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  • Amina Aitsi-Selmi

Being nobody, going nowhere: a vaccine against toxic work culture [Wise Wednesdays]

A few thoughts on challenging work culture and the antidotes as we enter a new phase of the pandemic.

Work culture is unhealthy when it keeps us caged while benefiting from our efforts.

That’s called slavery in fact - of the psychological kind.

One of the ways this psychological cage is built is by playing on the fear that perhaps who we are and where we find ourselves in life isn’t OK.

The urgency of having to be busy or become someone different is hyped up in toxic work culture mythology.

Of course, it’s fine to be active and make things happen in the world. But it needn’t come from a place of fear.

The problem is when you’re transformed into a hamster on a wheel chasing an imaginary carrot.

It’s exhausting.

It’s confusing.

It’s unsatisfying.

The threat is that if you stop you’ll fall into some abyss, lose everything and never recover.

Having put a big ‘stop’ in my career at one stage, I can tell you it’s not true.

The way out?

Seeing beyond the illusion.

It’s simple really:

You don’t have to play a role.

And there isn’t anywhere to get to.

Everything happens in the present moment.

Where and who you are right now is exactly what’s needed.

From seeing this clearly, a sense of serenity and peace become your home

From this home, your true genius can find ground to take root and the action that's required (or not required) becomes obvious.

It moves more slowly. More organically. With grace and brilliance.

It’s ultimately a more efficient use of your energy.

I go into how to ‘immunise’ yourself against toxic work culture in bit more detail in a previous Wise Wednesdays about 3 practices which you can read here. You can also watch the video below.

Legends in the making: It’s been a heartening start to the year in what could have been a bleak week, with clients working in extremely challenging environments landing the dream job they patiently nurtured over the past two years, giving them more autonomy and support to express their zone of genius and lead; or starting to see opportunities come now that they’ve committed to the independent professional path and set up their own consultancies. As one of them said: ‘I know intuitively how to use my energy, who to engage with and what to do moment-to-moment’. It takes patience to grow an orchard from a sense of peace and clarity but the shelter, sustenance and freedom it offers are worth it. And it’s usually faster and less stressful than doing it from a sense of toxicity and struggle.

The best time to plant a tree was 10 years ago. The next best time is now.

Always now.

NOW is where the magic happens.

So remember to see past the illusion:

You don’t have to play a role.

You don’t have to struggle to get somewhere.

Plant the seed with care and till the soil patiently.

Your natural creative problem-solving will do the rest with a little help from the universe.

And you know it's possible because you've experienced it before right? :)

Have a great week,


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