Sensitive + Thriving, Inc. Changing the way we use sensitivity. Ane Axford

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Career Brainwashing…did it get you too?

You have heard me talk about HSP entrepreneurship before…but you haven’t heard me talk about how I got here. I feel so honored to work with such awesome, creative people. One of these awesome people is Sarah Malik, and she is in the midst of some heavy stuff about her value and what she calls “Career Brainwashing” (LOVE THAT NAME!). She is having some big realizations and her words are so profound.

I so relate to where she is and what she is saying, I was there. And, I know many of you are too. That is why I wanted to record this conversation between Sarah and I to share with you. It’s an experiment. I don’t know where it will go, Sarah doesn’t know where it will go. But, it’s by asking the questions that we get the answers. And, I know Sarah is incredibly valuable. She’s taking a risk to see that for herself. I honor her deeply for that.

We are going to do a little video series for you here so that you get to follow us through some of this process with Sarah. I apologize for the video quality in the first one, I will work on making it clearer for future videos. I so appreciate Sarah’s courage, honesty, and heart for being willing to do this. Thank you, Sarah, and all of you who are willing to experiment with your value, to risk finding an answer by asking a scary and vulnerable question. Thank you for being willing to be in the unknown intentionally.

Career Brainwashing Video 1

Career Brainwashing Video 2

Career Brainwashing Video 3 (final video in the series)

Career Brainwashing Self-Test by Sarah Malik

Here are a few clues that may help you identify if you are experiencing the effects of career brainwashing. Sarah created this awesome assessment that I had to share. If you relate to any of them, do a little exploratory work about why. If you answer most of them with a “YES!”, it’s time to get serious about shifting the way you “work”…to a way that works for you.


1)  You feel drained and exhausted at the end of a 9 to 5 day, with little energy left for personal time or fun things.


2)  It feels depressing and inauthentic having to act professional and hide your feelings, emotions and care for others.


3)  You feel nervous or anxious about how to act. It feels stressful dealing with people, trying to act the right way.


4)  You would like to have freedom in how you act, how you dress or how you sit or move.


5)  It feels like prison to sit in an office all day. You dream of getting outside. You don’t like being confined.


6)  You find yourself daydreaming and wishing you were somewhere else, even if you don’t know where.


7)  You get easily bored at work.


8)  You feel unfulfilled at work.


9)  You want to have a career using your natural gifts and talents.


10)  You can’t seem to find a career path.


11)  What you studied in school has not translated or led you into a great career.


12)  You’ve never seen a job description you really like or feel inspired by.


13)  You know you are highly underpaid.


14)  You know you could or would like to be able to do something more high profile or higher paying.


15)  You know you would like to feel inspired about the work you do.


16)  You know you would like to have work that feels like an authentic expression of who you are.


17)  You have settled for doing menial, mindless or minimum wage-type work in order to pay the bills or because you can’t figure out what else to do.


18)  You know you are technically capable of doing your job, but it’s just not inspiring or doesn’t use your true talents.


19)  You are embarrassed at how overqualified you are for what you do or for the kind of jobs you apply for.


20)  You feel ashamed that you haven’t settled into a career like most of the people you know.


21)  You lack a sense of self-confidence. You are stuck and no matter what you do, you can’t seem to overcome this negative self-image.


22)  People tell you that you are smart and capable and that you can do anything you put your mind to, but you don’t feel that way.


23)  You believe that people should do work they love, but it feels like a fantasy. You don’t know how to experience that reality for yourself.


24)  You leave jobs often or you’ve had a large number of jobs.


25)  You feel like you are always job hunting, having to network and interview. You’re tired of this constant cycle of always looking for a new job.


26)  You want to be highly paid based on the value you can deliver, not the hours of grunt work you can do.


27)  You are thinking about going back to school to get another degree, because you’re not happy with what you’re doing now.


28)  You are worried there is something seriously wrong with you because of your experiences around work, because of your struggles in this area.


29)  You have considered taking medication to help you deal with your issues around work.


30)  You feel depressed and hopeless that work will never be what you dream it can be.


31)  You have given up hope that you’ll ever really find career fulfillment.


IF YOU ARE STILL TRYING TO DECIDE WHETHER OR NOT YOU ARE OK, don’t take any steps on business yet. Any program designed to help you start your creative business or find your purpose will just add more frustration until you understand and own your sensitivity, until you see your self as just right. My online program is for you if this is where you are.

For those who are already taking action or are ready to take action to get their own business idea rolling, here are two great options below. This is for you IF you have stopped trying to fix your self and you are experimenting with the hope and possibility that you have inherent, essential value. This means there is no panic about how long the process will take because you are willing to do what it takes to honor your value through self care, play, and authentic self expression (this includes sharing your value for payment). You are probably also feeling excited/scared to share your self, to be totally in charge of your life, and that what you know that will change the world one person at a time.

These are some DIY options, though from time to time I have interactive options that you can keep your eyes peeled for:

Maybe you’re like me and the thought of writing a business plan makes your skin crawl. But you know important it is to have clear goals and action steps for your business to succeed. Well, here’s something for you that might be just up your alley. Instead of staying stuck and frustrated, how about having fun and moving your business forward with The Right Brain Business Plan.

This business plan PLAYbook is perfect for you if…


* You don’t have a business plan and know you need one, but doing dirty dishes, dealing with loads of laundry, or even getting a head start on next year’s taxes all sound way more appealing (ugh!)


* You already have a business plan, but you need to breathe new life into it


* You can’t stand spreadsheets


* Numbers numb you out


* You’re a creative entrepreneur such as an artist, coach, health and wellness professional, educator, designer, freelancer, writer, photographer, non-profit leader or all-around creative soul wanting to make a positive impact with your work


* AND you’d be a heck of a lot happier planning your business in the same intuitive, authentic, and expressive way that you live your creative life (yes, indeed, it can be that fun and fulfilling!)

Check out The Right Brain Business Plan to see if it’s right for you, and you can see all of Jennifer Lee’s Right Brain Business services here.


And, for more overall DIY business building, I recommend: