As scary as they may sometimes be, transitions are a way to grow to a better life and career. Giving circumstances and false beliefs the power to decide what you can and can’t do is not living up to your full potential.
You say you want more money, you want a better job, you want more love, and you want (fill in the blank). And then what most often follows your thinking regarding your desires for something better are your beliefs, those false beliefs that smash your dreams to pieces. You get disenchanted by the “how” of having what you want before you even start. Your inner critics start running the show with gremlins cleverly convincing you don’t have what it takes. They say things like: “I’m not smart enough.” “I need more education.” “I am too old/young.” “I can’t because I don’t have to the time or money.” “I have to take care of (you name it!).” The voice of “why not” is seductive and hypnotic. Of course it is absolutely prudent to listen to the “why not” when it comes to your safety and well being. But you do need to ask if the “why not” is coming from good judgment or the voice of the inner critic.
The inner critics remind me of old stories built up in our minds that started when we were children. I liken these gremlins to a CD that keeps playing over and over again filling us with doubt and fear. It is amazing how we can take remarks (and often off handed ones at that) from others and make them our own.
It is agonizing to believe you “SHOULD” know the answer to a problem or situation when you don’t know the answer; especially when responding to someone who is considered an authority figure. The inner critic statement, “I am not smart” is one I believed in for the longest time. And I do mean the longest time! In my mind, I had plenty of evidence to prove it. For example, in high school I failed algebra! Tucked away in the recesses of my mind I allowed this grade, regardless of the higher grades I earned in other subjects, to play on my gremlin CD that I was a failure; and don’t let anyone know. The gremlin’s job is to keep you in shame and fear.
Fifteen or so years after failing algebra, I received a brochure in the mail from a local Catholic college listing adult evening classes. Among the classes was algebra 101. I decided I needed to find out if I could get this bugaboo that I was not smart enough to pass algebra out of my head. I registered!
The class was taught by a strict nun, who expected the assignments done on time with no excuses. In spite of my lingering doubts, I stayed committed knowing I could understand and comprehend algebra. I passed the class with flying colors. When I told the nun about failing algebra in high school and concluded I wasn’t smart enough, she told me, “There is nothing wrong with your intelligence. If you had been taught properly, you would have passed in high school.” So you can see how erroneous, negative beliefs linger and get stronger as time goes on.
I personally believe we each have our own learning gauge. It may not necessarily fit standard models. Finding out what it is you want to do – not should do, is a huge factor in getting you on track as you traverse moving in new directions. This will give you the thrust to do whatever it takes to “make it happen.” You are smarter than you think.
Today I don’t remember how to do algebra, but I feel confident I would have no trouble as a fast study if I choose to pick it up again. What is important is that someone told me I had the ability to do what I erroneously believed I couldn’t do and wanted to do. This goes a long way toward building confidence and self-esteem. Anything is possible!
Questions hold the answers
1. Are your inner critics really keeping you from harm’s way or are they preventing you from being adventuresome in attracting the career that works for you.
2. What are your inner critic’s theme songs when making a career transition?
3. What are you afraid would happen if you changed your theme from “I am not smart” to “I am smarter than the average bear”? (I use the latter affirmation all the time.)
4. At what point do you hide how smart you really are? How does that serve you?
TIPS: Develop New Inner Theme Songs
1. Take time to listen to your thoughts. Example: When going through a career transition and out of your comfort zone, what are your inner critics saying? Do some research on what you want to do. When you find what you want to do, the steps necessary to get there are energized with enthusiasm.
2. Inner critics are part of our DNA when coming out of our comfort zone. The truth is “there is another way” – find it.
3. Get familiar with what you are attracting with your thoughts. The more you think about what you don’t want, the more you give it energy and bring more of it into your life.
4. Start to build your dream career with new thought patterns. This is the beginning to the next steps of planning, allowing and taking action.
6. Don’t be a lone-ranger. We are all connected and there is magic in synergy. WomenCo is an excellent resource to help you find your career and engage the support you need to get there.
7. Compose a new CD of theme songs acknowledging your successes and victories. See how smart you are!
About the Author:
© 2008 – Theresa-Maria (“TM”) Napa, CPCC – All Rights Reserved
Theresa-Maria (“TM”) Napa, CPCC, LOACC, Leadership & Transition Coach, is dedicated to helping professionals and executives increase their winning percentage while taking fewer steps to produce better results. Sign up for TM’s complimentary 21-Day Leadership E-Course: Passion to Mastery; free resources and events at http://www.RightTrackCoaching.com