Sara is a mental health blogger, wellness advocate and of course our resident The Good, The Bad and The Panicky columnist. You can read more from her here on her blog, Catching up with Sara.
‘I’m tough, I’m ambitious, and I know exactly what I want. If that makes me a bitch, okay.’ – Madonna
I don’t know if you noticed, but Madonna and I, we’re kind of big deals, and of course we both look outstanding in leotards. So there’s this perception that being a woman and being bossy means that you’re a bitch. ‘Oh, here she comes again, nag, nag, nag,’ ‘she chooses a career over kids, she probably needs to get laid.’
But like Madonna, if me knowing what I want from life and having the balls to go and get it makes me a bitch, then so be it. Although I’m pretty much programmed to think like this, it doesn’t take long for good ol’ anxiety to creep in and I’m constantly doubting the size of my balls, like everysecondofeveryminuteofeverydayofforever.
In my day job, I am the Operations and Office Manager of a fabulous company and I am fully supported in my role. We listen to each other, we advise and we support and this support system makes one hell of a difference. Unfortunately, research has proven that women who lead are most likely to show signs of depression. Women who have the ability to hire and fire people have more depressive symptoms than women who don’t.
The funny thing is, female leaders are judged for making decisions with their heart instead of their head. But when we make the changes and use our head over our hearts, we’re blasted for being unfeminine monsters.
Having this immense pressure to ‘do it like a dude’ is not only unfair, but it’s also bad news for our mental health. We are constantly battling to prove that we are just as strong, just as clever and just as capable as men are.
Stressy and depressy work overtime, they never take annual leave and that can be hard on anyone. But when you have a team to manage and a smile to put on your face, some days it can be exhausting. What if they think that I’m unfit to lead? What if they don’t listen to me because they think I’m crazy? What if there’s a bloody mutiny?
To me, living with anxiety and depression is like drowning in fire and although I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, I believe that it’s made me a better leader. I listen, I understand more and I have more patience and determination to ensure that we can be successful whilst keeping a harmonious and a healthy balance, inside and out of the workplace.
Women who lead are a force to be reckoned with because they truly do change the world, for me using my mental health journey as my strength along with those wise ol’ words from Madonna make an unbeatable concoction which hopefully will equip me in leading my team for years to come.