Our American society is driven to force people to mask up and be something else. This is very true in IT. In IT, we are told we need to have a decade of rust experience, even though it isn’t a decade old. Impossible standards are always around us, forcing us to believe that we must match those standards to be a valid person or employee.
This is not the case. You are valid. No one can do everything. It’s not possible. I wouldn’t trust brain surgery to my fellow coworkers. I wouldn’t trust grandpa to build a complex security structure with the latest ai technology. It’s just not logical. We are a more powerful group together than apart.
When you try to do everything yourself, you push others away. There is a ton of reasons why we do this. It can range from past trauma, shame, upbringing, pride, and more. By pushing people away, you will face burnout. Thus letting people in is the only way to avoid burnout.
Lets take a look at why it’s ok to be you.
How do I be myself?
Spend time with yourself. We humans, especially us IT people, oftentimes fill our schedule with everything but time for us. We think sleep is time for us. Sleep is a basic requirement, not dedicated time for yourself. Set priorities for your own time. This is a requirement. There is no option. Boredom is good. It forces you to sit with yourself.
Try new hobbies. Once again, it’s ok to branch out and discover new things. If you always enjoyed being outside and playing with the dirt as a child, try out gardening. I always, loved water as a child, so why not swim? The key is to look at what you enjoyed as a child and translate that as an adult. I always enjoyed building new things and making new things. So, I take scraps and try to make something. Most of the time it’s a failure, but sometimes it’s something cool. I personally like “chasing” the dopamine. I like getting my hands on many different things. My joy of teaching is the reason this blog exists. That’s why I blog. It is relaxing for me.
Spend time with Old Friends
If it is safe, spend time with old friends. These memories will show you who you are under that layer of “Worker.” Often times when I am with my friends we talk about goofy stuff our kids are doing or about an anime we just watched. Sometimes we break out the mtg cards and play an old-style game. This brings me back to my core self, my authentic self. Also often times being around others, even though I’m an introvert, helps me see others as they are and not as I want them to be. This is very important for us in IT because of the impossible standards. When the standards are higher than reality, this fosters an attitude that we can be better than others. So being around others will show us, we are equal.
It’s Ok to be you
Being you is not a bad thing. Being someone else is a bad thing. Accepting who you are is the first step of true and lasting growth. Don’t deny yourself of yourself. That’s painful. It’s like a wond of the self. Over time, it will destroy you. So, be ok with being you.
Have a wonderful month.