Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Anxiety--Unhealthy Ownership

Anxiety and stress are the buzz words of this decade and, due to an extended period of severe work overload, I had found myself succumbing to the physical and mental effects of it. I had heard or read somewhere that stress can be a positive thing if we embrace it with a sense of discovery and become open to trying new approaches to deal with our stubborn problems or situations. I couldn't think of any and I felt like I was a failure and drowning.

Since starting this job 5-1/2 years ago, the items I had to track on a database had grown to such an extent that I couldn't keep up or get any other tasks completed. My co-worker, who had become my friend, was feeling the same way about her assigned tasks. I had never been one to be lax about my work but, during the last 1-1/2 years, circumstances were overwhelming me to the extent that I felt, for the first time in my life, that I was inadequate to meet the challenges of my job and unable to relieve the stress on my friend. Anxiety was beginning to paralyze my thought process so I couldn't see any way out of this mess. All I could do was pray that a door would open and that I would have the sense enough to recognize the opportunity. I submitted paperwork for a couple of job interviews in other departments but was never called. Recently, my co-worker received a promotion and my supervisor hired a woman who transferred in from another department. Until now, I was very reluctant to assign database work to anyone else after a temporary worker accidently deleted a significant amount of data. But, I felt convinced it was time for a change and I assigned that part of my work to our new employee who seemed to be detail oriented and a multi-tasker. Her last job required handling significant amounts of data. I took over a few tasks that my former co-worker used to do. What a breath of fresh air this has been. I still find we have more work than we can keep up with but we are both happy with our new tasks.

I thank God that I realized the opportunity that was staring me in the face when our new employee started. It may seem like a small thing and perhaps an obvious solution but I tend to take ownership when a job is assigned to me so I become blind to other solutions. I now realize that, there will be times in my life that I need to be ready to release certain things or people close to me. Ownership to the point of not being able to let go of something is not healthy--it's being a slave to it. And, I learned a long time ago, to truly love a person is to let them be free to grow and explore their talents and be truly happy for them.

1 comment:

Frank Chiapperino said...

The art of delagation and cooperation is a tough thing to master. So often our sense of ownership gets us caught up in a "silo" mentality and it hinders our ability to accel. Great stuff!