Since being laid off a few weeks ago I’ve had countless hours to reflect on my career up to this point. One thing I’ve realized during this time off is that the biggest thing holding me back from achieving my goals is not the job I have or the people I work with.
The biggest thing holding me back is myself.
I sit here on a Friday morning with no clear direction in my career because each way I look I sense failure or regret. Do I launch a full-time coaching business? Do I join another startup? Do I go back to the safety net of a large corporation?
The doubt that surrounds each possible choice paralyzes me and so I sit here doing none of these things. I’m in my own head. I need to get out.
This week I had the chance to host a MeetUp in New York’s SoHo neighborhood for Experienced Professionals in Career Transition and found out that I was not the only one with this problem. It became apparent in our session that each person in the room needed to overcome their own self-doubt in order to get their career back on track.
“I didn’t think I was qualified for the position so I didn’t apply” one woman shared. “I’m terrible at networking” said another. Each person that shared had their own variation of self-doubt that prevented them from taking action to resurrect their career situation.
While each of us in the room could think of countless reasons to blame the outside world for our unemployed status, such as layoffs, agism, and treacherous application processes, none of us would admit that the problem was within.
It wasn’t until we worked through The ‘Reframe and Action’ Exercise that we all started to see that the true problem was us. We were preventing ourselves from accomplishing our goals through doubt, lack of direction and lack of action.
The key with this exercise, which you’ll see outlined below, is to remove your own doubtful mind from the equation completely. By working with a friend and going through this series of questions you’ll be able to overcome your own mental barriers and see improvement in a key area in your life.
The ‘Reframe and Action’ Exercise
Grab a friend you can count on and let he or she ask you these questions. Then, after ten minutes, flip the script and ask them the same questions. Through the exercise, each of you will be able to overcome your negative inner self talk and establish an attainable and exciting new seven day goal.
1. What’s one specific area in your life that you’re unhappy with and want to make a big improvement in?
2. What do you think is holding you back from making this change in your life?
3. Pretend for a moment that, rather than you, this is a challenge your best friend is facing. What advice would you give them?
4. Now if you were to listen to your own advice, what’s one measurable action item you could commit to within the next week that would you get you closer to your goal?
5. Would you be willing to email me seven days from now with an update on how your action plan went?
6. Write down goals on piece of paper and exchange email addresses.
7. Switch roles and now ask your friend the same questions.
By working through this exercise in our MeetUp this week each person was able to come up with their own plan for the next week on what they want to accomplish and now has an accountability partner to report back to. I highly encourage you to do this with a partner so that you too can have this accountability.
Do you need help executing this strategy? Do you want to work through your own challenges with a coach that can get you to the next level in your life?
Send me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’d be happy to learn more about how I can help.