Making the right choice…victim or victor

Selling your soul

Mpho had a master’s degree and was exceptionally good in the talent acquisition and learning and development arena. She had been doing this for several years and worked tirelessly fourteen hours a day, every day including weekends and public holidays. Most of her time was consumed by the organization and she forgot to live life and sacrificed spending time with her friends and family.

Mpho was also a steady to excellent performer and like most people, never received any warnings or ever needed performance improvement throughout her professional career.

However, things changed when a new manager was appointed, an expatriate who had a different take on how things should work and expectations of Mpho. This manager had no understanding of local laws and was rather dismissive. This manager had quickly secured a track record for retrenching, dismissing some team members, and placed most of them on performance improvement.

Mpho had just been placed on performance improvement and was devastated to the extent that she had an emotional breakdown and landed up in hospital. Notwithstanding the embarrassment Mpho felt, what was more damning was that her manager had told that she was stupid on numerous occasions.

Mpho who worked so tirelessly everyday did not realise that no matter how hard she worked; it would not be good enough for the current manager. Her knowledge and experience had become insignificant and her morale and self-esteem were at their lowest point. Not to delve into the psychology of fight or flight syndromes, but simply put, Mpho is going through immense stress and emotional trauma. Never in her entire professional career, had she ever been issued a warning, let alone a performance improvement….

When rational thinking disappears

Rational thinking disappeared, stress creeped in, emotional weakness started to set in, and the world became even smaller for her. Remember, no situation is ever the same for everyone,  but we should however be cognizant of the fact we can choose to be a victim and lay down and play dead or get up, keep moving forward and use our emotional smarts to fight any threat to our emotional and mental psyche. Small things like introspection, taking a step back, relooking an option, and breathing can make the world of difference in how you deal with stressful situations. I am no psychologist but remembering certain basics entrenched within us after taking a moment to refocus can be the difference between laying down and being a victim, or getting back up, and giving yourself the chance to fight. Fear interrupts processes in our brains to regulate emotions, impacts our decision making negatively, and ultimately leaves us susceptible to impulsive and emotional reactions causing us to act inappropriately. We then become anxious most of the time.

You have the power to choose …Make the right choice…….