How Getting Fired Taught Me A Lesson In Humility
Workin' Girl

How Getting Fired Taught Me A Lesson In Humility

Unless you've been living under a rock, you've probably heard the news that Tamar Braxton was fired from her position as one of the hosts of the daytime TV talk show The Real. And unless you've never heard of the famous Braxton sister before, you'd know that she is what many would call a “firecracker". She has a very strong personality and unfortunately to some, it may come off as abrasive or rude. According to reports, those were traits that allegedly didn't sit too well with producers and sponsors of the show.

Often times however, what many people don't understand is that strong personalities are often the result of something deeper than what's observed on the surface level. In my case, a combination of childhood bullying, shyness, and constant let-downs led to me developing a tough shell. After being disappointed by others over the years, that hard shell toughened even more and I began to develop an IDGAF attitude. The sweet me that was often taken advantage of had dissipated and I had become a bitch.

Don't get me wrong, my stank attitude was never a conscious effort. In most cases, I never realized how my attitude was coming across to others. It was only after being dealt a huge blow to my ego by being fired and learning why I was fired, that I was able to reevaluate myself and deal with the underlying issues causing my abrasiveness.

Getting fired sucks.

But getting fired due to what some may deem a personality defect (insert the PC term for "strong personality" here) sucks even worse. I can't speak for Tamar, but in my case, being fired for my “attitude" resulted in a dose of humility and taking some time out to check myself - and my attitude.

Read on for a few takeaways I learned about myself by getting fired:

There's a Thin Line Between Confidence and Cockiness

I am a perfectionist. I strive to do well with any and every thing I take on. For that reason, I've become accustomed to the feeling of pride that has come with me winning and accomplishing what I've set out to achieve. With my success came a lot of cockiness.

That cockiness led to the demise of a lot of my relationships, both personal and professional. When I was younger, I was the exact opposite of cocky. I was very shy, I didn't have much self-esteem, and I feared failure and rejection from others. These were traits I possessed in my youth that affected me more than I realized at the time.

Fast-forward to me getting fired, I came to the realization my cocky attitude played a major role in my termination. I had convinced myself that I was going to take my former supervisor's job and I believe she realized my intentions. Once that reality hit, she made it her business to protect her position, as she should have. We eventually became competitive, and even though she was my superior, I personally didn't respect her authority like I should have. I compared the two of us and felt above her in most instances: I'm one year older than her, more experienced than her, and the only thing that separated me from her during my employment was that she had one degree more than me. Honestly, I did a lot of the work she should have done, but she worked hard to get where she was within the company.

I failed to respect her accomplishments and support her and instead, chose to compete with her.

That ended with me losing my job.

Being fired dealt a huge blow to my ego, but it also resulted in me realizing that while it's OK to be confident in my abilities, cockiness is not “cute" and in the end I did not win due to no one's fault but my own. Lesson learned.

No Matter How Successful I Get, There's Always Someone Who Can Check Me

My failure to realize that yes, I can be checked, was an obvious result of that cockiness I mentioned earlier. As a child, I changed from a shy, sweet little girl to a rebellious, smart-mouthed teenager. Regrettably, I put my mother and those around me through hell. While there were certain circumstances that led to my behavior, some of it was also, admittedly, me being a brat and wanting my way all the time. I developed a bad attitude and an overall lack of respect for authority. That attitude carried over into adulthood and my professional life as well. When I graduated from high school, I enlisted in the military.

You would think the military would straighten me out—wrong. I didn't care what anyone said there either, I was only there to collect a check. While I'm being honest about my frame of mind at the time, I must admit the way I used to act is completely embarrassing to me. What's even more embarrassing is how long it took me to realize that I'm not in control of everything and that I never will be. "Control" being the keyword.

During a bit of self-reflection after getting fired, I came to realize that control is what I wanted.

I wanted it because of the many negative situations in my past that I felt helpless to prevent. My lack of control during those situations made it hard for me to understand the boundaries of control and I became controlling, ruining relationships, friendships and professional opportunities in the process. The only way I've been able to overcome that time in my life is to learn that there will always be someone that can check me, even if it's God Himself. I learned that exhibiting humility doesn't make me less of a leader, it makes me a stronger one.

How I Rise From My Failures is What is Most Important

Sometimes when everyone is saying the same thing about you, it doesn't hurt to listen. More likely than not, if it's something that's said a lot, it's something that's true. I learned to listen and accept the truth when others would tell me what was holding me back from going forward in life. Most of the time, it was my attitude. While hearing my attitude was a problem right after getting fired felt like I was being kicked while I was down, the truth is I commend my true friends and family for being honest with me. Those truths helped me rise up to be the woman I am meant to be. Getting fired sucks, especially when you have so many goals and aspirations tied to a particular position or company.

In my case, being fired put me right back at start, but it was a good thing ultimately.

It helped me reevaluate myself, understand who I am and my potential, and rise up amidst adversity. In an interview on the Steve Harvey Morning Show, Tamar revealed, in regards to getting fired, that it was God's way of making her take a leap of faith forward and leave that show behind her. Because she had been ignoring Him, He basically pushed her off the cliff, so that she would have no choice but to have her faith. My experience with getting fired was similar.

It was God's way of kicking me off of my horse and forcing me to be gracious for my blessings.

Since then, I've moved forward and accomplished many things, but I keep a dose of humility with me at all times, just in case I begin to start feeling myself too much.

Featured image by Shutterstock

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