Filled to the Brim

Given my recent overload of pressure and work at the office, I found myself facing the realisation of what determines my capacity to deal with what is thrown at me each day. I found myself having conversations in my head about how I’ve had enough, how I’m not willing to put up with the crap any longer, and how this is all pointless. However, I couldn’t fend off this nagging feeling that that was just me setting limitations for myself. I was determining when it was enough, often long before it really was.

There is a physical limitation that is also breached at some point which results in physical fatigue or exhaustion that simply makes it near impossible to function effectively. But the more I considered all this, the more I realised that I was setting a limitation for myself long before I arrived at that point of true physical exhaustion. It reminded me of a study by Dr Tim Noakes that confirms that our brain tells us that we’re tired long before we reach a state of being physically fatigued even though we are capable of much more. That poses a significant challenge to the perspectives that I’ve held on to for so long. I always assumed that being able to read my physical symptoms would be the surest way to make informed decisions about my emotional well being, but it turns out that it’s not as straight forward as that.

And so I contemplated my current frustration with the on-going seemingly endless cycle of pressure that we’ve been under for more than a month now, and each time I felt like indulging myself with the defeatist proclamation of ‘I’ve had enough’, I knew that I was still capable of dealing with more. Funny how my attitude determined when enough was enough rather than any real physical or emotional constraints I was faced with. Through this painful exercise of working with some of the most amazingly inept resources I’ve ever had to contend with in my career, it has become obvious that what I am capable of is far from what I am tolerant of.

I guess the focus needs to shift towards improving my tolerance and therefore my abilities to navigate around issues that challenge my tolerance levels, rather than to constantly focus on subject matter competence and relationship building. However, I suspect that this is really just scratching the surface of a bigger issue that lies beneath, that being the issue of self-worth, confidence, and emotional intelligence, each of which have a myriad of supporting issues as well. Yet again, a vicious cycle emerges. What remains clear though is the fact that I determine my capacity long before anyone else is able to push me beyond my own limits. This cup is far from full, although at times it serves my purposes to present myself as having reached a threshold that is reasonable to be considered a limitation of wits and patience for any reasonable person.

Even in that there is little comfort, because in so doing, I am reminded that I am merely comparing myself to the mediocre, rather than striving to exceed such levels of complacency.



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