Finding the AUTHENTIC ME
Part 1 – The Old Identity
I spent 25 years as a strong competent woman in the corporate environment in roles that really challenged and grew me, gave me a sense of achievement and supported a great lifestyle of travelling and exploring, for which I am extremely grateful.
I was also sponsored to do my MBA at Melbourne University at age 38 – an amazing opportunity to obtain a formal education after directly joining the workplace from high school.
I loved working for large corporates – achieving, looking for ways of making things better and showing what I was capable of – something that I felt was lacking as a child. I needed to prove to myself that I was smart, capable, a survivor and this motivated me to constantly strive to achieve and grow.
The truth is that I achieved success through being tenacious and motivated and was determined to do an excellent job once given the opportunity. I was so focused on achieving a business outcome and making or saving the company money. This was ultimately driven by my need for survival and security.
As always there is two sides to a coin. If you looked at the other side I would complain about being a senior female in a male environment, the long hours I worked, my perceived lack of appreciation and recognition I had in many of the roles. I felt stressed, undervalued and often perceived that was “thrown under the bus” by my colleagues. It was all about blaming everyone else when things were not going the way I expected/wanted them to.
Relationships with my colleagues were mixed, you either loved me or disliked me, there didn’t seem to be an “in between”. My husband would often comment that I was the most misunderstood person he knew. He knew my intentions were authentic and genuine, but somehow I wasn’t able to consistently coming across this way when I connected with people at work.
I had so many training opportunities to change and plenty of feedback on my strengths and weaknesses and I would feel disappointed that I wasn’t achieving the consistently glowing report I craved – there was always someone who I would perceive that they would take delight in “putting me down”. I found this made me act aggressively to defend myself and that was never a good outcome.
Despite the numerous training opportunities and the fact that I had a lot of awareness about how I was perceived, I was still unable to modify my behavior sufficiently to “fit” in. I was not even sure if I wanted to fit in, I enjoyed challenging the status quo and being unique!
After taking a redundancy in 2012 I knew that something had to change. I was exhausted feeling like I was constantly pushing uphill and not achieving the outcomes in a manner I wanted to achieve. The redundancy was an opportunity to regroup and decide what I wanted to change – location, type of role, type of company – still blissfully unaware that it wasn’t just about changing my environment, it was about accepting and understanding myself by taking an inner journey to discovery why I experience life the way I do.
Since becoming a full-time coach, I realized that my story is not unique to me, there are so many other men and women experiencing life with the same perceptions and challenges.
Also you will note from this blog, its all about my career – this was my “identity” and I put most of my energy into this and had no balance in my life. The energy I managed to retain for “other than work” was focused on loving my husband, so I was technically empty – no energy for me! More on this as we continue this journey.
If my story resonates with you so far, then join me on this blog journey and I will share the keys to YOUR transformation.