Don’t let being in a profession become your barrier to success
Everybody at some point in their life becomes under pressure, feels a deep sense of loss and can struggle to see what direction life is heading in.
When these build up or multiple contributing factors occur we can slip into depression and this spectrum can start with having a slight negative impact on people’s lives and end with people committing suicide.
Depression, and in general, mental health is non-selective and no matter what social background you’re from it’s real and can happen. We all can face different barriers to getting the help we need – to decontaminate our thinking, ignite our spirit and physically mend.
For people in a profession, there can be an added barrier to working through this. It’s normal, that for most the fear of being judged and an internal program believing vulnerability is a weakness, are the root causes that keep us locked in this place and send us emotionally spiralling out of control.
I know one of my biggest barriers and pressures was the worry and shame that I heaped upon myself that if people thought I was struggling then I wouldn’t be credible and not only was I going to be judged but could end up being out of a job, a failure and unsuccessful – which for a person whereby success was a big part of my reward system this was a complete attack of my survival. This kept me locked in this place for some time and the constant self-criticism and self-doubt meant I had to continue to push and succeed to satisfy my own internal self-criticism. The result? Burn out.
My fantasy became that I was super human and could get through anything. The reality was I was crumbling. I found myself ashamed that I was letting people down and my fantasy then became that the world would be better without me in it.
When I started to be honest with myself my life changed. I was able to take responsibility, own my actions and begin on a new path of discovery built on something different and much stronger. The reality was that when I shared with my clients and the people around me that I’d been ‘struggling’ it was met with empathy and not judgment. Many times I heard ‘you know Paul I’ve felt like that or my family member or friend also suffered from that’
How freeing. No more hiding. No more shame. Freedom. It allowed me to redefine my version of success which for me now includes honesty and vulnerability. It’s made my relationships in the business world more authentic and deeper and has become the real story of my success. A far cry from the world of confusion and inner conflict.
Whatever profession you are in, whatever stresses and external issues, whatever your past experience is that impacts your current thought process – my invitation is to let your vulnerability become your greatest asset and through the process of acceptance allow yourself to redefine your version of success.
Paul A Howarth