Think Yes Before No

Week 2 of 40 Days To Personal Revolution. Week 2 of traveling. Week 2 of not sleeping in my own bed. Week 2 of missing my dogs. Week 2 of not having a kitchen to cook my own food. Can you tell I’m feeling a bit depleted? Last week was meant to focus on VITALITY, and while I’m feeling exhausted and did not practice the asanas in my shoe box of a room more than once while I was in New York for work, a LOT came up this week.

If you read my blog post last week (here) you know that part of my personal self work is not being so hard on myself. So honestly, I knew chances were slim that I would be able to commit to the goals of asana, mediation, diet, and journaling daily when I knew that every hour of my day was going to be accounted for due to my work’s All Hands meeting. Rather than perceiving this as a lack of commitment to the process, I told myself, “It’s ok. Do what you can. Be present for everything else going on.” Starting my intention for the week with ease, flexibility, and presence instead of coming from a place of having to “cram it all in” led to some major shifts for me.

Right before the holidays my manager approached the subject of me “climbing the ladder” at work. This wasn’t surprising since our performance evaluations were right around the corner, so it was an expected conversation. What wasn’t expected however, is when she asked if I would be open to managing alongside her. I was taken aback since I’ve only been in my role full-time for about 6 months. At the time I told her it was certainly something I was open to in the future, but I was hesitant- very on the fence. I currently work 32 hours a week, make my own schedule, work anywhere there’s wifi, and have zero stress related to my job. That is unheard of in the nursing profession, especially the oncology nursing profession. I have found the rainbow unicorn of job positions.

I found myself thinking of the last manager I had in the hospital. Constantly putting out fires, dealing with political red tape, serving as a figure head with no real voice and seemingly no real power to conduct change. No thanks. It sounds miserable and it felt miserable to be led by that person. Her misery translated to her team and I became unwilling to work in that environment. So I was really stuck in that story. The story of management equates to stress and hell.

Yet, the seed had been planted. I was talking with my friend in Colorado when she said something along the lines of, “High performers like you and me will naturally advance in our positions to the highest level possible because we always want that title and position and the extra money that comes along with it.” First I wondered if she forgot who she was talking to, and then I realized she was only talking about herself with a blanket of forced relatability thrown over the conversation. I gave her a quizzical look and laughed because those reasons have never motivated me when it comes to advancing in the workplace. I responded by explaining that I like to advance myself when I’m no longer feeling challenged, when I no longer feel like I’m GROWING at work or when I see the opportunity to grow MORE.

In that moment, speaking those words out loud I felt tiny roots take hold in my heart. Why had I been so resistant to managing my team alongside a manager I truly admire and respect? Why wouldn’t I want to learn how to lead and empower others? I’m already learning how in yoga teacher training after all.

As an employee, I want a manager who has vision. A manager that has my back. A manager that communicates with me as though we are equals (because I’m pretty sure we all bleed red blood… that whole human thing is a level playing field). So for the first time I found myself thinking yes, I think I’m going to go after this… maybe.

The tiny seed that was planted in November sprouted as I was sitting in my All Hands meeting. This meeting is organized yearly to bring all the remote employees to New York so the entire team of nearly 700 people can be together and connect face to face as real people, not just tiny square pictures on the computer screen. I was looking at the projected growth of my team specifically seeing that in this year alone we will double in size. Now this decision was seeming more and more strategic. If I wanted a chance to manage my team alongside my current manager, I needed to act now.

Then came the values presentation. Every company has a Mission and Values, but usually they just feel like boxes that need to be checked off for the business plan. Not at my company, Flatiron Health. Our mission is “To improve lives by learning from the experience of every cancer patient” and our Values are tangible and make you feel something. I won’t list all ten of them, but things like Start with Why, Be Kind, Do the Right Thing, Learn-Teach-Grow, and Be Willing to Sit on The Floor are a few. The one that resonated with me MOST though as I was sitting there still toying with the idea of going after a management position was: Think Yes Before No. Sound familiar? A little like Be a YES?

I officially decided to step into my power while sitting in the Playstation Theater in New York City. Baron says, “Give up what you must.” So rather than thinking of all the reasons to say no, all the self-doubt, all the questioning how things will work out, I’m saying YES. It just so happened that the laws we were meant to focus on this week are Step Out of Your Comfort Zone and Commit to Growth.

I may have only meditated 5 times last week, had 1 very forced asana practice in a space smaller than a yoga mat, eaten more gluten free bagels and cream cheese than I could count, and journaled only to write this article. But SHIFT HAPPENED anyways.

I am stepping WAY out of my comfort zone. I am committed to growth. And most importantly, I am ready now.