I often get asked why I feel so passionate about this subject. It's simple: my inability to show this side turned my life AND my family upside down, forever changing our lives.
Workplace stress caused me to have 2 heart attacks in 18 months & permanent heart damage. I'm now on a mission to prevent the same trauma from happening to others.
I made 4 critical mistakes:
1. Regarded sharing my vulnerability at work as too greater a risk for my career.
2. Continually tried to please others for some perceived future recognition from the company.
3. I pretended to myself that I could carry on working long hours, taking more & more responsibilities despite warning signs from my body telling me otherwise e.g. loss of appetite, restlessness, fatigue and poor sleep.
4. Failure to seek help when I needed it; whether it be from my team, HR or other support networks.
Showing vulnerability at work means having tough and open conversations about how you are feeling with other people in the business, your leaders, team etc. It requires strength and courage.
But no matter how painful those conversations, might be, always bear in mind the key purpose of them - i.e. to ensure your and your family's well-being.
Ultimately, you have to decide how much you are willing to sacrifice for your career - just remember to factor in the cost to your family when weighing up the risk and benefit calculations.