As we continue to talk about why we are trapped in their corporate careers, what if it’s due to a mindset I call focused fighting?
As you may recall, we have already talked through the possible mental traps of misguided gratitude and misplaced loyalty. And while we see all of these traps at Legend Leaders, the one we are tackling right now, focused fighting, is the one that we see most commonly and the one we talk about most often.
What is focused fighting? It starts by being told that you are “too much.” Your supervisor or someone with authority pulls you aside and tells you you need to “tone it down,” or “give someone else a chance” because you’re just “too much.”
The conversation could occur due to a variety of reasons, from your leader’s own insecurities to their inability to effectively communicate.
No matter the reason, you are left with a hole in the pit of your stomach and the feeling of failure. The conversation left you feeling as though your gifts and talents, the ones that have consistently made you shine, stand out, and receive promotion after promotion over the last 10 plus years are actually a problem. These perceived gifts are now putting you at risk in your position.
How did you go from standing out and also fitting in in all the right ways to now standing out wrong and not fitting in at all?
You didn’t change any of your gifts.
You haven’t changed your approach or leadership style.
You haven’t changed anything . . .
You feel shocked, angry, and frustrated at first. Then you shift over to the emotions of self-doubt and self-blame.
“How could I be so stupid?” you ask yourself when you think about the entire situation.
I knew I couldn’t get this good . . . and know it’s true.
Which leads to your next question, “How do I fix this?”
What must you fix?
Being told you’re too much is just like being told you’re not enough and we all need to feel like we belong in order to feel secure.
Now you feel like your career is at risk so what do you do?
You start fighting for your job.
As the Great Resignation happens around you, you can’t even think about quitting.
Because all this time you have been fighting FOR your job. How do you quit now? It’s not even fathomable.
It goes against everything you have told yourself and made yourself believe about your career.
Things like, “Why would another company want me when I can’t get it right here?”
Not only that, as a high achiever, you can’t allow yourself to consider leaving because you can’t leave feeling like you your current position/company get the best of you.
So how do you solve it?
The secret is to realize that your gifts aren’t gaps!
Stop focusing on the idea that something is wrong with you and that you are a risk to the company.
You are a talented leader.
If you want to stay, stay and be amazing and forget “fixing a problem” that doesn’t exist.
If you want to leave, leave knowing you have amazing talents and gifts that other leaders will be grateful to have on their team, you just have to find the right team.
See the situation for what it is, stop the fighting, then decide how and where you want to use your gifts.