Today was a rough day at work. We are caught in an in-between with our transition right now and directions aren’t very clear so when it comes to assignments, people are hesitant to take the lead and they are hesitant to define expectations which, in a business, you need. My boss and I saw the terms of an assignment differently—I took it more literally and high level assuming we needed to align with what was decided where she felt we were still in the deciding phase and wanted to get nitty-gritty with things. I walked away feeling like I was ill-equipped for the role because I couldn’t see it how she did—it wasn’t anything she did, it was just me seeing another example of how I wasn’t interpreting things well. My confusion was high and I wasn’t thinking clearly. I thought over the last few weeks where I didn’t understand or my experience wasn’t allowing me to see things how everyone else did.
Right as these shame-spiral, frustrating thoughts went through my head, an internal voice, louder than any I’ve heard before said, “Yes you are, this isn’t it.” I no longer have interest in guessing games and trying to figure out what people need when it comes to role expectations and needs. We are all adults and I no longer have interest in determining what you need from me. If you give me an assignment, I will gladly try to work it out, but I will not be held accountable for lack of specific direction. With that being said, the voice made sense to me. I’m not an un-intelligent woman. I’ve been in healthcare for 20 years, and as time has gone on, there is an increasing push toward interpreting sub-text. Healthcare is a pretty black and white thing when it comes to what needs to be done—I don’t want to read between the lines any more and then be held accountable for something I may naturally miss. Again, not seeing the sub-text doesn’t make me un-intelligent. It means that we are lacking something in communication.
I know we all have moments of self-doubt and insecurity—that is human nature. But when you work in an environment where they intentionally leave out information or they start conversations half-way through a point, it starts to feel like you’ve become a target. For a long time I’ve worn a shield because I didn’t want to be on the receiving end of those jabs. And the truth is, now I’m tired of carrying the shield. I don’t want to go into work feeling like I’m behind, or missing something because details were left out. I realized this means I have a decision to make. There comes a point when you have to do what is right for you.
I can either readjust and play the game differently, or I can put down the shield and get really honest about what works and what doesn’t work in my life. In order to do the work authentically, I can’t spend my days on the defense. I need to be able to make some moves and feel like we’re making ground. And in the corporate world, sometimes it doesn’t work that way. After all the rules are set up in favor of the business. Regardless of what industry you’re in, the point remains the same (life remains the same): you have to decide what you’re willing to tolerate and what you are truly looking to accomplish. A bad day, week, month, or year doesn’t make you incompetent. Sometimes it means that there are forces you’re working against and you need to decide what you want to spend your energy on. Lack of understanding doesn’t make you stupid when you aren’t given the rules. Keep your chin up and keep going.