Was having a brief but impactful conversation with a colleague about mental illness and he mentioned something that forced me to quickly (and hopefully kindly) interrupt:
Having social anxiety, I think, may have a negative consequence on my career.
Immediately I told him that that couldn’t possibly be true and how any form of mental illness is not a liability in the slightest. In fact, it can be an incredible asset!
There isn’t a single person on the planet who isn’t fundamentally “broken” in some way, shape, or form, and along those same lines there are only two types of people… those who know it and are aware of it and are seeking to do something about it and then those who are in denial.
Those who are in denial do serious and grave damage to themselves and to others while those who are seeking out help and support have become an invaluable asset to everyone they come in contact with.
Deeper empathy, social awareness, emotional intelligence are all part of being willing enough to encounter and admit that there are problems that need to be addressed.
Again, this doesn’t make you a liability or make you less valuable to an organization or business… it makes you more valuable and should certainly not depress one’s career. In fact, it can be an incredible accelerant.