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“We can do so much more when we navigate our way through the journey together “
Why the Inner Way Worx
If I attempt to explain working from the inside-out it is probably best described as intuition, leading from the heart, a sense of satisfaction, peace and/or a sense of trust that you are treading the right path. I have found that by driving from inner knowledge, wants and needs we can align with what we value most in our life and career. When we don’t deny ourselves or try to hide or ignore parts we can holistically make better decisions for our professional brand and wellbeing.
How did I come to writing this blog?
One thing I’ve always wanted to do in my career is move “up”, believing that the main objective was to climb the ladder towards management and leadership positions. I held myself back for many years because I didn’t feel good enough, secure enough, consistent enough or intelligent enough to sustain a position like that. The emphasis being the “enough”, somewhere deep inside I knew I had “something” I knew I had the ability, but I created an opposing picture, I would seek out evidence that proved I could only half do the job and so, I convinced myself I never fully fit the brief. I’ll use an analogy, my career thus far could be likened to my swimming squad days, in the pool I was one lane off the top squad (with the fastest swimmers), but I never quite reached the top. Similarly, if I apply this to my career history; I was often excelling in my lane, I was a high achiever in sales, I was a dedicated customer service expert, coach, consultant, trainer, facilitator and team player. The many roles I have had all indicate a high level of drive, aptitude and commitment but I had remained at a level that was comfortable. That lane became safe, I was pretty darn fast, I was pretty good, but I wasn’t the best and somewhere along my journey I had decided that was ok.
Until, I began to realise that the more I held myself back the more resentful I felt, cue next job where I’d promise myself, I would step up! This process eventually wore me down, so I started to take a closer look at myself. Who was I trying to impress? Me? Or others? And most importantly what did I truly want? I felt lost, burnt out and needed to “find myself” again. I know this might sound like an elementary revelation in a world where personal and professional development is at our fingertips but I had spent so long trying to ‘prove myself’ that I didn’t know what I was proving anymore. Everything felt like one big hustle when I really just wanted to follow my heart.
Instead of following my heart, I learnt the hard way that when our potential is over-shadowed by limiting perceptions of ourselves it often takes a major wake-up call to shift into a new gear. It’s a feeling of reaching a pain point so great that we just can’t live like that any longer. This might look like complete burn-out, loss of identity, lack of motivation, depression or anxiety and even more it can become pervasive through your entire life. I’d like to think we can prevent ourselves from reaching these points by re-focusing inward more often. A mentor once told me “intervene early and intervene often”, I’ve found it to be a great mantra to use when managing my own professional development. Understanding what’s happening for you on the inside can make all the difference to how you respond to work situations on the outside.
It’s not a new concept to seek answers from within. I see it as a cyclical part of life, at times we need to return inwards for the “true” answers as we learn, forget and re-learn time and time again what we really need and want. Life is busy, expectations can be high and unless you are an enlightened monk, I think we are stretched and challenged away from and back to ourselves throughout this lifetime. Sometimes you just have to turn down the external voices, pressures and all the have to’s, should not’s and could not restrictions that can be used as evidence against our pursuit of professional happiness.
One of the best things I’ve ever done, is to give less of a *Bleep* about what people think of me. I’ve come to find comfort in the beating of my own drum, my lane doesn’t look so bad, I stayed true to myself, even if I had held myself back at times, does it matter? I’m here now still on the journey and ready to share it with you.
If you’d like to know more about the strategies and tools I’ve used to coach myself through various career challenges please follow this blog.