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when bad things happen blog post

How leaving a toxic workplace can bring out your best

Lately, it seems as though many of my conversations have been about life events occurring in people’s lives that have them being forced to react instead of responding. Anything from relationships being challenged, to jobs dangling by a thread or leaving a toxic workplace altogether.

This year alone has brought about some of the most significant challenges that had many of us reacting to changes in our daily lives and challenging the way we work in a way that forced us to do things differently.

The saying, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” seems fitting in these times we’re living in. I’ll add what becomes even more important in some of our darkest and uncertain times is to, “Train your mind to see the good in every situation.”

I’m inspired by a lovely woman I met recently in a course I’m taking.  Her story like so many others left me feeling so darn excited to know when people listen to the voice inside of them more than the ones outside of them, anything is possible.

This woman who I had met briefly shared she had recently left a toxic workplace and walked away from her corporate career. She wanted to devote some time to reflect on what she wanted to do with the rest of her life. Here’s what she walked away from…

She was being overworked and had no balance in her life.

Her health was being compromised and was manifesting into physical ailments that affected her wellbeing.

She had little time with her husband.

She was self-abandoning herself by saying yes to all requests because she didn’t know how to say no. It came from executive leadership so that = automatic YES, no matter what, when, where or what time.

She also described a workplace culture that suggested work came first no matter what. How do I know? She shared examples of which colleagues who were on the verge of having babies (literally) were firing off emails and others where honeymoons were cut short or were interrupted to get on a flight to go do a presentation that needed to get done (insert 🙄 here).

These choices weren’t made out of joy, they were made out fear.

“If I don’t respond to these emails, I’ll lose my job. They’ll reprimand me for not being available. They’ll think I’m not committed.” You pick whichever response suits you or feel free to insert your own.

These examples were clear tell signs of a fear-based culture. One where there was no balance – there was just work. Competition was the name of the game and you did what it took to get shit done. No matter the cost or consequence.

There were enough less than desirable experiences that finally caught up with her, where she made the bold and brave decision to take a step back. She wanted to take some intentional time in deciding what to do moving forward that was more in line with what is best for HER.

A very talented professional, she wants to take her degree in Psychology and commit to doing the ‘inner work’ so moving forward, she can go beyond the surface with others in the work she was doing in the space of organizational development and learning.

She’s facing the ‘unknown’ and walking towards it anyways.

She’s prioritizing herself in a new way and caring for her well-being.

She’s being thoughtful about identifying something that’s better suited to her (and her heart).

Now imagine that. You might think, this is no different than what so many people go through all the time, every day. Why is this any different or special?

Well, it’s a fair point however, most people continue to be a slave to their jobs because of the financial responsibilities we all face. Bills, expenses and so on.

They also carry more fear than faith of the possibilities that lie ahead.

Fear of not being able to identify a “better opportunity.”

Fear of not making more money in their next opportunity.

Fear of not being able to identify something that’s more fulfilling.

Fear of making the wrong decision.

The list goes on. When someone makes the choice to choose themselves, listens to their body and heart and decides to leave the stability of 9-5 pm behind to create a new — that warrants a celebration and a big round of applause. Oh, AND commit to doing the inner work to help them identify their next steps – even better.

This isn’t some fluffy, click your heels twice and you’ll land the job of your dreams. Nor is this making irresponsible choices when it comes to your career or life.

It’s simply trusting yourself enough to know when its time to walk away. This is about the power inside of you and listening to it in a way that prompts you to do something.

Some of life’s biggest challenges can happen in our careers where wake up calls have us transforming our lives from the inside out. The choice we sometimes are forced to make can end up being the best thing that happens to us.

Now over to you, I’d love to hear from you!

What’s a challenge you’re facing at work or in your personal life that’s bringing out the very best in you? Do you resonate with the story above?

Let me know.

P.S. if you haven’t heard yet, The Make Your Connection program is all the rave! If you see yourself in this story or simply looking to identify your next steps in your business, career and life – this program may just be for you. It’s a deep dive into reconnecting back to YOU where we work on developing those inner skills to help you SOAR! Want to learn more? Join my private Facebook group exclusively dedicated to this program. Don’t worry, your boss won’t know and I won’t let them in. 😉

Here is the link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/3309539409141899/

Big, big love

Lisa 💖


Lisa De Nicola

Lisa De Nicola is an Intuitive Leadership Coach and a Corporate Magic Maker (a Trusted Advisor who believes in Magic). She partners with bold leaders to elevate and enhance their leadership and pioneer a new way of leading while keeping their values in tact. With 15 + years of corporate experience working in the world of talent for multi-national, global organizations, Lisa shares her expertise in people, business and spiritual practices with leaders who are looking to transform the way they lead from the inside out. She inspires leaders to look at traditional leadership methods and bring more innovative and creative ideas to life.

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  • Oh Lisa!! Another insightful and inspiring article. Yes. So many workplaces uphold a fear-based culture. My husband quit his job in June for this very reason. Each of us is free to choose something different. We really do have that choice. It starts with those micro-decisions that we make in the moment that lead to those bigger decisions that change the direction of our lives. And yes, the inner work is a must. We must realize we’re worth it. I remember a mentor saying the inspired, meaningful, joy-filled life mission happens on the inside first. Always. Thank you for leading with your heart and soul in the work you do.

    • Thank you, Jenn!! Thank you for sharing the brave decision your husband made – it’s not always an easy decision to make, yet are WE hard to choose? I agree – we always have a choice. I was guilty of being caught myself for a long time in a place where I felt I didn’t have a choice, so when people around me continue to inspire me through bold decisions, they end up being the best moves we make and a whole world opens up! I love what your mentor shared with you!! I might have to adopt that – another one of your wise insights. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts as always!! xo

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