Today’s post is a talisman for all of you who have ever felt the need to wear a masque, hide your true self, hide your emotions, hide your humanity, or otherwise conform to a mold at work that does not fit you.
It’s a long post, but one that I hope you will read and find both comfort & community in.
Please feel free to share your own stories & insights in the comments section – Mike & I would love to hear from you. :>
Too many people in today’s world feel forced, for various reasons of personal + financial necessity, to mold themselves into people that they are not, merely to hold on to a job.
And too many employers, for various reasons of personal + financial necessity, don’t take the time + effort to allow their people to be human beings, with emotions and mistakes.
This is not only leading to a loss of creativity, initiative, and enthusiasm in the workplace, but is also leading to a disturbing increase in the incidence of violence in the workplace. (While apparently this has been getting better more recently, there is still the term ‘going postal’ to remind us of times-not-entirely-gone-by.)
I remember a chilling (in retrospect) incident from my working-outside-the-house-days, in this case, in the early 90s.
There was some kind of kerfluffle in the biz-segment winds, I was far too lowly-placed to know what, and suddenly a large chunk of the workplace both at the branch where I worked, and across the company nationwide, was being laid off, presumably with little to no warning or notice.
All I know for sure is the picture that is still seared in my brain after all these many: that of a security guard standing there at the entrance to our section of the building, wearing a gun.
This was not normal for our industry, so was very disquieting, even before I learned the truth of why he was standing there all day.
Eventually, naive-me went and asked the receptionist (after the guard had disappeared to escort yet another person and their belongings from the premises) why the guard was there, with the gun, etc.
Her answer was a huge, sad, and profoundly disturbing awakening to the power of Big Business (certainly in the U.S.A, probably elsewhere too) to completely screw it up when it comes to handling emotional situations.
…and It’s Still Here Because???
No clue, actually.
I know this is the section where I’m supposed to have all the answers, but, especially in this case, I simply don’t.
It continues to astound me how companies who can manage to grow to a certain respectable size can manage to do so with such an amazing lack of emotional awareness.
Tea Silvestre, Word Chef + Head Chef in ‘Prosperity’s Kitchen’ called us humans ‘messy, emotional beings’ during a recent interview for Laura Petrolino’s & Nicole Fende’s ‘Call a Biz Hero’ show, and she’s absolutely right.
We humans -are- emotional beings and by definition, while there IS pattern to emotion, there is no logic-per-se to it. There can’t be – that’s not what emotion is.
(And yes, this can be quite maddening at times. As an autistic person and an empath, I can tell you from my own experience that the human creature quite often defies explanation! )
One thing that emotion IS, however, is a link between all the lives of your Soul. Mike & I learned from Jacob, the Guide who first introduced us to the structure of the World and the Soul, that the emotional body-facet is the one thing that all of your concurrent lives share.
So for that reason alone, it is hugely important+valuable, in terms of being that foundation for the sharing of non-personally-learned wisdom and the health & temperature of the whole.
It is the base from which everything else springs, and you squash it at your peril.
When I was pondering this section, the first image that came to my mind was that of an army of ‘Deanna Troi‘s scattered in businesses across the U.S., ready and waiting to help executives and managers take the emotional temperature and prescribe appropriate remedies as necessary.
While this isn’t actually a bad idea, and perhaps as psychic functioning becomes more acceptable in this country, it will even become a reality.
But for now, other, closer-to-hand solutions are probably the more practical way to go.
1. Be aware of the problem.
If you don’t know that a problem exists, you can neither seek to change it yourself nor help others to become aware of the need for change.
2. Do your best to be part of the solution, rather than a continuance of the problem.
Bridget Pilloud of the ‘Intuitive Bridge’ wrote a post in which she made the argument that you should ideally do your self-learning outside the context of the business world. (Thank you Wayback Machine for enabling me to share this eye-opening post! :> )
And while I think that’s an excellent suggestion if you can manage it, I also think that you shouldn’t let a need for perfection get in the way of your need for personal growth.
In other words, as we’ve said so often around here, “Begin where you are, with what you have, and who you are.”
Furthermore: learn thyself, so that to thine own self you can be true.
(And hopefully not drive all of your colleagues completely batty while you do it.)
3. Be aware that there is far more than one fish in the sea.
If your current job is a soul-sucking morass, with a company culture that would be better served by a herd of robots rather than a set of human employees, don’t feel you have to say there and suffer!
Let me repeat that: you don’t have to stay at a job that is killing any part of you.
There are always options.
There are always choices.
And there is always, always, more than one fish is the sea.
I have seen too many people, friends and strangers alike, argue for the limitations of their situations, doing serious damage to themselves and those around them by feeling that they couldn’t possibly leave their jobs because, because, because….
At the end of the day, what they were REALLY saying was, “I’m scared. I feel trapped by this job/situation, but change feels too big, too scary, too unknown, too overwhelming to me. This job sucks, but ‘better the devil you know’, right?”
The Emotional Journey Out of Robot-Cubicles to a Healthier Human(ity)
This isn’t easy.
I understand why people say the above. I’ve been there, done that, been so afraid of change that it was easier to try to make it work, fail, and get fired time after time after time after time, rather than stop, get off the treadmill, and figure out a better way. :>
It can be so very hard to admit, even to yourself, never mind in something so public as action, that something isn’t working. That something you (presumably) thought would be at least okay is turning out to be so very, very not-in-the-least-bit-okay.
But think on this.
For all the suckage involved, and there will be suckage involved, it’s only a moment. (Comparatively speaking.)
And when it’s over, and it will be over, you have the rest of your life to enjoy the glorious Spaciousness in which to fly free, easy, and happy.
Isn’t it worth going through the suck for that?
Eleven Ways to Mitigate the Suck
1. Breathe. Literally and figuratively.
Oxygen and pausing help so very many things. These kinds of things especially.
Do some breathing exercises. Take a moment. Tune in. Breathe slowly in. Breathe slowly out. Repeat, repeat, repeat, until you feel calmer and more capable. Then repeat as necessary whenever you begin to falter, or when you simply desire the moment, the peace, the extra fuel.
2. You can choose the things that are yours to choose. Like your Attitutude. Like your Actions. Like your Companions.
Some things are out of your control. Some things are within your control. As the saying goes, learn the difference.
Then act on the ones that you can control.
And remember a good Attitude couple with good Actions can take you far.
3. Find worthy companions for your Journey.
These can be mentors, friends, family, lovers, colleagues, etc. WHO they are isn’t nearly as important as WHAT they are. And that ‘what’ is supportive. Helpfully supportive. They can be cheerleaders, they can be advice-givers, they can be whatever you need and/or desire. Just make sure they are helping you through, not encouraging you to stay Stuck.
4. You don’t have to burn your ship or your bridges to do this.
Tai Goodwin has built a thriving business helping people start their own businesses while still working for someone else.
If you desire to continue working for someone else, just not the SAME someone else, remember that you can look for another position while still working at your current position.
5. Learn your strengths and your weaknesses.
Then go with your strengths and mitigate your weaknesses by discovering workarounds for them.
6. Learn what you love and what you do not love.
If you don’t know what you are looking for, in a job, a career, or anything else, how will you know when you get there?
And then there’s the fact that if you know where you’d like to end up, you stand a much better chance of getting there more quickly and in one piece.
7. Accept your limitations without arguing for them.
If you are no good at clock-time, like myself, then taking a job that requires a lot of synchronous behavior (such as a receptionist) is probably not a good idea. :>
(Would that I had gone with this notion back in the day. But no, I kept beating my head against that brick wall, coming away bloodied with yet another firing, and wondering what was wrong with me. Not what I thought was wrong with me, that’s for sure. Bad fit. Not bad person. :> )
8. Rename and reframe.
As I was writing the first draft of the above thought, my Gallery of Guides pointed out that if I had to do so, I could reframe that need for temporal flexibility and work around it.
Still wouldn’t mean that it’s my best thing, but, in a pinch, I could manage for a short time.
So, yes, if you are absolutely between a rock and a hard place, and simply must work at something that does not fit into your strengths, see if you can rename and reframe it into something at least a little more palatable.
9. Don’t wait too long to make changes.
If I could go back and tell my Younger Self just one thing, it would be to stop waiting for others to make the decisions for me about what jobs were suitable and what jobs were not.
I knew long before I was fired that a position was not right for me, and I suspect that those of you facing those soul-sucking jobs, those robot-preferring positions, know it too.
I just didn’t want to face it and have to deal with changing it, and I suspect you don’t either.
And why would you?
Change is big. Change is hard. Change can feel overwhelming.
But sometimes, change is also necessary. For our health and happiness, and the health and happiness of those around us.
Forgiveness is all very well, and I’m not saying you should pack up your toys and go home the first instant something goes wrong at your job or career, but I AM saying that life is short, and if something really isn’t working out, it is far better to simply admit it and move on, than to waste precious time trying to remake something that’s not going to allow itself to be remade.
10. Remember that Not-Right-Fit isn’t a commentary on anything other than the fit.
It’s not a commentary on you.
It’s not a commentary on the job.
It’s not a commentary on the company. :>
It’s a commentary on the mix of you + job + company.
And that is all. :>
11. You must take responsibility for your own actions, your own choices, and your own happiness.
At the end of the day, your happiness quotient is up to you, as are your actions and your choices. All avenues are open to you, but some will lead you closer to your chosen goals and Dreams than others.
Be aware of which is which, and choose accordingly.
As the Guide Bashar, channelled by Daryl Anka, puts it, the Universe is like a mirror. So don’t expect the mirror to smile first. It’s not going to.
How will you choose to re/make your Universe, both on-the-job and in-your-life?
How will you choose to bring your humanity to your work???
P.S. And if you’re feeling the need for a talisman of your own to help you through your own job or career situation, then click the box at the side of the page or ‘Contact Us’ – we’ll be happy to help! -B! :>