How many of you are over achievers, over nurturers? Are you an over committed Type E personality – being everything to everybody in many areas of your life?
As Administrative Assistants, you excel in multiple roles – work, home, community, extended family, (chief cooks and bottle washers!) You are often the victims of your own success. But there lies the trap. According to author and researcher Harriet Braiker, PhD, the more a woman shows she can do, the more others demand of her. You may be a Type E Personality! The cost to your physical and mental health?–enormous! Even men can be Type E’s as well. Take the test and then read on to discover the pitfalls and how you can harmonize your life and make the E stand for Enjoyment.
Are You a Type E? Take the Test and find out
Score one point for each Yes you answer to the questions.
1 ) I have to do things perfectly
2 ) I should be able to accomplish more in a day
3 ) I should be able to do everything and still be able to cope
4 ) I have to please everyone and prove myself
5 ) Having it all should make me happy
6 ) I can’t be happy until I have it all
7 ) I can’t relax until I finish my work and my chores
8 ) Doing everything for many people will make them value me
9 ) I should be everything to everybody
If you answered five or more of the above questions with a YES, you likely are a Type E and over committed. You need to learn to drop the guilt mode and reach for a little more rest and relaxation before your health is at stake.
Over committing Leads to Stress
For both men and women, over committing may ultimately lead to stress related disorders– backache, stomach problems, aches and pains, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, headaches, feeling overwhelmed, extreme fatigue, irritability, insomnia. Results? Too many sick days.
Assess Your Commitments
Make a list of all the commitments you currently have; job responsibilities; family, home, your roles including extended family; any pet responsibilities; community service work; religious or other groups you belong to.
When you look at your list, do you feel energized and excited or do you feel tired, overwhelmed, wondering how you do it all? If you’re a working women in your 30’s or 40’s with young children, you may be the most stressed. Also, do you strive to be perfect and cannot bear to let anyone down?
But I Have to Do it All! (Don’t I?)
You likely put in a full day at work. If you want to continue to perform at your best, you’ll need to balance your personal AND professional life. Of course, the dilemma is–what responsibilities can you drop?
So What Can You Do?
Practice saying “NO”. Don’t over commit, even if it makes you feel guilty! A little guilt may be okay, however, too much can run or ruin your life. If you must love your neighbor as yourself, it makes just as good sense to love yourself as your neighbor. At work, this may be tricky. However, if you are overwhelmed, ask your boss to prioritize your tasks. Find out the ones that are truly ‘urgent’ and those that can wait.
Recognize the signs of being over committed in all areas of your life. Instead of continuing in old patterns, that may have been passed down from the last generation, do your best to nurture yourself. Eat properly; respect your need for sleep, rest and allow time for spiritual renewal. You’ll need some quiet time alone to recharge. Put your feet up one evening! Take a warm bath. Read a book.
If you’re an overcommitted Administrative Assistant, it’s time to make changes to increase the quality and longevity of your life.