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be yourself : the affirmation that saved me from a toxic environment

Updated: Apr 11, 2021

This is a story of how tangibles saved me from a toxic environment.

A little while ago, I stepped into my first day at a new job. Looking back, I had a gut feeling right from the beginning that I might not fit in. You ever get that kind of feeling?

be yourself.

That's what I try to always remind myself. But when you're masked by excitement and the desire to fit in as the new kid on the block, it's easy to forget. And for a few weeks or even a few years, it works. I found my place and even thought I was extremely happy. Plus, I should be thankful for a 'great opportunity.'

Except there were more and more yellow flags. Why was there so much gossip? Why the relentless competition? Why was I partaking? Why did I get so exhausted? I felt that nudge more and more in my soul that I didn't feel free to be me. I had to play along to be a part of the team. It was all worth it...right?

be yourself.

I stuck this tangible message on the edge of my desk one day. It made me smile. It gave me pause and helped me re-center when it seemed like everyone else was trying to be the same, fit the mold. It helped me breathe through the frustration I felt when a team member made me or someone else feel like they weren't worth it.

be yourself.

And finally, it became clear. I was losing myself in this toxic space, and to be free - I must leave. Especially before it was too late. As I wrapped up my final things, I smiled at the 'be yourself' tangible. Time to carry it with me into my new space, where the message still rings true. And now, I have an experience that makes me stronger for the next time I don't feel

My encouragement to you today? Well, it might be obvious. But, you got this. Listen to you, your heart, your thoughts, your dreams. And never be afraid to be yourself. If you feel fearful of that, then you're not in the right space for you.

For when we feel the freedom to be ourselves is when we truly thrive. 💥

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