Ask the Coach — Week 7

This is the column where, each week, I’ll be answering one website visitor’s question in hopes of supporting all visitors through shared (and likely, relevant) challenges, triumphs, and struggles.

Dear Kerri,

I have reached a point in my life/career were I want to do something else. In the past when this has happened, I’ve always known what my next step would be. What’s challenging for me this time is that I don’t. I am exhausted of the toxic environment I am in and wish to be free from it. How to do I start figuring out what my next step is?

Miffed in Miami

Dear Miffed,

What an exciting time to be on the verge of change! While you’re unsure of your next step, what you are clear on, it seems, is that you want out of your current environment.

When a desire to escape a situation is a main motivator to initiating change, we need to be careful about possibly jumping from the frying pan into the fire. To help yourself get clear on what it is you’d like to do next, I’d first encourage you to find ways to emotionally detach from the drama and toxicity of your current work environment. How can you take care of yourself, energetically, so you are not depleting your spirit’s resources by “tolerating” or “surviving” at work? How can you leave work at work? By not exploring these avenues, it’s likely you’ll find yourself in a similar, if not worse, environment next.

Consider this: When you feel aggravated or your buttons get pushed by something at work, vent in a notebook, take a walk, or close your door and do 60 seconds of deep breathing. These exercises can help bring you back to center and re-ground your energy, putting you more in a position of power in regards to your life and situation. And the bonus? Once you detach yourself from the toxicity as much as you can, you’ll be much more likely to identify your next steps, and have it be from a place of power instead of desperation.

By feeling tangled up in an unhealthy environment, you don’t have the space available to pursue or welcome in new directions or opportunities, so it’s no wonder you don’t feel clear on your next move. Focus your actions on creating that space to effect change. Start by taking care of yourself where you are in order to discover where you want to go.


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