There I was, sitting in a chair with both my supervisors staring at me. I felt like I was being judges for a crime I wasn’t aware I was committing. ‘I’ve been checking our Facebook page.’ one of them said, ‘I’ve noticed you’re making lots of mistakes in the text. You should be able to do this right, it’s simple enough. It’s not ok!’ She has a tormented and frustrated look on her face, as if I was ruining her life with my existence. She glanced at my other supervisor who then turned to me and said: ‘Marleen, we know you have what it takes, but it’s not showing. It’s time for you to start performing. We can’t go on like this much longer.’
A deep sense of shame crawled up my spine and I felt tears burning behind my eyelids. ‘Ok, I’ll try.’ I stuttered.
After that horrific confrontation, I ran to the bathroom and cried my eyes out. Their comments touched the core of my pain. I wasn’t good enough. I couldn’t perform while others could. I felt deeply ashamed and wrecked.
After picking myself up I decided to try even harder, to show them and myself I could do it, but at this stage I was already at my tax. After some time passed I had to call in sick. I was exhausted from trying so hard and I couldn’t face my supervisors, because I couldn’t explain why I was sitting on my couch unable to come into the office. For lack of a better reason they would probably reach the conclusion that I didn’t feel like it anymore.
But why was this happening to me? I was trying very hard and I was eager to move forward, so it wasn’t about that.
When I was sitting behind my computer staring at my screen my brain would fall asleep, I had to think my way through thick clouds, and I started making mistakes despite all the effort and energy I was putting into paying attention. This attention deficit made it very difficult to perform. I didn’t view this as an important signal to listen to, instead I persistently tried harder to focus, burning myself out doing so.
So why am I telling you all this? Because the true reason behind my lack of performance wasn’t attention deficit, even though it might appear so at first.
My brain would just shut down, and I couldn’t fake interest even if I tried. There was no passion, no deeper purpose, no alignment with my true essence. I was just totally and completely in the wrong place, forcing myself to be there because I believed I had no choice, feeling bored and overwhelmed at the same time.
No wonder it wasn't working out.
When I'm doing something I'm really excited about however, I don't experience attention deficit, to the contrary. I experience huge amounts of (hyper)focus, drive and passion.
The problem was I wasn’t in the position to do what I really wanted in most existing organizations. There was just no space for this Marleen to blossom.
I needed a completely different environment and approach to thrive. I had to find out what I loved and I had to learn to follow my own inner guidance, instead of doing what other people (and my own believe system) told me to.
If you recognize any of this and you have a hard time focussing in your current job or profession, take a step back and ask yourself:
As a sensitive and creative being, you NEED your heart involved in the game if you want to thrive, so this is a truly important question to ask yourself.
If you feel like sharing, please let me know what you found out in the comment section below this video.
Lots of love and light to you,
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