Being an only child, I have a need to be included. There’s a deep loneliness in me that I cannot fix, but I didn’t learn that until much later in life. Earlier in my career, that meant I overworked myself because I used to think that being stressed meant I was important, or rather, needed. Adding that I was ambitious and a perfectionist, I felt that work was my way to feel seen and valued.

We humans often do that because being part of a community is essential to both our survival and our thriving. The FOMO (fear of missing out) gets to us, and we say yes to more meetings than we can handle, or we add another assignment or project without taking something off the list. We keep working into the night because we have too much to do, yet we want to keep climbing, so we keep saying yes. Now there’s nothing wrong with the ambition to climb, but doing good work and worrying about doing good work, is not the same thing. One mindset is focused on what we are doing, and the other is focused on what we are not doing or getting done, and that’s the kind of stress that wears us out. What we worry about is also what we care about. So when we try to let go of worry at the end of the day, it can feel like we have to stop caring, which can trigger a feeling of letting go of control, which then may trigger us to worry more. Maybe you can relate.

These days the boundaries between work and life have blended and blurred because the physical space of work has moved to our devices and into our homes; however, the mental and emotional boundaries are the issue, not time and space. It’s the worry we need to learn to work with.

Read the full article on Jeanette’s website here.

Originally published on May 9, 2023 at