May 11, 2012
I was driving to work this morning feeling overwhelmed. Not with anything in particular, but just life itself.
I suppose raising an almost 19-month old, working a full time job and helping to support a household (all while trying to have a little bit of a personal life) makes that happen.
But it’s not unusual. We all get overwhelmed at times. As I have blogged about many times before, I think the origin of my stress is the constant struggle for perfection. But guess what? You can’t be perfect all the time. If you’re perfect at one thing, something else is going to slip. So I try to distribute my “perfectionist attitude” semi-equally across the board.
As is the nature of my business (recruiters tend to be perfectionists as well), my co-workers have the same drive for perfection as I do. It’s a good thing most of the time because we all understand one another. One the other hand, however, it can be a double-edged sword.
TxMQ had an off month in April. Not sure what happened, but it’s more than likely just the natural ebb and flow of business demand. Whatever the case, everyone struggled with it.
It was a struggle to find the right candidates, it was a struggle to get our clients to provide feedback, and it was a struggle to close positions. After several weeks of this, you can imagine that there was some frustration and doubt seeping into the minds of the masses.
The thing is, we all expect more, more, more. It’s what makes us good at what we do. But when all you experience is less, less, less…and everyone is experiencing it, the mood can dampen really quickly.
So what did I do? I brought ice cream. I wanted to fix it. I wanted to make everyone’s mood better, raise spirits up a little bit. Ice cream fixes everything, right?? RIGHT???
So we ate ice cream and remained frustrated; didn’t gain anything except perhaps an ice cream headache and maybe a pound.
Then in May, things just suddenly started to pick up. Again, we don’t know why. But it raised everyone’s spirits much higher than a simple ice cream treat.
But as we were discussing what happened in the month of April, Chuck had a great point. When things don’t seem like they’re happening, or you’re feeling supremely overwhelmed, go back to basics.
Sports analogy time…what happens when a team plays horribly or a coach wants to drive home a point? They go back to basics. They run basic drills and circle back to the foundation of the sport. That’s what eventually makes you a better player. So when all else fails and all the fancy moves aren’t getting you anywhere, go back to the basics and start all over with what you know.
So I promised myself today that instead of feeling overwhelmed, I would go back to the basics today, too. I would make myself a list and split it into the items that are second nature to me and the items that put me outside my comfort zone. And I would try to tackle each side equally. That way, I have a great mixture of what I enjoy to do and what stresses me out.
My blog here? That goes on the side that I enjoy to do. Now I’m off to try something that’s a bit more outside my comfort zone. But the one thing I know is that when the going gets tough, I can always drop back to my basics and things will look just a little bit better.