The Loneliness of a Leader

Facebook Messenger notification on my phone…a friend asking how I am doing and would I like to go on a walk…I say that I will have to see how the week goes.  I never contact her back as I am working 12+ hours per day and am exhausted.

Another notification on my phone…a different friend asking if I will be able to come to her party on a Monday evening…I say that I have just started a new job and am being slammed with demanding deadlines and that I may have to decline…too stressed on a weekday.  She does not respond back, and I feel hurt.

Text message from my mom…how are you doing, and you should visit soon…I say good and yes that would be great…but I do not go for many months as too much on my plate. 

Text message from my sisters…”we should get the grandbabies together to meet and play”…I say that yes, we should do that soon…many months go by with no follow through.  I am just too overwhelmed. 

I go to work, day after day, 8-hour days then go home and work from home more hours to include weeknights, Saturdays and Sundays.  Friends and family keep asking for me to join their activities and I keep making excuses for not doing so.  My brain is exhausted…so exhausted that all I can do in my free time is sit by myself and watch Netflix…cannot deal with doing anything else…other than to relax by myself.

I go to work each day and sit in an office by myself…no longer the friendships of colleagues who sit in cubicles beside me.  Long gone are the days where I felt no responsibility other than my one job where I socialized and talked about management or the perceived lack thereof with my peers.  Now I am the “management”, the one who is responsible for myself and all others, the one who is seen as the one to be feared or the one to be “on a different level”, not a peer friend/coworker.

I feel so many mixed emotions…satisfaction from career success, stimulation and adrenaline for fixing another company’s problems, depression and loneliness as I watch all my friends and family posting such fun get together and outings on social media that I declined being a part of due to work responsibilities.  Why do I feel so alone as I wanted this career promotion, this pay raise, this step on the corporate ladder?  Is there a way to have it all?

  • Are you a leader?
  • Do any of the above issues sound familiar to you?
  • Do you often feel isolated from friends and family due to your demanding job?
  • Have you wondered how nice it would be to figure out a good balance between work and personal life?

I often think about this all…day after day…as I watch my personal life get put on hold because of work demands, all the while wondering when I will have that fun, normal and less stressful work/personal life balance back.  However, I continue allowing the work to come first place…but why?

Why do I do this?  I wonder this on a constant basis as I turn down friends, family and other relationships.

Well, here are my top 3 thoughts on why I continue this lonely lifestyle that I do not necessarily have to continue.

  1. I have a deep ingrained desire to prove myself capable of accomplishing great things…even at the risk of losing great friendships.
  2. I am afraid of making less money and not having the desired financial freedom that I want.
  3. I am very unusually independent and do not like relying or depending on anyone for my well-being.
  4. I am afraid of deep personal relationships that would cause me to sacrifice my success.

In conclusion…as I sit here in loneliness and write this article…I am still in constant turmoil on figuring out how to be a successful leader and have a beautiful and balanced personal life.  I do know one thing and that is that I do not have the stress of living pay day to pay day as many others do.  I have been there before and that isn’t a pleasant place to be either, so I guess it is all up to what you want to be stress free about.  I choose the road to success and financial freedom and will eventually figure out how to balance the personal life too.

How about you?

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