“Lynne, I did not ask for your opinion or ideas.” These were the words one of my senior leaders said to me after I contributed to a brainstorming session. I left the meeting and my head started to pound. I became exhausted. Things started to become fuzzy. For the week following this, I kept taking Ibuprofen hoping that the pounding headache and fog would disappear. But it didn’t.
I then realized…medicine is not going to cure this headache. I needed to figure out how to deal with the bullying environment that I was working in and the behavior of my senior leader.
We control what we feel, by what we think and what stories we tell ourselves. For me, I was telling myself I was a failure and I would never succeed.
But the challenge is how to get to this realization. This is where resilience comes in. We need to listen to the signals are bodies are telling us. We need to honor our feelings. And we cannot bury or numb them. We need to feel the pain, the hurt, the heartache. We need to feel all of it and let it wash over us.
I had to spend time on my deck just yelling, crying. I had to do some journaling. I need to listen to my ‘stand in my power’ playlist. I needed to feel the hurt. I needed to walk through the fire.
Once I did this, I felt hope, clarity, and relief. I realized that his behavior had nothing to do with me and my value but rather, him and his own insecurities. But the only way I realized this was to feel the pain instead of bury it. Otherwise, the stories in my head would continue to be in control.
“Numb the dark and you numb the light” says Brene Brown. Walk into the mud, the messiness, and the fear. It’s the only way to cross to the other side, to the light.
As to what I decided to do to escape from the bullying, I ultimately left. But I left on my terms. I left when I was ready. And in the process, I discovered my purpose, passion and have found my voice.
The only way out is through.
If you are in a situation where you are stuck or dealing with a toxic environment, message me and we can chat.