I Have Scars
I have scars, some of which run deep. A few of them are still raw, and all are invisible to the naked eye.
Not all scarring is physical; it can be mental or emotional. Almost all types of scars start out as just tiny aggravations; you know… when something keeps rubbing you in the same place, over, and over, and over. It goes from aggravating to annoying. Then it becomes irritating. Then it gets raw. And over time, it becomes a scar.
Damage done in the workplace frequently comes from interacting with poor managers, bad coworkers, and unhealthy work environments. Having to deal with these things doesn’t in any way cancel out the wonderful things we learned and experiences we enjoyed with our good leaders, great coworkers, and energizing work environments. But it still must be dealt with.
When I realized my negative situation had gone from aggravating to annoying and was closing in quickly on irritating, I decided to protect myself. Not just the outside me; the inside me as well. I put on my corporate armor to battle the micromanaging bosses and insensitive coworkers, and I put up my professional veneer to hide my vulnerability and authenticity, to keep them from seeing my servant heart.
I thought it helped for a little while, but eventually, I realized my method of coping was not serving me well.
My corporate armor and professional veneer had grown heavy...
... and I needed to take it off, put it down, and learn a more effective way of coping. The first thing I did was release people from my judgment, specifically those bad managers and coworkers who created or sustained the toxic environment I believed was making life difficult for me.
The “bad” managers are typically not “bad” people. They may lack inner strength, business acumen, and self-confidence; or perhaps they, too, feel a need to protect and hide vulnerabilities. They may be insecure. Or scared. Feeling unworthy of leading a team or a project or a department and wondering how long it’s going to take others to figure out the same thing. This kind of insecurity is frequently behind the poor decision-making, behaviors, and attitudes that results in others being treated poorly.
Similarly, some “bad” coworkers set themselves up for that perception because “rude” is their go-to method of communication. This group of people also often privately compare themselves to others in a way that creates feelings of insecurity, unworthiness, or being less-than their fellow colleagues. They, too, are protecting and hiding and using unproductive means in an attempt to build themselves up and make themselves feel better, often at the expense of someone else. (IMPORTANT: I am not talking about bullying; that’s a completely different subject which will not be addressed here.)
Both of these groups exhibit personally driven reactions to others. They are caught up with comparison and don’t recognize their actions are hurtful. And? you may ask.
In my efforts to grow into the kind of leader I (personally) would willingly follow, I learned there are choices. I could continue to protect and hide myself, or I could develop my inner strength and increase my self-confidence while learning to build a framework for servant leadership.
Comparison kills us from the inside out. It pushes us to respond rudely, insensitively, and without regard to the scars we inflict upon others with our actions, words, and attitudes.
The solution. Walk in your own shoes, down your own path, toward your own destination. Reach out to others you admire for mentorship. Get an accountability partner to help you on your personal journey of growth. Get a coach who can help you change your mindset, habits, and behaviors. Begin learning to stop comparing yourself to others.
Are you still carrying the weight of your corporate armor and professional veneer? Consider what you and your interactions with others could look like a year from now. What changes do you want to see in yourself? What personal professional development is important to you? Who is an advocate for your growth?
The lesson. Physical scars are often permanent, but over time they can become smaller and less visible. It’s the same with internal scarring. You don’t have to let whatever you’ve gone through continue to cripple you. There is a way out.
Need help shedding these hinderances, stepping into the light of personal development, and learning to move beyond the scars of the past? Take the initiative and touch base with me. I’ll help you find your path to reach your full potential. And we’ll have fun on the journey of discovery.
Let’s move forward. Together.
P.S. Book a Complimentary Strategy Session so we can get you moving in the right direction; click on my Complimentary Strategy Session calendar link here and let’s book a time together so you can get started today!
P.P.S. With over three decades of professional experience in corporate operations and executive human resources, I am a proven results-driven leader. My expertise includes strategy, change management, talent management and organizational development, employee relations, and executive and leadership coaching. I am a highly effective communicator and team leader with proven ability to build long-term relationships across internal and external customer environments built with integrity, confidence, authenticity, and trust.