Different year, same problems?
What’s bothering you at work? Are your problems the same you had last year, and the year before that? When new clients seek my help, it’s usually because they have experienced the same problems and frustrations for quite some time. They realize that issues will not magically disappear. They need a new approach.
When I ask them what obstacles they face, they point to something external (e.g. having a difficult supervisor, too much work, or not enough staff) or they tend to blame themselves (e.g. “I am not good at dealing with conflict”, “I am not organized enough”, or “I over-commit because I want to please people” etc.). The facts or rather, perspectives, they describe can all be transformed once the person agrees to control what is within their control. Even external events stop creating limitations once the person learns better ways to handle them or transform them.
Do you ever let yourself down?
If someone lets you down, that’s unfortunate. But if you are the one who lets yourself down, that’s tragic! You can’t control what other people do but you have absolute power to choose what you do. Sadly, it’s easy to forget this simple truth because we live busy lives, our heads are full, and we rarely stay focused on solutions long enough to implement them.
People let themselves down because of two reasons:
1. Lack of clarity
Some people feel so overwhelmed that they spend their days reacting to what is thrown at them and doing their best to keep up with their responsibilities. That leaves them no time to reflect on what they really want and what truly matters. They lose themselves in the pressure they feel at work. They are confused and don’t even know it! They keep thinking they never have enough time and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Others know what they want but hardly ever think about it. If I ask them what is important to them, they know what to respond, but the way they live their lives doesn’t reflect it. They feel even more pain than the people in the previous category because they know what’s missing and they judge themselves for it. They lack clarity regarding how to turn their goals into a plan and into success. They tend to think about “why they can’t” instead of “how they could make it happen”.
2. Lack of alignment
The lucky ones who know what they want and what to do, almost always lack alignment between their beliefs, thoughts, and actions. Being inconsistent is what sabotages their efforts and keeps them stuck.
For example, imagine someone who believes her next step is to become a Vice-President. Her thoughts are scattered and range from “I would be the ideal candidate to replace my boss”, to “I am not sure I am good enough”, to “they will prefer to hire a man”, to “I am not sure I want this level of responsibility and the sacrifices I’ll have to make.” That would be mentally exhausting, wouldn’t it? Do you see how this person would be unable to do her best to get the position?
Her actions would be out of alignment with her goal to become a Vice President. Instead of preparing a high-quality application, she might wait until the deadline was near, and rush to submit something mediocre. If her application didn’t get her an interview, instead of taking the rejection personally, she would agree that it wasn’t her best work and blame the deadline instead of taking responsibility for the situation she created.
Get clarity and alignment
If you are not 100% satisfied with your work and your career, you absolutely must make time for reflection and journaling. Decide what you want and remind yourself every single morning. Don’t let yourself forget what you want most. Your days will be filled with pressure, interruptions, and distractions, so it’s your responsibility to remain clear on what’s important to you and not let circumstances confuse you.
Please answer the following questions:
What are your goals?
What do you believe to be true regarding your ability to succeed?
What are your habitual thoughts on this topic?
How do your actions compare to your intentions?
Answering these questions honestly will show you how you’re holding yourself back. For example, some people believe they need to put more emphasis on building professional relationships and being more visible, but it’s not comfortable to them so they spend the majority of their time alone at their desks. Others know they need to improve their organization and time management, but it’s uncomfortable, so they continue to spend too much time talking with people in the office or avoiding tasks that they don’t enjoy.
How to follow-through
Please don’t blame yourself for lacking self-discipline and follow-through. We are creatures of habit and tend to have the same thoughts and do the same things day after day. Breaking old habits and choosing new behaviors takes a very strong intention and commitment otherwise, you’ll revert back to the old programs. It doesn’t make you weak, it makes you human.
To free yourself from old patterns that have kept you stuck, you need to observe your beliefs, thoughts, and actions, and make some corrections to be in alignment. Don’t judge, simply observe and correct when needed. Once you get rid of inner-conflict and self-sabotage, you will be able to reach your career goals much faster than ever before. Let me show you how. I invite you to click here to schedule a complimentary call with me to discuss how I can make this process easy for you.
About the author: Dr. Audrey Reille has empowered thousands of professionals through one-on-one coaching, group coaching, speaking engagements, and online courses. Audrey is the go-to coach for leaders in higher education administration. She empowers them to thrive by reducing stress, optimizing strategies, improving professional relationships, and developing a strong and empowered mindset.