Thanks and Forgiving, Part 3

forgiving The Toxic Workplace

The Toxic Workplace. It sounds like the title of a scary book filled with zombies and villains.

In our story, the heroine struggles to defeat the zombies before they can consume her last creative thought and suck the spirit right out of her. As she runs to her cubicle looking for the weapon that can once and for all rescue her from the imminent peril she is in, she has an epiphany moment. The weapon does not exist in her desk drawers, nor is it on her hard drive - it’s inside her.

Tucked deep inside her, like an internal tickle, she feels the seeds of an answer coming to her. In order to take away the toxic workplace’s power over her she needs to forgive it.

Our heroine bolstered by this new found realization knows what she must do. She turns to face the zombie head on and says “I forgive you.” As the zombie explodes into a million pieces, she turns to see the sun rising over the horizon. The End…

Or is it the Beginning?

Over the last few years the toxic workplace has been discussed by every news magazine, Linked In group and career site that exists. Most of them focus on how to change it from the inside or how to exit it with a new job in a new company. Those are great suggestions but one of the things that we don’t often hear mentioned is the lingering damage these environments have on us even after we have found that perfect job.

The scars of a toxic workplace can show up years later. It may show up as a hesitancy to make a decision or to take a risk. It may show up as not wanting to disagree with a co-worker or address a conflict situation. It may show up in a lack of self-confidence or self-esteem.

The fears created by a toxic workplace work on that fight or flight part of our brain. This would work for us if we really were facing down a zombie, but we’re not…it’s just a bad work place. Continuing to carry it around with us, letting ourselves stress about what happened to us or how we were treated in fact continues to give the Toxic Workplace power over us. The only way to truly eliminate it is to let it go, forgive it and move on.

Now when I say “forgive it” I don’t want you to think that I in any way want you to condone it. You can still choose to demonstrate your disapproval of the organization in a number of ways. You can choose to not buy their products or services. You can choose not to recommend them to your network. You can choose to be fabulous in a new role in a new company.

So as our heroine walks off into the new day we sense that this is not the end of the story but really the beginning of a promising new future.

Join the conversation

What do you need to forgive to defeat your zombies?