Is there anything more frustrating or confusing than working toward professional goals and seeing no results? I empathize, and want to offer this reassurance: you CAN achieve success … if you identify your blocks. Here’s how.
Feeling professionally unfulfilled and unsuccessful can weigh heavily on your self esteem, affect your daily outlook and even lead to depression. If you spend any time comparing yourself to those who’ve achieved success, you’re probably left wondering what they’re doing right … and what you’re doing wrong.
The good news? Professional success is not meant for those precious few. Anyone can achieve their goals, including you, but first, you’ve got to discover your blocks.
Most people who haven’t achieved their professional goals have one thing in common: they’re blocked. Your block is the emotional or underlying reason you haven’t achieved your goals. And until you uncover your block, you may continue to see the same results year after year.
There are three common blocks that keep people from achieving their goals. Use the following guide to help you identify your blocks, learn how to overcome and get on your way to professional success:
#1: You can’t visualize what you want.
If you haven’t defined success, it’s pretty tough to achieve it. There are few things more frustrating than hearing someone say, “Don’t be scared to pursue your dreams,” when you have no idea what your dreams are. So, you end up adopting other people’s goals: “I should get a job in tech since all my friends want that … they say it’s where the money is. Guess I’ll go for that.” Or you give up on things before you’ve seen them through because you find yourself unfulfilled. Or your goals are SO general (e.g. I will succeed in business), you’re quite never sure if you’ve achieved them.
Before jumping on everyone else’s bandwagon or playing career roulette, take a step back and a deep breath. It’s time to do some soul searching. For one week, pay attention to what makes your heart soar and write it down, even if it’s as silly as the way a tree looks covered in snow. This will slow down your thinking, allowing you to focus on the reality in front of you, instead of trying to jump to what will be you forever career.
Keep in mind:
If you love something, you make it work. If you’re making it work, you’ll never love it.
Go in the direction of what you love, and remember, there is no “right” path to success but there is a right path for you, and most likely, many paths.
#2: You listen to their two cents.
Tell those naysayers to keep their pennies — or, at least, ask them why they can’t see you in your chosen career. One of my mentors said she couldn’t see me working alone when I said I wanted to open my own practice. We discussed it further and she made some good points that I could address along the way of creating my practice. It didn’t change my mind, but her questioning was actually helpful. If, however, she only had said, “That job won’t exist in 10 years,” or “You can’t make enough doing that,” I wouldn’t have entertained her input.
When you’re on a mission to achieve your goals, the last thing you need is someone planting seeds of doubt based on their own insecurities, values or “baggage.” If your support squad is MIA or affecting your motivation, you have a great opportunity to practice tuning out negativity, trusting yourself and staying on track in the face of adversity — three behaviors successful people share.
When someone close to you questions your decisions or judgment, remember: you are trusting YOUR gut — something the peanut gallery cannot feel. If you’re taking risks — quitting your job in the middle of a recession, for example — you can empathize with everyone’s worry, right? Right. But you do not need to accommodate their fears by changing your course of action. If the move feels intuitively right to you, see it through.
#3: You’re without a mentor.
Those closest to you may not understand your goals, but that doesn’t mean you have to go it alone. Find a mentor who’s willing to provide a roadmap, advice, expertise, and constructive feedback throughout your journey.
Don’t know anyone in your desired field or position? Introducing … the internet! Search for possible mentors via LinkedIn or another reputable website. Find books or articles that speak to you and reach out to the author, assuming they’re an expert in the field. Don’t let embarrassment or shyness stop you from asking — most successful people will feel honored to show you the ropes, especially if you’re respectful of their time, genuinely interested and willing to put in the work.
With the right person in your court, you’ll have access to more connections and be able to sidestep common mistakes. Plus, it’s really hard to drown out those negative voices when you don’t have another offering an alternative, positive outlook and encouraging your progress.
Did you find your block in the list above? Because the sources of our blocks run deep within us, often subconsciously, you may have trouble identifying the reasons you haven’t achieved your goals. A coach can help you uncover the patterns and identify your blocks based on your personal history and outlook. Call us today for help and a free consultation.
To your emotional health,