By Kori Burkholder
It happens to the best of us. We’re deep into our chosen careers and businesses and suddenly we realize we’re stuck in a pattern where every day feels like an effort or drudgery. We worked SO HARD to get here, so what now?
I specialize in working with creative professionals who are looking for more fulfilling careers. The major lesson I’ve learned is that we often think that we need a whole career change, but once we dive deeper, we find that maybe it’s not the job, but something else. Frequently opportunities for growth and alignment are literally right at our fingertips.
Melissa, a smart, bright and super talented copywriter wanted to work on building her leadership skills, create more confidence in her abilities, and ask for what she wants and deserves. We got busy crafting her career success stories and building her 5 year career vision. We figured out that Melissa’s big vision is to be a Creative Director, working with a brand that aligns with her vision, values, and purpose while leading a team of copywriters and art directors.
With the big vision carved out, we spotted an opportunity for leadership growth, which was to ask for a title bump from Senior Copywriter to Creative Director. This had been in the back of her mind for months, but because of her own fears and insecurities, she kept putting it off.
When I challenged her to take on this task, she became silent. I was curious what the silence was about, and she shared with me all of the stories she’d heard from other co-workers who had done the same and either got denied or heard the word NO. This had become a big obstacle for her and became an excuse not to do it at all.
I pointed out that this was their experience and that it should not prevent her from going in and doing it herself. We tapped back into her big vision and how this action step was crucial towards her own leadership development and that it SHOULD feel uncomfortable because it is a new growth experience.
We got to work and looked back on the last 12 months—what she contributed and what she achieved. We pulled together numbers and data and prepared as much as we could for any possible objections that could come up. She could now clearly see that she was already doing the work of a Creative Director and that she really did deserve a title bump! With this new level of confidence, she sent the email to her boss and set up the meeting.
Immediately afterwards, she called me and said, “That was just about the easiest thing I’ve ever done!” I asked her if she had to build a case or use any of the prep work we did, and, to my surprise, she said no! Her boss already thought she was a Creative Director and made the change in the computer on the spot! See what happens when we get out of our heads and into action?
Can you relate to Melissa’s story? Why do we get stuck when pursuing our life, career and business goals? In my work, here are the 5 most common obstacles I see:
Lack of a bigger vision, no clear idea
When we don’t have a big vision, where are we going? How do we navigate choices and make the right decisions? With a lack of a big vision we might miss big opportunities that show up that are in alignment with what we want. Having a big vision is EVERYTHING!
Create “failure” stories about the future
We have big ideas that could really change our lives, careers, businesses for the better, but then we start creating these elaborate stories of failure, or embarrassment or what could happen in the future, and we talk ourselves out of it before we even begin!
Caught in the Mind Merry-Go-Round and not knowing how to get off
Should I stay in this job or should I go? Should I write the book? If I write it, who the heck will read it? Should I leave the security of my job and turn my side hustle into a business? Yes, no, yes, no, maybe? Yes. No? And we just keep going around in circles on the Mind Merry-Go-Round.
Lack of confidence, fear, uncertainty
When we are going into uncharted territory, like Melissa–fears will pop up! It’s inevitable, but we can work with the fear. My friend Shane Kulman, Transformational Guide for the sensitive, always says, “It’s just energy.” She’s right! Fear is energy that can either fuel us or freeze us. We used Melissa’s fear as a growth opportunity to get her the title bump, which will lead her to her next role at a company that aligns with her values and purpose.
Lack of a plan
Once the other ducks are in a row, it’s easier to see the steps to take towards the big vision. Like Melissa, we knew that in order to get to the next step she had to get uncomfortable in order to grow – but we also had to plan for it. The prep work built her confidence to go in and ask for what she deserved.
What’s the big lesson here to overcome these obstacles? TAKE ACTION! An idea is just an idea when it lives in your head. Are you lacking a big vision? Are you stuck on the Mind Merry-Go-Round or stuck in your fears of uncertainty? What failure stories are you currently creating right now?
Kori Burkholder, Career Success and Creativity Coach, is the co-founder of VitaminR, a well-being and creative innovation company. Kori has an extensive background in the creative, marketing, and entertainment fields, has transitioned into many careers over the last 20 years, and helps others in finding new careers that are fulfilling, fun, and rewarding. As a Self-Discovery Creative workshop leader, she enjoys bringing groups of people together to gain nuggets of self-awareness, knowledge, or just plain joy. Kori’s belief is that with a Big Vision and the desire to create change you can turn your dreams into reality.
VitaminR’s VisionWorking Series: Start That Sh*t: Inspired Action & Manifesting Playshop
An Evening Workshop with Kori Burkholder
Wednesday, July 24, 2019, 6:00 – 10:00 pm
To learn more and register, click here.