When I was in my early 30’s I was living my dream and working in my dream job. Since the time I was a little girl, I knew I wanted to be a teacher, and when I wasn’t feeling fulfilled as a teacher, I went back to school and moved into educational leadership. I knew I wanted to be in service of other people, and what better place to do so than within the walls of a school.
Then at the age of 35 my dream came crashing down.
I has spent the last several years walking on eggshells around my boss. I was the assistant principal and she was the principal. I spent my time both hating her and trying to please her. Looking back, I know that we were entrenched in a proverbial pissing match, that eventually she won.
I couldn’t take it anymore, so I left.
My childhood dream was shattered on the ground, along with my self-worth. My career path was lost in a cloud of obscurity. What they hell was I going to do now?
Along with being totally lost, I was also extremely angry. Bitter. Resentful. Distrusting. My former boss was to blame for my situation. The school system in which I worked was to blame because they didn’t support me, despite how great I was at my job.
Fast-forward almost a year from my resignation, and I was still holding tight to the anger. To the negativity. So at the suggestions of a friend, I enrolled myself in a seminar coaching program. Although I was trying desperately to hide, on the second day I found myself standing on the stage with hundreds of eyes on me. I felt naked, even though I was fully clothed. Tears were streaming down my face, as the leader of the seminar coaching program served me THE TRUTH.
It was in that moment that I finally saw, what I hadn’t seen before.
It was in that moment that I realized that being a leader had nothing to do with all my degrees nor my title, and had everything to do with BEING a leader.
It was in that moment that I realized that my relationship with my former boss had nothing to do with her and was really a symptom of something bigger, deeper and broken within me.
It was in that moment that I realized that who I was being with her, was who I was being with everybody.
It was in that moment that I realized if I wanted to transform my relationships with others, that I first needed to transform my relationship with myself.
It was in that moment that I realized that the humanity that I was fighting so hard to serve, also sat in the office right next to me.
It was in that moment that the anger and bitterness dropped away, and a seed was born.
That seed is blossoming today, as I now work to help other passionate professionals to transform their negative work relationships from the inside-out, so that they can focus their energy on serving their people. So that they can focus their energy on making a contribution. So that they can keep the job they love.
I robbed myself of that opportunity. You don’t have to.
Compassion. Connection. Collaboration.