I used to have a very different relationship to the word ‘professional’.
Like many of my major changes in perception, it came after the birth of my son and Postnatal Depression and Anxiety in 2019.
I was forced to critically question every aspect of my life, to question assumptions and conditioning that were my operating system and habits up until that point.
I unpacked all of the traits I had bundled up in the performance of being ‘professional’.
What I found was I didn’t like (didn’t feel good or true to me anymore) some of the expectations I had placed on myself and in the way I had judged others. Whilst an uncomfortable realisation, the result was a more open mind to what was possible, improved mental health when I acted on my intuition and a refocus of my skills and experience to be able to support others through the same realisations.
Cue change in career trajectory lol.
Broadly as society, we are talking more about vulnerability, vulnerable leadership and emotional intelligence; Forced and voluntary remote work is blurring the lines between our personal lives and work. Hence what we are seeing, feeling and experiencing is movement towards more sustainable, compassionate, flexible and nourishing direction when it comes to our working life (as a rule as opposed to an exception).
And all I can say is ‘Why not and thank freaking goodness’. Assumptions, beliefs and practices that have been in place for a long time benefit from a shakeup.
What do you think? Has your relationship to the act of being professional changed over your life? If you could design your working life in ANY WAY you wanted to, what would it look like (and if it doesn’t look like that now, have you asked for it to)?
Image: Quote Card – ‘Unpacking and questioning all of the traits I had associated with acting professional, was a game changer for my mental health’. The background of this quote card is pale pink.