Once upon a time there was an artist trapped in a cubicle. Francois always had wonderful ideas but never shared them. They were afraid their cubicle colleagues would laugh at them. They toiled away in obscurity dreaming of a better life. Francois envied their more outgoing colleagues. Effortlessly they climbed the corporate ladder while Francois dreamed of a light from the depths of their cubicle cave. When the clock struck 'I'm ready to go' they would escape to the sanctity of their home. At home they created fantastical realms and gorgeous images. You would not recognize them! Though they had few friends; they were very close and enjoyed improptu gatherings.
"Oh not you didn't!!" Francois felt incredible. They were modeling a creation of their own design to their friends. Striking a pose, they felt so powerful! "You made this?" asked a friend. "No, I found a site that turns my art into clothing. You know I don't sew!" "You are in the wrong business," said another one. "I really like my job," Francois protested. "We don't get it," their friends responded, "you are like night and day at work and at home. With us you are so confident and at work, you just hide in your cubicle. Why don't you ever share your ideas?" "They won't listen, you know how it is" Francois retorted.
"Congratulations! So happy for you!" Francois beamed at another colleague. They were really happy for them they consoled themselves later, sobbing in their car. Ben was a go getter and always got the plum assignments. No, that's not quite right. They volunteered for that last project though he had shared in confidence that he did not know everything about it. Ben had done everything Francois would have done had they been assigned to the project. Francois pulled down the visor and opened the mirror. "This is on you," they told themselves. "Nobody is ever going to see you if you don't put yourself out there. Can making a mistake be any worse than being invisible?" Francois was resolved to make a change.
Before the meeting, Francois went to the bathroom which was thankfully empty. Striking a power pose in the mirror they told themselves, "You are enough, you are worth it, and I love you." The meeting had reached an impasse. Everyone was arguing and the team was not making any headway. One faction thought they should move forward and another one thought the product was not ready. Francois had an idea that could bridge the two. They raised their hand and spoke their truth. Namaste
0:01 Welcome to the Things to Think About Podcast where we use fables and fairy tales, to come to deeper truths about our subconscious world.
00:11 I'm Stacy Cason, and today I have a special guest, this is my very first guest on the podcast and I'm so excited to have Ekua Cant, she is the Head Cheerleader for Career Magic, Ekua is a career coach who works with women, one to one and organizations
00:31 on talent attraction and retention. She's also a published author her book is called Be Your Number One cheerleader. I'm in the midst of reading it. It shares her journey into entrepreneurship.
00:44 Her burnout story and how she came to shift to a growth mindset, so I highly encourage you to check out her book, and her website and all that good stuff.
00:58 Welcome Ekua!
01:00 [Ekua]: Thank you. Hi Stacy It's so good to be here today. [Stacy]: Thank you. It's an absolute pleasure to have you. So as you know in our podcast we discuss questions.
01:12 And then we use imageries and stories to get a deeper understanding of it. So today we're going to be using the uhm Affirmators! Tarot deck and it has very fun animal pictures, and the question that you brought to the podcast was how to be more visible in the workplace.
01:34 specifically how do I become more visible in my company or organization? So let's see what we can learn from our little friends here.
01:45 So the first card is a lobster; it's a happy little lobster, he's upside down, or she, or they, they're upside down, they have a little cup and a paintbrush, and they're smiling and what comes to mind for me is because this card is upside down is, this
02:04 is somebody that is kind of hiding in their feelings.
02:09 And maybe this is the current situation is that they're not visible perhaps because they're hiding, I mean what comes to mind for you when you take a look at this picture?
02:19 [Ekua]: No I would agree, I feel like uhm the little lobster friend. He's very or she, or they uh is very creative, but they feel that deep sense of the imposter, they don't feel like they should be voicing their opinion or they should be seen.
02:35 [Stacy]: Right. So we have a potential case of imposter syndrome if we had to say a story, deep undersea in Aqua Incorporated, there is a little worker, and they are hiding in a cave (chuckles), not wanting to maybe get out of their shell, perhaps they think they will
02:55 be eaten or captured or caught in a snare, and so they hide their talents, deep under the the ocean. So then our next card are some of the challenges, and this card, we have a very regal kangaroo queen.
03:13 She is wearing sparkles. She has an evening gown. She is holding a fierce glowing ball. She looks amazing. And it is the Queen of Pentacles. So this is definitely generally related to career.
03:28 So I when I come to look at this card I think of somebody that wants to be a standout, that's the challenge they want to have their efforts blossom and bloom.
03:41 What comes to mind when you take a look at this one?
03:44 [Ekua]: Oh, when I see this one, uhm I see someone who uhm has a dual personality, they have their work personality, and they have their home personality. And I see that they know how to be regal.
03:58 uhm in that home personality but they don't know how to be regal and blossoming, in their work personality.
04:02 [Stacy]: Oh, that's a really insightful take at that I really like that! To me that then brings to mind that the knowledge is there because they can do this outside of the workplace.
04:15 So the challenge seems to be trying to meld, the two halves of who somebody is and I think some of the challenges come into when we talk about bringing our authentic self to work, and perhaps this is why they're hiding because they don't feel that they
04:31 can bring their authentic self to work when outside of work they're blooming and blossoming and growing.
04:38 And we need to try and connect those two together.
04:42 I mean, do you see that often in some of the people that you deal with in your clients? [Ekua]: Eh yeah I know I see that quite a lot and it's quite interesting.
04:51 Uhm Because it’s I'm like you have the potential and you know that you can do it, but you just don't feel like uh the workplace, is that place where you can have that true
22:01 uhm you know authentic, uhm feel, and because you feel perhaps you know you might be a woman or you're a woman of color or you may be uhm someone uh who fells uh already slightly different in the workplace disability and sexuality, whatever the case may be.
22:22 uhm You don't feel that you can bring your shine, to the right place because of that thing in your mind that you think you know people are labeling you as you don't. Therefore, you don’t want to give yourself an additional label by like shining your fullest because then you're like, Oh no, then I'll be seen.
22:29 [Stacy]: I really liked that and. And look at this kangaroo lady, she really needs to shine (chuckles); so fabulous. So then we look into well what can help somebody in this situation, and the next one
22:45 looks pretty vicious. It's a kind of salamander dinosaur lizard thing and it is just stabbed with swords. So there's ten swords and this, this critter (chuckles) looks dead as a doornail.
23:01 And a lot of people get scared when they think about it but swords are generally things with the thoughts. So this is somebody that is maybe either hitting rock bottom.
23:12 Or, I can also look at it as you need to kill that kind of thinking.
23:17 This is the end of a cycle and a potential new beginning but you're not going to move forward, unless you work and and address those thoughts which I think goes back to the feelings of imposter syndrome, your feelings are driving your thoughts instead of
23:32 your thoughts driving your feelings. What, what comes to mind for you when you take a look at this one?
23:38 [Ekua]: Well I I’m certainly seeing uhm slaying of sorts. I'm seeing, you know, a shedding of uhm, you know, the old thoughts that are keeping those people uhm invisible and not wanting to step forward.
23:51 Ahhm, You know, and then I see those two swords at the side as anchors for them to start to reemerge and start to have new thoughts, and practices again to and actually start uhm to do.
24:04 [Stacy]: I really love the concept of shedding a skin and I think maybe sometimes all this talent is being encased, like if a snake doesn't shed its skin, it can't grow.
24:17 It gets trapped. And I think shedding the skin might be a slow and painful process but it's necessary for them to emerge as this fabulous person, this person that is somebody that is somebody that’s going to get opportunities promotions, those kind of things.
24:36 So then, the last thing we look at are potential outcomes. And this one (clears throat) is a very windy twisty dragon there's a lot of love.
24:48 uhm It's an Ace so that's usually a new start, but again we have the feelings.
24:54 And it's upside down.
24:57 So what comes to mind for me is that we need self-love, and I think that it it's also a challenge, loving ourselves, starting that new story within ourselves to become that person that we wanna be.
05:16 But it's not something that's one and done. I think it it it comes across to me as this is going to be a process and ongoing process, and you might feel twists and turns but you've got to stick with it. What comes comes to you when you look at our happy little dragon
05:30 [Ekua]: Yeah, no, I would totally agree. You know, it's it’s a painful process, but uhm ultimately, we have to believe I love ourselves and of course cheer for ourselves and I know that that's one of those things where if somebody feels, feels that they're invisible.
05:45 It's going to be a deep, deep uh struggle, but I think that this last uhm card shows us that, you know, by giving ourself grace and compassion, and knowing that it's going to be a bit of a twisty journey that we're going to get there! I'm gonna have to practice
05:58 it's not, it's not a, a what’s it called? Like a one time thing. It's a continual, onward uhm habitual ahprocess.
06:06 [Stacy]: Awesome. Thank you so much. So if we look at this as a big picture. We need to come out of our cave meld the two halves of our personality, the work person and the home person.
06:21 Shed your skin. Kill the thoughts that you don't belong here the thoughts of failure. Love on yourself, and repeat, (chuckles) continue to evolve in this process.
06:35 I noticed in this thing too that it starts and ends with with our feelings.
06:40 And our feelings influence our careers. And they influence our thoughts and they kind of in this picture they kind of bucket.
06:51 The two they bucket, our ideas of work and worth, and our thoughts and I am getting a sense that perhaps we should flip the script and let our thoughts, drive the feelings, because we have this vision of where we'd like to be in our lives, what, when you
07:12 just look at this as a whole. What comes to mind for you?
07:18 [Ekua]: You know I agree, I agree. I think that we need to start with the the thoughts because the feelings can be so misleading.
07:25 uhm And if we plant the thoughts that serve us and help us to understand. Uhm we need to challenge our feelings. We are going to be able to go on this twisty windy journey as the last uh card demonstrates to us is twisty and windy, but with ah our own compassionate self-love,
07:39 we're going to get there.
07:42 [Stacy]: I love it. So Ekua for our little timid lobsters out there. How do they get ahold of you to start this transformational journey?
07:54 [Ekua]: (Deep inhale) Well, they can reach out to me on LinkedIn. Ekua Cant, they can find me there. Or they can check out my website that's the other one can beyournumberonecheerleader.com. Uhm, or they can join the mailing list, which is uhm sendfox/ekuacant.
08:10 [Stacy]: Okay, I'm going to put all of these things in the show notes for our happy listeners out there. And if you all would like some help in getting clarity, you can reach out to me, Stacy Casson and I'm also on LinkedIn, and my website and contact information
08:25 will also be in the show notes, Ekua, I want to thank you so much for spending time with me today, for being my first guest, for helping to create a new story for our listeners, and for being a part of my story.
08:43 Ekua, Oh well thank you so much for having me. I think for me it wast really really great.
08:47 [Stacy]: You're welcome. Any last words for our guests.
08:51 [Ekua]: Yes, Think the thoughts that serve you and of course .”Be your number one cheerleader! What else? (both dissolve into giggles)
09:00 [Stacy]: Well that ends our story for today. Are you going to stay in your cave, or are you going to get out there slay the dragons and become your fiercest most fabulous self?
09:13 Thank you for joining, and have a great day. End Transcript
Ekua’s Contact info: