The Year of a Mindful Career: “I’m In Crisis”

This isn’t a statement you ever want to hear. Nor is it one to joke about. Recently, I received a call from a client who claimed to be in crisis. My first concern was to ensure her safety and wellbeing and immediately refer her to a vetted mental health clinician. But as we talked further, I learned that her “crisis” was all about someone not performing up to his or her capacity in the workplace. And this lack of productivity was making her upset.

While I understand and appreciate her interpretation and severity of the issue, we needed to work on this together without making a call to 911.

A successful C.E.O. I know said that whenever he hears someone say, “This is a crisis,” he asks, “Did anyone die because of what happened?” They always say, “No.” To this he replies, “Then it’s not a crisis.”

Here’s the thing, as a coach (and former counselor) I’ve certainly had my fair share of calls from individuals who feel they are at the end of their rope. Hey, we’ve all been there, but we also need to make sure that what we are dealing with is not a life-threatening issue. If it’s not, then are we overusing the words “bullying,” “crisis,” “emergency,” etc.?

While it may feel like it at the time, we need to respect the severity of these words and ensure that we have the resources we (and others) need to be safe, healthy and whole.

Now, if you’re having a “career crisis,” that’s an entirely different thing. And we should talk!

Personal Challenge: Let’s try to find the best words to describe our emotional state. How can we help others do the same?

Learn more about The Year of a Mindful Career.

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