Welcome to another Ask Katrina. The question today is:

“Hey Katrina, why can’t I find peace through the process of executive growth?”

You can say it in a multitude of ways. But ultimately, what we’re trying to understand is, why can I not be okay as I’m going through this process?

Why am I suffering through this growth of becoming an executive?

Why is there suffering at all?

Why can’t I just be okay with the process?

The answer is that there are a lot of reasons for your pain and the feeling of suffering.

But I’m only going to give you one reason today; the primary reason why we suffer, we struggle, we have a tough time with growing, and the reason for the growing pains that happen when we step into primarily an executive role.

The primary reason is that what you’re experiencing doesn’t align with your identity.

Think about that for a second.

Are you a person who struggles?

No, you’re a high achiever.

Are you a person who solves problems pretty quickly, figures things out, and navigates things?

Think about it, the way that you navigated through your career and solve problems, and move the business forward, up until this point, has been almost effortless, right?

So the identity that you have for yourself is: you’re a high achiever, you solve problems quickly, you don’t fail, and things come naturally to you.

You don’t let people see you sweat.

Now this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to your strong identity. You could probably grab a pen and paper and write down all of the attributes that you use to define who you are.

The truth of the matter is that we have this list of things that we use to define ourselves and our characteristics. But when we take this leap into the executive space, those characteristics, those attributes, those definitions of who we are and how we identify ourselves, don’t really match how we are showing up in the role.

Even though this is a normal growth process, we constantly feel like we’re failing.

It’s not as easy or as effortless as it has been in the past. It’s work. It’s painful.

We are afraid we have made the wrong career move because we are afraid we are going to fail.

We are doubting ourselves, we’re blaming ourselves that we didn’t see all of these things coming at us in the new role.

There are a lot of emotions that we’re not used to dealing with.

All of this stems from the fact that when we look within ourselves we say, “This is who I am and yet it doesn’t match what I’m doing and how I’m showing up in the executive role.”

It is a constant conflict.

Tony Robbins says the strongest force in the human psyche is the need to maintain our identities; to be who we say we are.

Everything that we do on a daily basis, we do to reconfirm who we say we are. If we’re showing up in a new role and we’re doing things that don’t match who we say we are, we must quickly realign our identity with our performance. Until we do that, we experience pain.

We create negative momentum, and then we spiral down and we go into what I call the Career Spiral.

It’s a hard place to get out of once you’re in it.

So if you’re living in that space,

1. You’re not alone.

2. This is one of the most common reasons we can’t enjoy the pain. Because we keep telling ourselves it’s not supposed to be painful.

The way that you solve it is you simply say, “Look, I am still all of these things that I have just written down on this piece of paper. That’s still me. But I’m growing into an even better me. And so as I’m growing and becoming an even better me, I’m going to have experiences that are painful, that may feel like I’m failing, that are causing me to stretch and grow. But the other part of my identity is the fact that I grow through failure. I am a growth person. I have a growth mindset. I approach things with an open mind and a willingness to grow through them. because those pieces of my identity are stronger than the fear of failing, I’m going to push myself through it.”

This internal conversation starts with understanding who we say we are acknowledging that we can be who we say we are and grow through this new phase of our careers.

We can’t say “I’m only this,” or “I’m only that.” No, we’re all of these things.

Because we’re a combination of those things, it’s okay to grow into being an executive and not have so much angst or pain or doubt or blame or shame or all of those negative emotions.

  1. You’re going to get through it.

2. You’re going to be better for it.

3. All of these things still align with who you are.

If at any time you want the growth to align with your identity, schedule a call with the Legend Leaders team and let us support you! Schedule your call here!