Where Do You Stop? What’s that Wall All About?
What’s Really Holding You Back?
~ Claire Knowles
In our Tai Chi class, there is a stretch move called “Lifting Up the Cauldron.” In performing it, you stretch your arms high into the air with your hands pretending to hold a giant bowl—a cauldron. During the stretch, an added dimension is to also stand on one’s toes. It is a wonderful stretch for the body. Our instructor, in conjunction with leading this position, also stretches one’s mind. He might ask, “What’s stopping you from reaching higher?” or, “What is that barrier you have to break through?”
Are you grappling with barriers that are keeping you from reaching higher? To higher positions? To higher arenas of leadership?
For women, there has been much written around our internal barriers….yes, internal barriers that we each have—within our own control—to break through to the next level—to proactively make good things happen in our work and life!
- Overcoming the Imposter Syndrome. The Imposter Syndrome makes us think that our success is luck, or that we are frauds, and therefore, unworthy. The fact of the matter is, that you earned your position and your title. So break through that psyche-ridden barrier and act like you belong there! As they say…”Fake it ‘til you make it!”
- Overcoming Risk Aversion. There have been many studies that show women are more likely to avoid risk—which is rooted in our early nurturing. Women tend to hold back out of lack of confidence, or discomfort in taking a stand in the midst of conflict. Reward doesn’t come without risk; and fear of failure only stifles one’s career. One can learn “command skills”….to develop “managerial courage”…to learn not to waffle, to discern wisely, to shed defensiveness, to accept criticism, to move forward with confidence. There are lots of courses available to you to hone these skills!
- Ambition without a target. Do you really know what you want from your career? Do you see your end point? Your target? Your path? I often use the example of looking through a pair of binoculars with the lens cap still on….you cannot see anything! But once you have a vision of what you want, and you have that target to shoot for, the universe conspires to help move you towards it…because you can see it, grasp it, feel it….and your ACTIONS will move you forward toward that which is in your “sight-line.”
- Hiding our Greatness! Sometimes we cling to mediocrity! It may be because we are too timid to speak up, or to negotiate our salary. It may be that we self-sabotage, or we cannot garner, for whatever reason, the will, the energy, the know-how, the clarity, the resources, or the gumption to move forward. Yet we know that Grandma Moses’ words ring true: “Life is what you make it, always has been and always will be.”
We all know that an un-lived, unsuccessful life is littered with “could haves”, “should haves” and “if only’s.” Each moment greets us full of possibility and leaves us hoping we are better for having had the experience. Are you stretching forward and upward and embracing all that is beckoned by your life cauldron? Are you breaking through to the next level? Personally? Professionally? Organizationally? As a Leader? And most important, as Your Life Manager?
Your cauldron rests in your hands alone. Let’s get stretching! Break through that wall!
Claire Knowles – Lights On! I know what struggling to make good things happen with individuals and groups is all about. My career was in Corporate H.R. and Labor Relations. Now I work with leaders and organizations, helping them get focused and hugely effective in what they want to accomplish together. Learn more about my Leadership Success Programs for Women at www.LightsOnLeadershipSuccess4Women.com or www.LightsOnBook.com
Award-winning books by Claire Knowles