Sometimes you have to unlearn everything you thought you knew about yourself, if you want to Master Your Life
by Bianca-Janina Kux | Photo Credit Elaine Pringle-Schwitter
I was 39 years old and it struck me that I was in a job and career I did not enjoy. It had always been my dream to have my own business but I literally never knew the best time was to start. When you are comfortably snuggled up in the corporate world, the push to step into the unknown is rather small.. and this is how most people think. Especially in Switzerland, where we have only 16% engagement rates according to the Gallup Global Workplace studies. Which means most people prefer to do a well-paid job even though they do not enjoy it.
It’s all part of a wider culture which encourages people to focus on their weaknesses vs. focussing on their strengths and as a result, people work jobs that do not fulfil them. Understanding that it’s not you who needs to change when the environment around you is not working but instead it is that very environment that needs changing is an important first step.
That’s not to say the corporate world doesn’t provide an opportunity for personal growth. Being a Dale Carnegie Trainer I had already discovered one of my natural talents to inspire people through my positivity speaking. Leading the Rich Women Cashflow Club, in cooperation with the Institute of Financial Education, for 2 years I helped women to get a better Money Mindset and this helped me develop my own confidence to launch my business. I wanted to bring positivity into this world and help people become aware of the ‘diamond’ they have inside of themselves, giving them a way out of becoming someone they never wanted to be.
Now, I am a Strengths Based Leadership Expert and I support leaders to understand their uniqueness and create a successful and happy life from there. Most of us have been taught all our lives that we are not enough, that we need to improve in areas where we do not excel in. We have never been taught what it feels like to focus on areas where we naturally excel in, to improve those skills and talents and to follow a career based on them. For some individuals it is therefore like a process to remember who they really are (or forget who they thought they are). It’s a lot like rediscovering themselves and stripping off the competencies that we have learned by being observant of ourselves and acknowledging what it is that makes our heartbeat go faster, discovering the things that put a smile on our face. In essence, most people have no idea what it is they are really good at because we are taught to focus on the gaps, on what is missing and what needs improving. All this leads to is frustration, unengagement, a sense of unfulfillment and often-times burn-out.
People quit bosses, not jobs, as we know. Therefore, it’s is key that leaders start their Leadership Journey with themselves and then inspire their team to do the same. This is my contribution to building thriving workplaces and happier people who can shine. Self-Leadership is a vital part of being a great leader because we all lead by example.
Now don’t be fooled, founding your own company is a challenge. No one ever checks in with you, there are no deadlines unless you make them and you are wholly responsible to stick to them. Being able to think for yourself and ask yourself what is it that makes you happy is a pleasure and a challenge at the same time. You have total freedom to create the life of your dreams but when you never learned to dream to begin with, it can feel like you are learning to walk for the first time. Learning how to trust yourself is not easy and this can be a real hurdle to overcome. Speaking from my own experience, this has been a huge thing for me (as I like to turn around fast results) and sometimes this is not possible when you are out there alone. However, good things take time (just like a good wine) and learning how to trust in the process is all part of the journey, but I promise you, it is worth it!
Bianca Kux, originally from Germany, lives in Switzerland since 2004. Holding a Business Administration degree from Bamberg University, Germany, she has worked for the Migros Corporation for 4 years and afterwards changed sides from the Big Label industry to the Personal Brand side of the economy. At Johnson & Johnson she worked in International Sales & Business Development and trained International Sales teams for almost a decade. It was then when she faced her biggest challenge in her working career and started training as a Dale Carnegie Trainer to become a Gallup Strengths Coach. Bianca helps people monetise their unique talent and master their life.