Here I was – full of energy and feeling confident again. But I was also feeling pretty angry, battling with emotions of unfairness over losing my job. My commitment to fulfill all required job duties until the end was solid but I was acting resentfully.
I wanted to prove them wrong, provide evidence that they made an error in judgment and underestimated my capabilities. I worked as hard as I could but since it was coming from a place of anger and resentment it cost me a lot of energy and I felt exhausted. Then a friend (thank you Carl ♥) asked me a simple question: “Why are you doing it?” And I answered with my serenade that I want to show everyone that letting me go was a mistake…
His second question made me think much longer:
Why are you giving others so much power over yourself?
We discussed and found the root cause – my need for external validation. I realized that I always let others judge anything I do and those 4 words “What Will People Say” discouraged me from doing more things than I would like to admit. It was time to change that.
Of course, I understand the importance of goals, KPIs and other metrics but I had to accept that I am my own person, responsible for my choices and face the hard truth – world isn’t fair, your world is what you make it.
Also, I understood that I eliminated me from the equation. After all, it was my career and integrity in stake. Their opinion still mattered to me but I started doing it for my own sake with a strong belief in my strengths, skills and capabilities. And from a place of happiness and self-accountability I was back in my flow, doing an excellent job and feeling great about it.
Leaders inspire accountability through their ability to accept responsibility before they place blame. (Courtney Lynch)
I still do care what others think but I don’t give away my power anymore – I hold myself accountable for my choices and decisions. Or at least I try… It’s a journey I have recently embarked – I left the ‘island of letting others constantly judge me and putting blame on them when things go wrong’ and I am heading to a place where I take full responsibility for my life. It’s somewhere up there – on top of that mountain and I know I will get there.
It took a while to see my job loss as a lesson learned, as an opportunity for growth but I am extremely grateful for this experience – it helped me uncover my blind spots and understand my unhealthy beliefs about myself, others and the world (learn more in this TED talk on mental strength).
Always remember – if I could do it, then you can do it too.