out exactly what I expected as an employee in order to facilitate and follow through on my work. She didn’t take it well and this is where communication is key. It isn’t easy leading people but in order to do it effectively, you need to express what is needed. In this case, we didn’t speak. We had viewed the incident differently and reacted differently—me not up to her expectation. After speaking about it we did come to a resolution and are working on a plan to bring things up to speed.
Now, I share this story because I went into a DEEP spiral. I mentioned a few weeks ago about all of the things I’m juggling so I’ve already been on edge. I’ve already been hard on myself for not living up to my expectations, for underestimating the time and the energy it takes to do what I do. But it’s a weird balance because so much of what I’m doing outside of work is what I WANT to do so I’m making the time to do it. Regardless, when my boss and I had this conversation, I felt like a complete failure, especially as she used words like, “Disappointed” and “dropped the ball.” This is the first incident that has happened like this in my tenure and I felt that a lot of it needed to be put in perspective. So as I was sitting there, berating myself, logging on the next morning struggling to balance work and time with my kid, I had a melt down. I ugly cried and heaved and snotted everywhere. And then I pulled myself together.
I had the conversation with my boss regarding my email and I told myself there are other options out there. I do not need to continue like this. Yes, I have responsibilities, but I do not need to settle for something that degrades me and makes my soul feel heavy, something that puts my entire being and life on the back burner for the sake of others—needlessly. I took a moment to recognize, again, all that I AM doing and all that I have been doing well. And I asked for a sign for the next step—I’m still not seeing it, but I know it’s there. I know, after going through that LONG list of what I’m working on and what is going well that I do belong in the room. One person’s perception isn’t enough to deter me from doing what I need to do. It’s a sign to go where I am needed. If I’m there, it’s for a reason. I have work to do.
So for anyone dealing with a stressful situation or even a lack of confidence, this is your reminder that if you got there, you belong there. If you were asked there, you are needed there. If they want to hear you, your words have value. And even if they don’t, then you will find the right room. I’m really having a hard time letting go because I have a vision. But that is exactly why I need to. When you cling that tightly, one person can say something that derails the whole thing and you forget why you’re there. You are worthy no matter what. You are worthy. It doesn’t matter if they forget—you need to always remember that you belong. Take your space. We all make mistakes and that isn’t a reason to bail. It’s a reason to show them the rally and why you were invited in the room in the first place.