How does it feel to just let go? You don’t need to sell your soul or get crushed by the corporate grind. Some ideas for making a change
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Can you bear the weight?
The unbelievable heaviness of our expectations and regrets. This stuff we’ve been carrying around for eons that we don’t even realize is holding us back until we unburden ourselves. This was my experience after leaving the corporate world to start my own business – I had to process 2 decades of accumulated toxicity.
Don’t get me wrong, I accomplished a lot over a successful 20 year corporate career of which I’m very proud. Those achievements, contributions and learning have been critical to my growth and development, in addition to being an important source of knowledge and wisdom that I share with others. At the same time, many of these accumulated experiences represented conflict whether from battling corporate bureaucracy or fighting “the man”. I also had a sense that I betrayed myself and my inner calling.
While I’m loathe to say that I sold out because it was a conscious choice I made to go down that path at that time in my life, parts of my soul often felt unexpressed, undervalued and unappreciated and longed for so much more.
I was the first in a family of professionals to go the corporate route – to get an MBA and work at a bank. And in many ways I was a natural – I loved work and the sense of purpose and accomplishment it gave me. But there were so many sacrifices I needed to make on a daily basis, to compromise my values, fit within the limited structures and navigate through the nasty politics. And nasty they were – sharp elbows and all.
Many take to the corporate world like a fish (or shark) to water. Others try to float through. Some flail around and struggle or pull others down with them. We may find ourselves swimming in a toxic cesspool where our spirits are drowning. I thought the best way to capture this might be through a subtle sound journey….
- Shlymiphf….That’s the slowly deflating sound of your heart being crushed under the weight of bureaucratic bullsh*t from opaque policies, obfuscation and outright lies as managers withhold critical information about aspects of the business.
- Thwack…. That was your @ss hitting the pavement as the rug got pulled out from under you in an unexpected layoff or you got shoved aside by a competitive coworker throwing you under the bus or grabbing credit for your ideas.
- Wooshptstttt…That quiet crushing of your heart from the self-betrayal or the knives that have been thrust into your back or side without even realizing it happened.
No more delusions
Prior to business school I had worked in the nonprofit sector doing mission-driven community-oriented work that felt like it made a difference. In the corporate world, i justified to myself that I was making a contribution. And I’m sure that many of my efforts did add value. Though at the same time I know I paid a price. Like blood diamonds, many beautiful things have dark back stories.
While this is hard to point out, since it’s not universally acknowledged, I know these experiences to be true for myself, many of my clients, students and the world at large. We get beaten down and these challenging experiences leave an imprint. The scars are sometimes hidden and other times more obvious. Some we can hide and suppress, others might erupt unexpectedly in anger, outrage or sadness, self-denigration and insecurity.
Few of us have escaped the work world without being bruised and beaten on some level psychologically, emotionally, spiritually and energetically. The war ravaging in Ukraine is just the most obvious example of the incredible damage caused by yet another power-hungry dictator (big boss) ego in overdrive wreaking havoc and destruction on those who should be sovereign. There the fall-out is easily observable, but in the world of work it’s somehow a given that we have to muscle through the battles like good soldiers – to show up and put up.
THERE IS HOPE!
Here’s what I know. The corporate grind can suck your soul dry, squeezing all the juice out of your orange and leaving you wondering where and how your happy went into hiding. But it doesn’t need to be that way! Maybe you’re one of the lucky ones who wasn’t chewed up, spit our or beaten down by an uncaring boss, toxic culture, nasty colleagues or a pressure cooker environment. Glad that you found a place that treats you with respect, values your contributions and compensates you fairly.
I want that for everyone! To find meaning and purpose from work. Where we get to make an impact by bringing out our talent, rather than being impacted by the selfishness and thoughtlessness of others.
We can reclaim our spirit! But some deep release work may be required. Letting go of the bad experiences, to make way for your authentic self to shine through. You know – that courageous warrior ready to do battle to make positive change in the world. I see you and I know you are in there. Let me help you come out of hiding and reclaim your light. To restore your confidence, natural style and swagger. Enough of the hang dog, dragging yourself to morning calls and Sunday night dread. I’d love to help you restore your spirit, give you effective coping strategies and the ability to make better choices that support your growth.
You don’t need botox, a makeover or spa day to make it through, though those might make you look and feel better temporarily. Some powerful release work is called for to create more freedom. Curious to learn more? Let’s chat to help you envision a new way of working.
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