Friday, February 6, 2015

Phantom pains

There's this phenomenon that occurs to people who have lost a limb; long after the limb is gone it will generate pangs of pain. The pain is generated in the mind, but is felt physically in the missing limb. This is called phantom pains.

I thought about this after a fellow leaver emailed me writing about unresolved anger towards his dad and the family business. He had left a year or so earlier, but was still trying to find his way in life. From his perspective he was failing and that feeling was creating pain.

I'm guessing you've experienced this at one time or another, being thrown back to painful emotions you thought you had left behind...

For me it is usually brought on by belittlement—it awakens the pain felt by a criticizing dad/boss. But it's a phantom pain; the lacking self-worth I had grown up with is gone, I've defeated that dragon. Yet, the memory of it exists in the mind and every now and then is felt in the "limb".

Recognizing this is the first step in overcoming it. Once you do, the anger will subside, clarity will return and you will regain control. It's not an easy process, but you stand to learn so much about yourself if you choose to try.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

It's been a while

A long while... A comment left a few days ago pulled me back suddenly into the blog. Truth is, I haven't checked-in for a while, and was thinking that with the lack of activity on my behalf so would interest decline. I was wrong. I am humbled by the many readers/leavers that still visit the site.

So firstly, thank you anonymous for the comment and for pulling me back in. Secondly, I am still here regardless of my posting activity so you are more than welcome to email me directly if you are looking for advice (

So what have I been up to in the past year? And is leaving still the best decision I have ever made?

Since leaving I have been (re-)building my career within "corporate America". It's not been easy, and the past year was a real test of endurance. Corporate America (if you've never experienced it) is plagued by bureaucracy, politics, "c-players" and (low) glass ceilings. For a person with family business "DNA", this provides for a challenging environment. We are used to taking full ownership and getting things done; we are not used to clocking-in and doing a job. Which is were endurance kicks in: sticking things out and never calling it quits has become a trait of mine (Nixon has a great quote on quitting). And for me, recently, it has finally paid off.

As for leaving the family business and whether it is still the best decision I have ever made? Absolutely and without any doubt! It has freed me beyond my wildest dreams.