Why You Feel Stuck (Even Though You Feel Great)
Work can be demanding, exhausting, and sometimes even toxic. But that’s just a part of life… it’s an open secret we all learned to accept. And after so many years living in this unsupportive system, there is a sense that our destiny isn’t in our own hands. That no matter how confident we are in our skills and accomplishments, we’re powerless to change our environment.
In order for your greatness to become truly unstoppable, you have to learn how to navigate this system in a healthy way. But it isn’t easy finding a path from where you are to where you want to be. So, in an effort to take control, you learned how to push back on self-doubt, overcome imposter syndrome, and embrace your greatness. Except now you’re faced with a new challenge: you’ve built your career adapting to what other people wanted for you. And now that you’ve learned to set healthy boundaries, you may not be sure what it is that you really want for yourself. Making things more difficult, your personal growth has shined a spotlight on all the ways your work environment is failing to give you the support and fulfillment you need.
You might have left to find a new job only to end up stuck in a similar toxic environment. Or maybe you tried to “fix” the problems you’re seeing at work, only to end up being punished or reprimanded for not behaving in a certain way.
Do you wish you could escape the toxic workspace that’s holding you back? Or that you knew how to navigate an unsupportive system in a healthy way? Are you ready to find an environment that lets you thrive as the person you want to be (instead of the person who always puts their own needs second)?
Shouldn’t I Just Be Happy Where I Am?
Overcoming imposter syndrome is an important first step toward personal rediscovery. But for many people, the work doesn’t end there.
You’re finding yourself again, and your new perspective and self-confidence can make it seem like the world you were operating in doesn’t make sense anymore.
Instead of wondering “How can I satisfy my boss or peers,” you’ve started asking “What do I want for myself?” If you’re already in a supportive environment, this shift away from seeking external validation can help you appreciate your workplace more. But for many people, learning to prioritize your needs reveals just how toxic their environment really is.
The problem isn’t that you want to make a change, but that you may not be sure how to navigate that change when you’re met with such resistance. Maybe you have felt more confident saying “no” or pushing back on unreasonable requests at work, only to be told that you’ve changed, or that you “aren’t the person I hired.” In many workplaces, employees are expected to show up and work as much as requested without rocking the boat. And this belief that you must behave a certain way to “succeed” at work can leave you questioning how to use your new skills.
You’ve known so many toxic environments, it can feel like that’s the norm. To embrace the belief that you can be happy and healthy at work can feel unreasonable, and so you resign yourself to sticking it out where you are. At the same time, you know that if you don’t intervene in a toxic work culture and push things in a new direction, you are helping maintain that culture – both for yourself and for those coworkers who are struggling with imposter syndrome and don’t feel prepared to speak up.
What can you do to impact change and foster the healthy environment you want for yourself? How can you speak up, avoid triggers, or push for change if you aren’t even sure what it is you would change? And how can you realize your unstoppable greatness when it feels like you don’t have a sense of agency at work?
Our Three Phases To Create Imposter Syndrome Reducing Cultures
In our first book, we offered concrete steps to overcome imposter syndrome and Own Your Greatness. Now, we’re taking the work a step further and showing you how to navigate toxic or unsupportive work cultures in a healthy way. Our programmatic approach to creating imposter syndrome reducing cultures was developed from years of professional experience and informed by our own struggles feeling unsupported and unhappy in the workplace.
At Dynamic Transitions, we have been helping successful individuals recognize and address problems in the workplace for 15 years. Our extensive experience as career counselors in New York City has given us unique insights into how imposter syndrome develops and what you can do to reduce insecurity and feel more confident and empowered.
Phase 1: Agency
Before you can learn how to navigate a toxic work environment, you need to envision the dream you have for your future. Once you can define what it is you want for yourself, you can work toward those changes with greater confidence.
The truth is that this “untouchable” work culture is made up of systems you can change and people who can be influenced by your strength. You have more agency than you may realize. And you’ve already taken the first steps toward that change by learning to own your greatness.
By recognizing what it is you want for yourself and understanding how the system works, you can see that the system can’t stop you from achieving your goals. With the right approach, your greatness is truly unstoppable.
Phase 2: Assessment
Whether your goal is to find a new position at a company that shares your work-life values or you wish to stay and foster change in your current workspace, you don’t have to navigate these challenges on your own. By learning concrete strategies from people who have been where you are now, you can learn to assess the systems that have defined you and understand how you can impact change.
The way we operate is defined by the systems we operate within. As children, we were taught how to respond to authority, and that lesson has affected our ability to recognize and respond to toxicity in the workplace.
When you learn to understand the reasons you feel stuck (your environment) – and what it is you need to feel unstuck (your goals) – you can pinpoint how you are showing up in the system, what changes you want to see, and how you can utilize your strengths to realize that change.
Phase 3: Actualization
Everyone who has some responsibility or interaction with others is a leader. They have the power to influence and, therefore, impact change in the workplace. As a result, creating the change you want to see in your environment starts with your willingness to lead.
So how do you become a healthy leader, regardless of whether you hold a leadership title? And what can you do to support others when they may not agree with your approach or even appreciate the efforts you are making?
By developing a strategic lens to understand what’s happening in the organization and how you interact with other team members, you can make sure you are pursuing the change you want instead of accidentally (or actively) contributing to a toxic culture.
Are you ready to define your goals and learn the practical steps you can take to create meaningful change in the workplace? We offer four ways to embrace your strengths and remove the gates that are holding back your unstoppable greatness.
Four Ways To Own Your Greatness
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In our first book, we showed you how to overcome imposter syndrome and own your greatness through practical exercises, tools, and real-world examples. Now, we take those lessons further, sharing actionable steps you can take to define your career goals and foster the change you want to see in the workplace.
And if you need a little extra support or accountability, you can find a like-minded community in the Your Unstoppable Greatness course or retreat.
This course provides access to a community of like-minded individuals striving to make a change in their lives. You can proceed through our three-phase program surrounded by others with the same goals, giving you extra support and accountability.
We recommend this course if you know you work better in a community setting or if you need a built-in accountability partner to help you adopt the process into your daily life.
In these 3 digital workshops, (over 90 minutes of content) Dr. Lisa Orbe-Austin will help you develop a plan for addressing Impostor Syndrome. You’ll learn the action steps to identify symptoms of Impostor Syndrome, and become empowered with the techniques that will help you begin to overcome it — so that you can enjoy the work life you are worthy of.
As she teaches these workshops, Dr. Lisa Orbe-Austin shares from her decade of professional experience guiding others to overcome Impostor Syndrome, and personal experience overcoming it herself.
Her nuanced approach acknowledges the unique environmental pressures that women, BIPOC, First-Gen and immigrants experiencing Impostor Syndrome face — and she shares empowering advice and anecdotes from her own lived experience and vast expertise.
If you lead or manage a group (e.g., you are a senior leader, HR manager, school administrator, run a leadership program, etc.) who needs to hear this message or needs executive coaching, we can come to your organization to talk about creating a healthier framework around how you work.
We’ll walk through our three-phase methodology and provide practical steps and exercises your team can take to envision the future they want, understand the systems they’re operating in, and develop a strategic approach to contribute to the change they want to see.
You may have questions about how to overcome imposter syndrome…
You Can Influence the World Around You with Your Unstoppable Greatness
If you are ready to pursue your goals and create positive change in your work environment, we’d be honored to support your journey. You can order our Your Unstoppable Greatness book and worksheets, work with us in person, or sign up for our newsletter and receive tips and tricks to your inbox regularly.