How I Recovered and Thrived from My Toxic Boss Experience

Mark Danaher Career, Life and Leadership Coach

In my recent article “My Toxic Boss” (, I talked about my experience with a new CEO who changed my career and life adversely. While working at this job, I was at the point of burnout and felt discriminated against by my CEO and a lower-level supervisor. I was not in a good place, which became visible to my wife and friends, along with my internal awareness of not feeling in a good spot. Here’s what I did to break that situation.

Once I realized I was in a bad situation, the first thing I did was reach out to a coach for assistance. I met with this coach every week to help me process what was going on, provide time to heal, give me strategies to cope, regain my confidence and creativity, and develop a plan to exit this situation.

Once I started working with a coach, I had a place where I felt safe. It allowed me to explore and reengage my mind on more positive aspects of my life and abilities. I started by creating small graphical chalkboard signs with empowering sayings on them. Making these chalkboard signs, I practiced positive mantras and said them to myself regularly, allowing me to gain a more positive sense of my life and career.

I started to practice gratitude on a regular basis. I practiced every morning, sharing what I was grateful for and what I was hopeful would happen to me in the future. I used the “day one” app where I shared a personal photo and wrote down different things that I was grateful for. I focused on three things I had in my life. I now do this in the morning and at night. 

My nighttime gratitude focuses on three wins for the day and three wins I hope to achieve tomorrow to set up my mind for a positive outcome.

During this time, I set up my morning routine, which helps me prepare my day for success and positivity. My morning routine consists of exercise, meditation, mindfulness, gratitude, and listening to a morning podcast or audiobook. I do this each day. The amount of time it takes could be as little as 10 minutes or as long as 60 minutes, depending on when I wake up and the time I have before work. This morning ritual and routine has changed my mindset and beliefs about who I am and where I am going. This practice is something I still do today, and I attribute much of my success and positive attitude, my outlook on life, and my career to these daily activities. I recommend that you incorporate this type of routine into your daily life.

By making some simple changes, I was able to shift my mindset and attitude from being a discarded former teacher of the year to being an impactful coach. As a coach, I help others regain their career clarity, build confidence and achieve the impact they want in their life. If you are under a toxic boss now, you will benefit greatly by implementing some of the things I mentioned above to help you alleviate some of the stress and tension that this person brings to you.

I would highly encourage you to set up a meeting with me, as I would be more than happy to help you navigate your way out of this situation so that you can become more effective in your career and live the life you love and deserve.