The Great ReleaseSep 17, 2023
Author: Candyce Hunt Co-Founder (Co-Founder at the 5 Minute Career Hack)
In my previous article, I opened up about my quest for authenticity and the hurdles I faced while trying to BREAK FREE. Today, I'm diving deeper into the concept of "The Great Release" and how it serves as a catalyst for unlocking true potential in both your career and life. Sometimes even though you break free, you still carry things with you that dont serve your new mission and purpose. Not until you truly RELEASE the weight, will your new found freedom take off to the highest heights.
Behind the Success: Unseen Burdens
My truth: From an external standpoint, it appeared that I had it all figured out—a thriving career, major leadership roles, and a picture-perfect family life, as showcased on social media. But beneath the surface, I was burdened by a myriad of challenges in both my personal and professional life. I was burned out and needed a profound release.
Identifying the Weight: My Baggage
I was reminiscent of Erykah Badu's haunting lyrics in "Bag Lady"—the weight was starting to hurt, both physically and figuratively. What was I carrying? I wore a Superwoman cape, stitched into my skin. I also wore a “Strong Black Woman” crown that I never took off.
I was carrying heavy burdens that included:
- Childhood trauma and family secrets.
- Balancing work, marriage, and motherhood, doing my best to make it look easy.
- Carrying physical weight, 100 lbs heavier than normal.
- Juggling societal pressures without seeking help.
- Navigating unhealthy relationships.
- Wrestling with guilt for choosing work over family and vice versa.
- Striving for unrealistic perfection, attached to my valedictorian status from school days.
- Coping with poor eating and substance abuse habits.
- Meeting others' expectations and never having my own.
This weight was holding me back from becoming who I wanted to be. All those bags were in my way.
The Turning Point: Healing Past Wounds
The pivotal moment came when I acknowledged that my past traumas were infiltrating every facet of my existence. These experiences tainted my relationships, skewed my stress management, and fueled unrealistic expectations. It was only through therapeutic intervention and hundreds of conversations with my best friend and personal coach that I began to recognize the connection between my history and my present.
I was being challenged to some variation of these common questions from them both:
- What are the things in your life that you feel are holding you back from reaching your full potential?
- What relationships, habits, or situations will you not release, even though they no longer serve you?
- Visualize your ideal personal and professional life—how could letting go pave the way to realizing this vision?
Overcoming Obstacles: Facing Fear and Ego
Make no mistake; releasing is no walk in the park. It confronts us with various challenges and fears—the fear of the unknown, the fear of failure, and the fear of disappointing others. But fear, as it turns out, isn't our enemy; it's our audience. And we must face it with courage and a well-devised strategy, that includes our ego.
I was once at a conference where hundreds of people were coming to our coaching workshops for career guidance. During Q&A, we encountered an individual whose demeanor, body language, and words echoed a heaviness that was familiar to my “bag lady” days. She admitted that she hated her career so much that she was only thinking about going to a nearby bar, desperate to numb the pain of living a life and pursuing a career that felt out of harmony with her true self.
Our conversation led to a breakthrough—a dialogue about releasing parental expectations, and debt; and crafting her plan for pursuing the path to career wellness. She didn’t have to quit her job right away, but she but made an incredible step to start having tough conversations with her family about her career shift using the feedback we gave her. This was the first bag she needed to release so she could begin owning her career.
This journey serves as a gratifying reminder that sharing my experiences can ignite transformation in others.
The Great Release: My Roadmap to Freedom
- Forgiveness: Awareness and judgment are not co-conspirators in your journey. Forgive yourself for carrying those weights and burdens.
- Set Boundaries: Embrace the power of "No" as you prioritize yourself. Self-talk becomes your ally, aiding in confident decision-making. “
- Seek Support: Surround yourself with active listeners who can help you identify what needs releasing, even when you're unsure.
- Emotional Intelligence: Foster self-awareness as the foundation, which in turn enhances your relationship with stress, self, and others.
- Give Yourself Grace: Release the expectation of immediate outcomes. You're exactly where you need to be, whether you're making drastic changes all at once like me, or moving at your own pace.
Empowerment and Transformation
Releasing my past and these expectations gave me more improvement in my mental and physical health, ignited self-belief, nurtured healthier relationships, and unlocked career and business opportunities that I didn’t think were possible. Shedding what no longer served me paved the way for what I needed—the universe responded with clarity, creativity, and an enhanced capacity to aid others.
As you reflect on the elements holding you back, remember that the decision to release can pave the way for the growth you desire. Though not without its challenges, the rewards far outweigh the hardships.
Regaining control of your life, making choices aligned with your values, and letting go serve as a powerful source of transformation. It is a stepping stone to career wellness and a more fulfilling life.
The path of letting go is ongoing—it's not a one-time event but an enduring journey of self-discovery and growth.
As I continue my journey toward career wellness and personal growth, I invite you to join me. Share your stories or leave comments with insights, and questions. Let us support each other in relinquishing what no longer serves us, and embracing our authentic selves.
Two books have been game-changers on my journey. They were recommended on day one by my favorite therapist. I didn’t read them right away because I was blinded by my burdens. But when I did, I was able to receive them with much more clarity. I offer these to you.
“Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle" by Emily and Amelia Nagoski
"All About Love" by Bell Hooks
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