Integrate Who You Are With What You Do
This summer I made an invaluable discovery about myself. I classify it as a major turning point in my life, specifically my work-life.
As I listened to “Kick Ass” with Mel Robins, a recording of live coaching sessions, I had a big AHA-moment. I saw parallels to my own life, my own past. And figured out where my incessant need to seek other people’s approval, permission and their validation was coming from.
Recognizing patterns and letting go of old defense strategies
That was huge. Once I could put my finger on it and gained clarity, I could intentionally take action and move on. Obviously, I couldn’t change the past but I was able to identify what had triggered my behavior. I recognized that I had developed a strategy that helped me deal with a specific situation in the past. Awareness of the pattern gave me the power to let go of it as it was clearly no longer serving me.
Now I saw the pattern in a lot of my relationships, especially at work. From the beginning of my career I was extremely committed, loyal and would bend over backward to deliver results. I idolized my managers and failed to set up healthy boundaries and say no. Often I betrayed my needs and dishonored my values to please someone else.
Those days laid the foundation and I created what I call a corporate persona. Thus, I only showed parts of myself that I thought were accepted in the corporate world and wouldn’t be judged. I ignored and closed-off the health-conscious, sleep-appreciating and spiritual side of me.
Owning who I am
After a burn-out, I quit my job and in 2014 I came to New York. Here I reconnected with that part of me and embarked on a self-development journey. Fast forward to my AHA-moment and the realization that seeking external validation and hiding parts of who I was were connected. I put my stake in the ground and vowed that from now on I give myself what I had been seeking from others. This is how I can own and show up as who I am – my whole self, not just my corporate persona.
Magic: When we integrate who we are with what we do
I knew I did myself a disfavor. As I closed off certain parts, I couldn’t tap into all my inner resources and hence couldn’t do my best work. Because of my own experience I’m passionate about corporate cultures that nourish who we are and encourage us to embrace our whole self. We are all unique and have different strengths and therein lies the power.
Work is an important part of our life. Therefore it’s key that we integrate who we are with what we do. Magic happens when we own who we are and bring our unique, whole self into everything we do!