Case Study: Every Challenge Has a Hidden Blessing

Case Study: Every Challenge Has a Hidden Blessing

Apr 12, 2021

Sonia (not her real name/photo) is in her early 40’s. She is in a long-term relationship. She had been resilient, worked all her life, thrived on the pressures and challenges of her work life, enjoyed the money she earned and led a positive lifestyle.

Things had been going along well at her last job but would take a sudden turn when she experienced bullying from one of her managers, and she had to leave work.
This experience was very challenging for her, as she was now in a position of having to start all over again with her career at this stage in her life.

It was time for Sonia to take stock. She looked back and recognised the early warning signs that had been there before the major incident of bullying occurred. She had been a person who lets things go and not ‘ruffle the feathers,’ so to speak.
We worked together on her life evaluation and guided her to draw on her early life experiences when she formed ideas about not being able to stand up for herself.
Sonia grew up with 2 sisters and her being the youngest, with a significant age gap. She lost her mother in her early 20’s. Sonia recalls that being the youngest; she felt she had no voice. This caused her to have adapt to the challenges she faced interacting with others in the household, evidently by avoiding conflict.

Sonia recalled that she was previously bullied in another workplace and did not take any steps to deal with the situation. She also admitted that often she overlooked unacceptable behaviours displayed by others towards her as she tries to see the good in everyone. However, she learnt that this could also be her downside. Others can take advantage of such a way of being.

It was time to develop her real sense of self because if she continued to approach life in this same way she would likely have the same results, which would not serve her. Through this process, she uncovered her negative belief patterns and brought them to the surface so to change them.

We also looked at her using the challenging situation she was facing to derive the lessons, for her to learn that she was more than what she had led herself to believe. The work also involved her looking at how she responded to situations she feared and to gain new skills and confidence.

We met 14 months earlier. She was now on her way to defining the future she desires and feeling confident to tackle issues that may arise in her work and personal relationships.

She recently faced a major confrontation with a long term friend and decided to part ways, something she would not have done in the past. Sonia stood up for herself when her friend accused her of something she did not do. Normally she would be apologetic and take the blame.

With her increased level of awareness she had been noticing negative behaviours in her friend that she knew, she could not keep tolerating at her expense.

It was important that she empower herself, be realistic about dealing with conflict rather than avoid it, connect with the genuine person she is, embrace life confidently, grow as a person and be individualistic.

She feels confident about her future.
She continued to develop and have a new set of personal values, knowing that she can no longer respond to others in her life in ways that demean and affect her well-being.

Sonia also stopped and reflected on a career that would fulfil her.
She has new career goals having enrolled in Diploma of counselling. A new world opened up recently; she learnt she could utilise her past skills and counselling skills in job opportunity in the Work Rehabilitation Services. She loves her new job and feels that she is making a difference in others’ lives.

She is embracing life again. She has considered joining social or professional groups of like-minded individuals to increase her network.