This Story, part 2 – Leadership is a Choice #28

Jessica Soroky continues her series Leadership is a Choice.

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(part 1)

I sat in the bathroom and let the tears flow. I had let myself down and I was in Shame. I wasn’t trying to get out of it, for the next five minutes I get to be in Shame. I get to cry.

I gave myself 5 minutes to let it all out. That was it, when the five minutes was over I had to pull it together and get focused.

As I came around the corner to the baggage claim area I took a deep breath and decided the only way to handle this was to own it. So I grabbed my bag, found the other member of The Leadership Gift™ Program and walked straight up to him. We exchanged a little small talk then I came right out with it…”I just lost my job.”

Wow. It stung as it came out.

I explained what happened and for the first time out loud I said that this is obviously something I wanted to happen otherwise it wouldn’t have happened. I knew I believed it was true, but the belief still wasn’t strong enough to overcome the shame I was feeling. He very kindly said he was sorry to hear and he had no doubt things would work out for me.

We made our way outside to meet Bella who was very kind to pick us up. I was consumed by the concern that she would look at me and know something was wrong or would see the pain in my eyes. I honestly can’t remember if I shared with her, on that car ride, what had happened. I was lost in my head at that point.

In one second my mind would be racing through my financials double and triple checking that I was going to be ok. In the next second I would be beating the crap out of myself, still in shock that I had just failed. To wrap the 3 second cycle up I would jump to preparing to face this entire group and be here.

I felt so incomplete. I had so much more work to do. What about my team members, who would watch out for them, who would go to bat for them? I was convinced everything I had worked so hard at would fall apart. Tears bubbled up in the backseat as I tried my best to fight them away.

I wanted this…I must have wanted this. I now have time to build out all my independent work like I have been wanting, but never had time to. Yeah, that’s good. I get to focus and work for myself.

Then the cycle would start again and I was right back below the line. All of a sudden the shame turned to anger and I was pissed. How could they do this? I had gotten nothing but praises, were there even signs? What really caused this? What did I do? What could I have done differently? I had so many questions and no answers.

I continued to text a few people, looking for help, for support to get through this. Most were doing just that and then in a moment of complete shock one of them accused me of lying. Why would I lie about something like this?  I don’t know that I had ever been so angry, here I was completely raw and reaching out for help and that’s the response I get?

No, I won’t do this right now. I was at the limit of what I could handle.

Comfort, Texas was getting closer and I knew I wasn’t ready to meet everyone for dinner. I asked the member I had been texting since all this started to meet me at the bed and breakfast.

Walking into the room I set my bag down and immediately went looking for the sink. I ran to it grasping both sides of the basin with my hands and putting all of my energy into holding myself up. I just stood there staring into the mirror.

I was sad, mad, pissed, afraid, and so many other emotions at once. I was happy working side by side with another coach doing amazing, powerful, beautiful things, but after a five minute phone call it was all over.

KNOCK KNOCK

The coach I had been partnering with the last year and begging for help just moments after I heard the news was at the door. I opened the door and he instantly hugged me. I couldn’t hold the tears back anymore. Here I was convinced that I had failed him, that I had let him down and ruined what we had been building and all he cared to do was to show me empathy and comfort. If you are reading this (and I’m sure you are) I can’t begin to thank you enough for being there for me in that moment and in so many moments since.

I invited him in to sit down and we started talking. Which is to say I started ranting and raving every thought that was racing through my head. Very quickly I got stuck in anger. My words became daggers and my ego filled the room. How could they do this? Did they really think they would be successful?

Looking back I was using my anger as a way to cope, to deal, in some way, with how hurt I was. I didn’t want to admit in the moment how much that job and what I was doing meant to me. Anger was much easier to release.

I continued to move very quickly from one mental state to the next, from sadness and disappointment to ego filled anger. I was all over the place and yet determined to get this all out so I could walk down the road and enjoy my time with this group.

He let me get my tears out, let my word vomit continue, and he did exactly what I needed…he heard me, he coached me, he poked me, and he helped me keep my personal responsibility practice in the forefront of mind…

 

Part Three continues next week…

 

Jessica Soroky, CSM

IMG_3285Jessica is a Certified Scrum Master with over three years of practice in agile delivery and seven years of team leadership. She is also the youngest participant in The Leadership Gift™ Program and its growing worldwide community of leaders and coaches. After five years of non-profit development through Nellie’s Catwalk for Kids, Jessica continues her leadership journey in state government, not-for-profit, and private sector leadership studies.

 

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Posted in Responsibility on 10/07/2015 09:13 am
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