Hello everyone and welcome to Part 2 of my Strong Woman Spotlight series! Today we will hear from a friend and colleague of mine about her successful career of marketing/development. I reached out to Shannon because she is one woman I know that works her tail off and if she heard me calling her “successful” she might roll her eyes. She has accomplished so much already in her career and still wants more. I wanted Shannon to get “real” about the things she deals with as a successful career woman. Here is her post:
“Enough is Enough”
by Shannon Silk
Have you ever seen one of those word clouds? A word cloud is an image composed of words in which the size of each word indicates the frequency of the word used. I find myself thinking about this concept a lot. And if I were to somehow be able to record all of my thoughts throughout an entire day, what would my word cloud look like?
Unfortunately, I’ve come to realize that my most frequently used word – second only to the F word (sorry mom) – would probably be the word “enough.” So many of my internal thoughts center around this notion of “what is enough?”
Am I working hard enough? Am I eating enough vegetables? Am I getting enough sleep? Is my dog getting enough exercise? Am I saving enough money? Am I putting in enough face time with upper management? Am I spending enough time with all of my friends? Am I smiling enough? Am I doing enough? Am I achieving enough?
The list quite literally goes on forever.
A little background into who I am: I work in fundraising for one of the most reputable nonprofits in the region. What this really means is that I have absolutely no background in mental health counseling or therapy, so I am completely unqualified to give life advice… but here we are.
I love my job. And I can appreciate how lucky I am to be able to say that. I truly cannot think of a time in my adult life when I have been happier. However, having said that, I am also far more anxious now than I have ever been. I think a large part of my anxiety is rooted in this idea of “but is it enough?”
I’m fortunate to be surrounded by some incredible men and women in my life. However, it’s so easy to fall into a habit of comparing myself to others. Finding out an old friend got engaged turns into “Am I putting enough effort into my relationship?” Seeing pictures of someone at the finish line of a marathon turns into “Am I working out enough?” And the cycle of self-doubt and comparison continues on.
I think it’s important to use your network and the people around you for support and inspiration, but not as a basis for comparison (easier said than done). Constantly striving to be “enough” by other people’s standards is exhausting and honestly, a little depressing. And the more that I opened up and shared my insecurities about “being enough” with the people I look up to, the more I realized that so many of us feel this way.
To be frank, I don’t have any answers or quick fixes to this problem. But what I’ve been trying to focus on lately is finding out what’s important to me, and going from there. There’s no use in trying to achieve someone else’s goals, because there’s just not enough time.
When Annie asked me to write a post for her blog as a part of her amazing women spotlight, I laughed. Because truly, I am not an amazing woman. But someday I want to be one, and I’m working really hard to become one. And I think that in itself is enough.
Thanks for reading!