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How Alisha Revived Her Confidence When She Got Back to Work After a Career Break

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This short story provides a tip that women must use when they get back from a career break, to overcome challenges and thrive at work.

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Getting Back to Work

Alisha was getting used to the idea of visualizing goals to achieve success. They say apart from hard work, sitting in meditation, articulating goals clearly, and asking for blessings from one’s spiritual masters are daily rituals one should adopt to help build focus.

Alisha was still trying to find a way out of the career-break she had taken after welcoming two lovely children into her life. After three years of long and tiring workdays, she tried to find her feet in the corporate world. She was trying to make her voice heard amongst professionals who displayed confidence and exuberance effortlessly.

Becoming a Parent is a Life-Changing Event

She had been a confident person and always believed in herself. And then, she was blessed with two lovely kids.

Becoming a parent is a life-changing event for a parent. The days in a working parent’s life are never-ending and tiring. The responsibility of nurturing a tiny soul can char new parents with the guilt of leaving unfinished stuff at home, interrupting meetings to get back to the little ones at home, and walking away diffidently when the team is making the most critical decisions.

She had been a confident person and always believed in herself. And then, she was blessed with two lovely kids.

Becoming a parent is a life-changing event for a parent. Days in a working parent’s life are never-ending and tiring. The responsibility of nurturing a tiny soul can char new parents with the guilt of leaving unfinished stuff at home, interrupting meetings to get back to the little lives at home, and walking away diffidently when the team makes the most critical decisions.

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An Unsuccessful Attempt At a New Idea in Office

In a meeting the other day, Alisha talked about how a certain reporting process could become better. The management of her organization encouraged her to take the lead.

She needed the support of her team, and there were opinions from all over. Alisha was lucky she had her manager’s support.

She knew what she wanted to do. She went ahead and created the report.

During the review, the management asked her to rework the stuff she had done.

After she had made the changes, Alisha went for a review with the CIO.

"It is worse than what it was before you worked on it".

She started working on it again and went for the review one more time. The CTO found it better.

"Some things need to change".

"Can we work on it together so I understand what you mean?"

"It is your job, not mine." He was frustrated and did not want to discuss more.

Alisha's manager said, “We have invited this upon us. Things were fine before we suggested they could be done better. We have unnecessarily inflicted his discontent upon us.”

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Healing Takes Practice and One Must be Persistent

At that moment, thousands of thoughts crossed Alisha’s mind. She felt small. The memories of even the slightest of failures in life flashed in bursts in her head. She sat at her desk and looked at her computer screen. Her heart desperately tried to pen a pep talk while she gripped tiny bits of confidence that were slipping away.

They say when you want to do something with a pure heart, the universe looks after you. Alisha got a call from her coach that day. It was, as if almost magically, he had got a message that she felt disturbed. His words offered advice that she needed the most.

They say one must cleanse one’s soul to remove everything negative. Keep genuine criticism only and do not allow it to scar the mind. Fortunately, she knew of a technique to undo the effect of words that can play with one’s mind. To say she was unaffected would be wrong. But she had learned how to heal herself.

She went into meditation at home that day. In her mind, she replayed what had happened. She altered the conversation to make the tone neutral in her head and brought it down to a flat note. Then, she picked up pieces of criticism that were genuine and made sense to her. Alisha discarded the rest.

Next, she composed the words into a melody that tuned into her mind’s frequency. Alisha visualized the same person giving her the message she wanted to hear; in the manner she wanted to hear it. The turbulence of doubt raised its head like a serpent, again and again. But they say it takes practice and one must be persistent.

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Giving Infinite Power to Restless Minds

She had to hit the serpent on its head multiple times to ensure it does not rise again. But it was there, somewhere in her mind, always. It never went away, but she learned to tame it. She understood that self-doubt and fearlessness co-exist. They wake up every morning after a good night’s rest.

In India, sages have always discussed the importance of meditation, so human beings can make negative forces dormant and feed positive energy — to supply restless minds with infinite power.

Choosing Carefully

She went back to work the next day. Was she filled with positivity all the time? She had to repeat the exercise multiple times over the next few days, and the confidence that she had in her abilities grew slowly. Opposition and negativity went into her ears, but gradually the wall between the ears and the head became stronger. Anything that could enter her mind had to go through constructive criticism.

She continued meditating, working, and believing in herself. A few months passed, and she started getting more requests for the kind of work she was doing. In a meeting, her CIO said that their clients were asking for more reports of that kind and that it was a good initiative. It made her happy.

Some days later, she got an email from the CTO saying that there has been a significant improvement in Alisha's work. He copied all of her managers.

Her coach called up again that day. It was a message from the universe that was looking after her. He did not say anything, and she did not tell him about the email. Yet, his call was a reminder of something very significant.

She would have been on cloud nine had she been the same person as she was previously. But every dip is a learning opportunity. Now, there was a fortress in her head that let words enter with caution. Just like criticism, one cannot let praise have unrestricted entry into the mind. One must process a message before allowing it access to one’s mind. Unchecked, approval could take one on a ride of self-love and ego and slow the advancement towards continuous learning.

Alisha was not completely insulated but continued to work on herself and was always on the path of continuous learning. There was an underlying sense of pride, somewhere, after she read the email from the CTO. She could sense it.

Negativity and positivity dwell together in mind. They show up in various forms — happiness and sadness, dismay and hope, humility and pride. One must choose carefully.

© 2020 Ashima