Professional development at the cost of a ‘spiritual awakening’

Sophia Cheng / 3 min read / Uncategorised
4 May 2015
Dealing with demons
When I took the gamble to quit the typical 9 to 5, I was of course focusing on the opportunity to plan, produce and host fantastic events around the world and build a communications campaign. I was preoccupied with notion of travel and adventure. I knew it would be tough but it would make for an incredible experience.

What I didn’t account for were those in between days, the ‘normal’ days. The days where you update the website, draft the next concept note, research future partners, prepare some tweets, arrange meetings and catch up with your finances. These days I find the hardest.

I had left behind the world of imposed structure. Of roles, boundaries, hierarchy and corporate culture. I’d left behind the typical notion of work colleagues and team mates. I was lucky to have autonomy in my previous roles but this was pushing it to the extreme.

Who was really going to know if I was making progress on my to do list?

Who was going to tell me I had done a good job today?

When was enough enough?

Was I good enough?

I started to get anxious.

Research suggests that generation y
only seem to thrive on constant feedback. Or maybe I could attribute these feelings to my ‘A=acceptable B=bad’ style education.

Whatever the reason, I soon realised pinning my self worth entirely to another person’s view of my work is not sustainable.

So I went back to the wellbeing drawing board and I am still on that journey.

On the off chance that my sentiments resonate with someone else, I thought I would share some information on the two people, in particular, who have been instrumental in my personal growth – phase two.
  1. Andy Puddicombe of Headspace – his dulcet tones pumped straight into my ear canal to help me stay in the present and be mindful
  2. And Brené Brown aka vulnerability TED – her talks and words on vulnerability is challenging me to the core but I know she’s right. Embracing vulnerability personally and professionally will only lead to a more rewarding and worthy life.

Suggested recipe 
  • Take some time out in a comfortable environment, allow an hour
  • Tune into Brené’s TED talks, The Power of Vulnerability, followed by Listening to Shame (approx 40 minutes)
  • Stretch, make a cup of tea (approx 5 minutes)
  • Sit comfortably and try one of Andy’s #take10 sessions – o and he’s got a great TED talk too. (approx 10 minutes)
  • Sit back, reflect and be mindful (approx 5 minutes)
Some blue sky thinking – the jargon free kind!

Avatar photo Sophia Cheng With a decade of communications experience across the for profit and nonprofit sectors, agency and in-house, Sophia has made a habit of making ‘the hard stuff’ more accessible. Since 2018, she has reorientated her life around the climate crisis. She has forged her decade of communications experience into offering workshops, mentoring, blogging, and more, on the biggest issues of our time. View all posts
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