Does this happen to you? Do you get so involved, to the point of being emotional, in issues or challenges at work that you feel the outcome is a reflection on you?
I spend a lot of time at work doing tasks and chores which are not part of my assigned duties. These activities are volunteer-based, authorized and supported by my employer, intended to assist others by removing systemic barriers and/or improve quality of life.
Yet recently I’ve happily and willingly accepted some challenges which have pushing my analytic skills, my professionalism, and even my emotions further than I thought I was comfortable doing. In military terminology, I’ve been providing operational support to those on the front lines, while I’ve been safely out of harm’s way in the “rear-areas”. At the same time, I’ve allowed myself to feel like I’m up on the front lines in contact with the enemy, feeling pained and hurt at every strike from the opposing combatants.
What concerns me, is how invested I am getting. Don’t worry, I’m not running away. I don’t think there is anything wrong with some emotional collateral…because it is what motivates me, drives me to ensure others are treated as well as I would like to be treated. I believe that there is no need to avoid this type interaction because it fulfills me. I also believe that I need to learn to not measure my own self-worth based upon the results of my efforts to assist and support. I sincerely believe that even if the results don’t end up positive, that all parties involved are already winning in some way just by working towards a common goal.