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  • Writer's pictureMariana Carvalho

Burnout & Vulnerability: It is Okay to Say That You're Not Okay

Emotions swept under the rug are always the hardest to clean up

"I can't show my weaknesses", — I said in one of my countless therapy sessions.


"I prefer to say everything is fine and move on. Tomorrow is a new day".


Until the new day arrives and the problems are still there.


The microaggressions are still there.


We go through the day-to-day process of "it's nothing personal with me" until we get to "but why was I treated that way?".


We start to endure.


Then we start questioning.


We go on to pretend that everything is fine to avoid conflicts. Not knowing that emotions swept under the rug are always the hardest to clean.


We begin to doubt our sanity. We don't want to take it personally. But it's impossible not to take it personally when every part of you is being hurt: for being a woman, for having an accent, for not feeling like you belong.


"Why can't you demonstrate your weaknesses?" — my therapist asks me. "Because I need to prove I am strong", — I answer.


"Being vulnerable is also a sign of strength, Mariana." — she replies.


Those words echoed in my head for a long time.


Over the past two months, I've made it a conscious exercise to express my feelings even when it hurts. To make myself vulnerable. It hasn't been easy. Being vulnerable is only easy in Brené Brown's video.


If I'm not feeling comfortable with something, I speak up. I speak up if something bothers me in a conversation I have with someone. I became aware of the feelings I was sweeping under the rug and talking about them.


In the last two months, I need to accept that I am experiencing burnout. I came to realize that I was taking micro-aggressions at work. And sweeping them under the rug only made my healing worse in the long run.


And that it wasn't okay. And that it's okay to say that it's not okay. It is okay to say that you are not okay.


I would have started sooner if I had learned that being vulnerable could bring me many benefits.


If you've read this far, I hope you also learn quickly and answer this question: how are you taking care of yourself?


May we learn that cleaning is inevitable and constant in our lives.



Mariana Carvalho is a writer, career mentor, Latino 30 Under 30 2022 by El Mundo Boston magazine, Mentor of the Year 2023 by WomenTech Network, with over 12 years of professional experience, the last 7 in corporate America. Connect: Mentoring | Medium | LinkedIn | Instagram | Threads | Website

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