Why becoming nobody was the best thing that happened to me [Wise Wednesdays Live]

July 29, 2020

Many of my clients are going through a big career transformation and it’s a struggle to let go of the titles, the perks, the job security, etc.
 
There’s a sense of stepping into a void and losing everything you know. It feels like your identity is yanked from you and you fear nothing will be left if you uproot that identity.
 
That’s a lie.
 
What you’re truly capable of is on the other side of that fear. Facing that fear when I took a big leap in 2016 helped me understand who I really am and what I’m here to do. But I had to become nobody first.
 
Here are 3 things I learned about becoming nobody:
 
1) Contrast contains wisdom
The brain learns fast through contrast. Contrast helps us refine our discernment and distinctions pretty quickly. By taking a big leap, you get to experience enormous contrast and therefore get a wealth of data on your own psychology. By comparing my “somebody” and “nobody” I was able to distil out what my contribution really was - not what I was rewarded for by conforming to a system but what really made a difference to people and the world. So while a big leap feels like you’ll become nobody, it will show you who you really are.
 

2. You don't need a title to be of service
You don’t need a title, organisation or socially sanctioned role to be of service. You can be of service at any moment, either by looking around you and helping someone, or by looking within and making sure your mind is clear and your heart at ease. Society cannot tell you who you are or how to be of service. I might have been somebody with my previous job title, but being nobody is how my ability to truly be of service really grew.
 

3. In aloneness lies great power
Our primal instincts make us run from aloneness. It feels unsafe to be (psychologically) abandoned in the wilderness, so we look for belonging and approval from our tribes. But all great tales require a period of solitary incubation to give birth to who you really are. It’s precisely by facing the demons we fear the most – like being powerless and alone - that we uncover our greatest power. The courage to be nobody makes way for who you really are.
 
So while every instinct may tell you that being nobody is dangerous and to hold on to being somebody, you can relax. Great things await you on the other side.
 
What about you – what have you learned from taking a leap in your life or career?
Reply and let me know. I read every email.
 
[Reminder] Wise Wednesdays Live: @4pm UK today!

Join me at 4pm UK on Zoom again for Wise Wednesdays Live! Last week, I shared a different perspective on Imposter Syndrome and we covered a range of questions including:

  • How can I show up more as a leader in meetings?

  • How can I stop caring what other people think about me?

  • Can we work in the system while being independent of it?

 
We’ll pick up the last question this Wednesday and explore how to balance belonging to an organisation while retaining your autonomy and independent spirit. I’ll share a few key ideas and then open up to answer any questions.
Take part in the conversation and bring your questions on careers, leadership and the independent life! It's a relatively small group so you'll likely get your question answered.


It’s today, Wednesday 29th at 4pm UK on Zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87935567991
Click here to join the call.
 
Keep well and see you soon,
 
Amina

 

 

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