There is a time during most careers, where simply being part of something great or experiencing the synergy of having a common goal with a group of people or climbing the ladder of success is all the fulfillment you need.
During that time, you’re willing to do whatever it takes.
You need me to be this and do that? Okay, no problem, I’m your woman.
The person who is successful in this company has followed this path and been in these jobs. Done, done and done.
To be a considered a leader, you need to be engaged, have buy-in and be able to change on a dime because this business is growing, and we only need people who can step-up and lead the charge. You want a hustler? I am willing to give blood, sweat and tears every. single. day!
It’s exciting! It’s challenging! It’s motivating! It’s so rewarding!
Because after all, we all want to achieve and be successful.
Then there comes a point where it’s just not the same anymore. The pace and expectations of the company haven’t changed, but something inside you has.
You’re now experiencing internal friction – between who and what the company says you need to be, and who and what you feel like you really are inside.
The friction doesn’t make sense though because you have a great job, work for an incredible company and are paid well. So many people would do anything to be where you are!
Then, when you think of who you want to be, you’re not even sure what that means or how to approach changing.
With that perspective, you do the only thing you know how to do – put your head down and do the work.
There was a time when all of it felt good, so returning to the way you used to approach your work should help you get back on track and fix whatever is going on inside of you.
Except it doesn’t.
The friction gets worse, but no one else around you seem to struggle in this way, so there must be something wrong with you, or so that’s what you think.
This experience and these feelings are very common, but not many people talk about it because shifting away from the hustle and do-more approach comes across as being disengaged and disloyal to the company.
Because it isn’t often spoken about, most professionals are suffering in silence or in the trusted space of a few confidants.
Understanding What’s Happening
As we have “grown up” as professionals and leaders in corporate, there are expectations around who we need to be, what we’re supposed to do and what our success should look like.
We focus so much on what others believe we’re supposed to be and do, because that’s how corporate is built.
On one hand, it makes sense that a company needs structure and consistency to inspire and motivate people to work for the greater good and common goal.
On the other hand, however, spending so much time in a state of shifting and changing ourselves to be what we’re told or shown to be, leads us down the path of seeking and obtaining our identity through other’s expectations, getting us further and further away from ourselves.
Which creates internal friction.
We aren’t who we used to be and the ways we used to feel motivated and successful don’t work anymore.
So Now What?
The beautiful thing about the experiences in life is that we are presented contrast to help us know what we’re doing and how we’re being no longer feels right.
The internal friction feeling generates the opportunity for contrast.
It allows us to evaluate what aspects of ourselves we don’t want to be, creates the natural desire for more clarity and almost a burning passion for dissecting and uncovering what we’re supposed to be doing and who we’re supposed to be right now.
Because of the friction and contrast, we long for the state of flow and alignment. Where everything about who you are and what you do at work feels aligned.
Ways to Reduce the Hustle in Corporate
When we feel the desire or feel called to view things a little differently than the approach widely accepted in corporate, we’ve all been conditioned that there isn’t a place for leading or existing in alignment.
But there is.
Here’s two simple strategies for you to begin shifting out of the friction and into alignment:
- What’s in alignment with me? Having spent so much time with expectations of who and what you need to be, you have spent years outside of yourself obtaining and validating your identity. You haven’t been taught to take a moment, pause and see what’s in alignment with you. This doesn’t mean that the strategy or expectation being impressed upon you is wrong, it simple means taking a moment to gut check that it aligns because more often than not, there’s a way to achieve the desired outcome while being in alignment with ourselves.
- Listen to your gut or intuition. The muscle of listening to others more than we listen to ourselves has been strongly developed, quite often for many, many years. Now, we need to begin to listen to and trust ourselves again. This also isn’t about the directions or instructions being unethical or bad (that’s an entirely different situation), this is simple about paying attention to the conversation you’re having with yourself to build a different muscle.
These strategies are intentionally simple because the first step in shifting a way of being that has been part of us for so long, is to simply acknowledge the internal friction you’re feeling is real and normal.
As you think about the hustle and do-more expectations in corporate, you may be thinking that opening your awareness and creating inner-alignment isn’t going to be enough because the hustle culture where you work has a long history and runs deep. When circumstances feel like they’re beyond our control, the easiest thing to do is to start with one step, one shift, that you have complete control over. You will always have control over your thoughts and how you view something, which makes one step and one shift, doable.