As I write this article, “Killing Me Softly” by The Fugees plays in the background. Remember that song? So good, right? I love that song. It feels as if it never gets old.
Toxic environments are the perfect poison to kill your soul in a slow death. For years, you may think you’re dealing with it well. You’ve got it all under control. You’re even proud that you’re very skilled at this.
When you hear the words “toxic,” what picture comes to your mind instantly?
Sadly, for most people, toxic means “work,” or “family”… even their intimate partner. These are all parts of life that matters the most to us.
Being skilled at protecting yourself from toxicity doesn’t make you invincible from it. It just makes you resistant… to last longer, and to experience a painful, slow, long-term “death.”
In a toxic environment, you can barely grow and move forward. No matter how much you intend to focus and be better, a large portion of your efforts and energy has to go into sustaining yourself to just function. Then, you have very little resources for actual growth. Your deepest goals and desires no longer matter. You don’t have time, you don’t have energy. You just don’t feel motivated. Your efforts don’t seem to matter, because they can’t come to fruition anyway.
Imagine a plant in toxic soil, surrounded in toxic air. It can sort of grow. You may marvel at its strength. It may be able to survive. Would you eat the fruit from this plant? You’ll have to be crazy to think “yes.”
Much the same, the result from a toxic environment will seldom be something you’ll be happy with when you stop to reflect on it one day.
Why stay there? Why lower your chance of success in this life time?
If you’re working in a toxic environment, or if you are in any major relationship dynamic that is toxic, you’re letting go of the chance to thrive in your life. Every minute you “tolerate” what’s barely tolerable, you’re saying “No” to your brilliant future.
Even With Inaction, You’re Making A Choice.
Every single client I’ve worked with can define “toxic.” Yet, they have a hard time seeing that they are in something toxic, because they chalk it up to it being “normal.” Example: “All corporations are like this.” or “All relationships/families have some form of this.”
It’s very simple. They’ve been staying in toxicity because they have never seen something better than what they are in. Seeing the possibility often acts as a great catalyst to change. Seeing the “possibility” can become a new point of reference. Once you see the possibility of a healthy, nurturing environment, you can begin to fathom that you deserve this.
Something better is always available to you. The hardest task is believing in its existence.
Sometimes you know you’re in something toxic, yet, you may not know how to leave it behind. You may feel that you don’t have a choice.
Some brave souls decide “NO MORE” and move on, only to find themselves in a different, yet another toxic environment.
Why would this be?
When you’re accomplished, you believe you always know what you’re doing. After all, you are the expert in your own life. So why is it so hard to leave toxic behind for good? Why does it feel like there is no option?
The Mind Loves What’s Familiar To You… More Than What’s Good For you.
In order to understand why you can keep ending up in something toxic, you need to understand how the mind works. The mind loves familiarity. Your current toxic situation didn’t suddenly spring into life when you gained a toxic partner or friend. It didn’t suddenly begin with your job. It begun much before you were aware of what “toxic” meant.
If you’re in a toxic environment right now and you are allowing yourself to stay as you watch yourself deteriorate mentally, emotionally, and even physically… your mind is the only thing keeping you there. There was someone, something, some event in the past that made you feel this exact feeling. You chose this familiarity and feel compelled to stay in it. Consciously you hate it, but subconsciously, this toxic environment is something you crave. As much as it hurts you, there is some part of you deep in your subconscious that feels safe in this familiarity.
Ever Worked At A Place That Claimed, “We’re Like Family Here!” It’s Probably A Very Dysfunctional Place.
The root cause of the toxicity often traces back to your childhood, straight to the dynamics at home and early environment.
We are all born into relationships. We learn what to expect based on the dynamics and the environment of our early life. As adults, we learn to seek that familiar feeling of the past that the brain has become wired to seek out.
We may chalk it up to “luck,” but the brain only seeks out what it has been coded to look for. This is why when you leave something toxic without dealing with your root cause of how you got there, you will seek it out again in a different form.
When you find yourself staying in something barely tolerable, no matter how good the salary is, no matter what the other benefits may be, nothing is worth trading in your sanity, your potential, and your long-term happiness.
Ask Yourself: What Are You Here For?
Nobody except for your subconscious is telling you that this toxicity is something you need.
When you see the root cause of where this pattern comes from, you can shatter it permanently. In 2019, you can’t be operating on Linux or DOS, even Windows 95. The reason why you stay in this toxicity works just the same. You’re running on a very outdated subconscious programming that worked for your survival for some time, but is now a major hindrance from your highest potential and success.
To change this situation, you may not need an extreme makeover. Meaning, you don’t need to break into someone’s office or home, and scream at them, “I’M DONE WITH YOU AND THIS F*ING PLACE!”
Far from that…
All you have to do is to change yourself first. When you go into your subconscious and find the root cause, it becomes very clear why you don’t need this anymore, and it’s easy to let it go. When you upgrade yourself from the subconscious, you will think, act, and respond differently that it will naturally break this toxic pattern, and make the currently UNfamiliarhealthy dynamic the new familiar.
How You Treat Yourself Is An Example Of How Others Are Allowed to Treat You.
When you become different, people treat you differently. Part of the big issue with a toxic dynamic is your boundaries, and what you expect and allow. When you change from the deepest part of your Being, you make the toxic UNfamiliar. Then, you need to make what’s positive and nurturing familiar. Doing so, you shift this dynamic from its core. Becoming aware of why you’ve had this in your life, and why you’ve tolerated it for so long, is the beginning of giving yourself the opportunity to become free. Your timing is now to step into your highest potential, and to make the most brilliant possibilities come true.
About the Author:
Hi, I’m Julia Cha and I am a Rapid Transformational Therapist and Coach, working with high-achieving professionals and consultants.
I started coaching in 2016, after 4 years of mentorship with an accomplished and seasoned coach and therapist of 30 years who specializes working with tech entrepreneurs and consultants. I have worked with clients in more than 10 countries, across all continents except Antartica!
I am based in Vancouver, Canada, and I continue to work closely with all my international clientele.
You can download my Legacy Worksheet to map out your current direction in your career, and gain clarity on moving forward.
Or schedule a call to discuss your specific situation and my solutions for living a satisfied life of passion, purpose, work-life integration and fulfilment.