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I'm just a girl in the world.. that kind of likes to write. Mom of 2 teen girls & work as Talent Attraction & Marketing professional. Oh, & I'm addicted to my phone, Social Media, HR/Talent Marketing & Caffeine... you can learn more about me at www.linkedin.com/in/theonecrystal

You Can’t Fix What Isn’t Broken

Last year, for the first time pretty much ever, I went through my first break-up that I didn’t initiate.  As much as it hurt; when I am honest with myself? It was long overdue.  We had been in various stages of discontent for months because neither one of us were being what the other needed.   We loved each other so we kept trying to fix each other; but the truth is… Individually we weren’t broken. We just didn’t fit.  Not as we were.

That’s a hard truth to admit.. That someone you love is lost to you – even when they’re right beside you. It requires so much strength to walk away from someone you care for; something you’ve expended so much energy on.  People say leaving, giving up is easy:  it’s not.  It’s just a different kind of hard.

I’ve truly loved only three men in my life and as with anything you give your all to; each one left an imprint on my life. With two of them,  I saw the end coming long before we actually got there; but with each, for once I wanted to be wrong.  Like the song said, “If you never try… you’ll never know.” And not knowing wasn’t really an option.

So I bent myself into this weird, twisty-pretzel trying to “fix myself” to be what ‘we’ needed to make the relationship work… Because I knew the only person you can change is yourself.  I’ll not comment on what efforts they did or didn’t put in as it isn’t really the point and I know my perception is likely skewed.   But there comes a time when you have to ask if hanging onto the “known commodity” – whatever the reasons – is worth the cost of breaking yourself.

I thought of this again in a slightly different context 4th quarter last year after I took what was the shortest-lived (1) and absolute worst fit professional role of my career with a subsidiary of a very large Recruiting Firm.  The funny thing is, I saw it coming in, I think.  I wanted to be contract at first because I felt the “fix you” syndrome coming on.   There were lots of warning signs that practically screamed “BAD FIT” but the known commodity & safety of an employer that would (purportedly) let me work with clients on my terms was appealing.  So I pushed them aside and hoped I was wrong.

I wasn’t; but the decision had been made.  So, for the next 2.5 weeks; I began to contemplate the twisty-pretzel act from a professional slant while I was berated,  belittled for a recognized disability, and went through a truly horrible on-boarding experience due to the very poor management I interacted with. (2)  Seriously, the only good thing I can say about that company is that some of their staff was fairly nice.  But, what are we if we don’t learn from our experiences and apply them to all applicable aspects of our lives?   Doesn’t that stunt true growth?

This time, instead of trying to fix a “me” that wasn’t broken & create a new version of myself that would be disingenuine & less effective; I decided to address the real issue of the ‘bait & switch’ promises during interviewing v. reality of employment that had occurred over the last month.   I’d like to say it all resolved itself well; but it didn’t.  There isn’t honor and level-headed decency among all people; and that certainly holds true with bad management.  After being respectfully honest about a bad experience & being the only one trying hard to find some common ground to work with?  I was let go for the first time in my adult life.

At first, I was wholly ashamed – I hadn’t played the “game” and on the face, it looked like I had lost.  So, I buried it  and moved on; doing what I should have done to begin with – started working for myself.  Then, I realized that while I wasn’t the party in the ‘relationship’ that displayed bad behavior; I helped cause the situation because I thought I could  “Fix It” even going in.  I had ignored all the advice that I’d given candidates over the years and was now surprised it turned out badly?

I had broken myself somewhat; and now I needed to fix myself again For Myself.  I couldn’t be all that I needed to be professionally or personally while pretending to be something I wasn’t or not living out my moderate values.   I think this is true for all of us.  They say that the first 30 days of a new endeavor will determine its lasting success beyond 12 months.  I believe this; but it requires a cognizant commitment to honest assessment before & during the new relationship. (3)  I asked myself these questions:

  1. Who am I?  Who are They?  – Individually, what do we do & what stand for? You have to know this.
  2. Does that fit as stands? –Or does it require compromising of who I am/they are to work? Respect is important.
  3. Can we grow together?  – Relationships must grow as they mature or they die.
  4. The Future – How far does it align?  Relationships don’t have to last forever; but the life-span should be long enough that it makes sense to get into…  it should accomplish something meaningful for both parties.
Those questions were enough for me to realize that if I had been honest with myself on the front end; I likely would have spared myself considerable pain on the back-end of the experiences, personally & professionally.  Funny thing is, we always want to pretend it’s a shock when things don’t work out; but that’s just rarely the case.  What we’re shocked at is that our “fix” didn’t work.  But it couldn’t work; because the only thing we could fix? Was never really broken to begin with – it just didn’t ‘fit.’
We’re exploring professional fit more tonight on #TNLive Focus Radio with William Tincup as our guest – would love for you to join us in the discussion.

(1) 17 days.  Seriously.  Worst.Experience.EVER and would never recommend that division to anyone.

(2) not something I say lightly & if you go back through my writing; pretty sure it’s something I’ve never said before about other employers – basically, not a charge I  take lightly.

(3) dating or work, that statement holds true for either, really

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  1. Part 5: “I Will Fall” – Doubt and Rejection | TheOneCrystal.com - 12/07/2012

    […] to know I have rejection issues – which is also why I’ve bent myself into twisty-shaped pretzels for both past romantic and professional relationships to avoid it.  At the core of it, I am […]

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