Thinking back to when we were kids, we had such big career dreams. Whether we wanted to be dancers, firefighters, cowboys, or astronauts, most of us had MIGHTY dreams. And our parents may have supported those dreams until we reached that particular age. The age when we were encouraged to “get real,” go to college, learn a trade, and build a career that would look successful and was realistic and attainable.
Many of us gave up on our big dreams for something more practical, reliable…ultimately, safe.
Not everyone succumbed to this, but a good bunch of us watered down our North Star type careers aspirations to do something that quelled our parents’ fears while also making them reasonably proud. And then, years later, these same people who tried to do the right thing, felt uninspired, demoralized even, and weren’t sure why.
Ignite Your Potential is a team of career coaches who are here to expand those horizons. While we all know how to accommodate fear, avoid risk, and push our instincts to the side because uncertainty is scary. And we can look in any direction and receive messages reminding us of reasons we should be scared. The truth is, with the right tools, we all have the potential to achieve our right-fit career. We can live a happy and prosperous life doing what we love.
Here are the Top 3 Reasons Big Career Goals Fail:
1. Self Sabotage
Self-sabotage plays a part when our career goals go un-achieved. It’s easy to give up when the going gets tough. We find excuses as to why it can’t or shouldn’t be done. Part of the reason we react this way is we find comfort in what we already know and are used to letting our fears, of what might happen, guide us. We thwart our own chances at becoming who we are meant to be. Imagine if you saved your money for a piece of special, expensive jewelry but once it was yours, you became too afraid to wear it for fear of it being lost, or stolen, or of people being jealous of it, or of people judging you too bold to wear such a piece. So it goes unworn, sitting in your room, serving no purpose, being stagnant, slowly going dull. My hope for you is that you can find the courage, and get the support you need, to put fear aside, and own your desire and dreams, be true to yourself, and show the world what you’ve got.
Psychology Today “The forces that lead to self-sabotage can also be more subtle, such as an accumulation of dysfunctional and distorted beliefs that lead people to underestimate their capabilities, suppress their feelings, or lash out at those close to them. An important aspect of dealing with counterproductive behavior is identifying where it might be coming from.”
The best way to get over self-sabotage is to become eyes-wide-open honest with oneself. Find a way to get better at self-observation: begin a journaling or meditation practice or work with a San Francisco career coach or Los Angeles life coach.
2. Your People
As you can imagine, this can go in either direction. Being around people who are supportive and believe in you can be one of the most powerful aspects of success. We truly are the company that we keep. So it stands to reason if the people around you are unhealthy or fearful or lack self-awareness this can be a killer of big dreams and goals. Although at times they mean well, ultimately, their judgments pile up on us, causing us to doubt ourselves and our dreams because “maybe they’re right, maybe I’m not entrepreneurial enough to start my dream of owning a bakery.”
The best way to overcome other people projecting their fears on to you is to seriously consider who you are letting influence one of the most important areas of your life. Who is this person? Have they achieved their dreams? Are they a supportive force? Then, work to have positive people around you. People who also have goals and dreams they want to achieve or have achieved. Find your right support network of productive people who will cheer as you strive and thrive toward your dreams and goals. Having a life coach or career coach on that support team can be a way to move away from the fear and into fruitful action.
3. Your Environment
This is important because it’s the least obvious reason why our goals don’t get off the ground. The environments we create for ourselves can either help, inspire, and motivate us to reach ambitious career goals or hurt our chances to reach these goals.
For example, do you live in a disorganized house and can never find what you need to get things done such as your laptop or notebooks? This is an environmental factor that can affect your mood, behavior, and attitude.
Changing your habits starts by changing your environment. Stanford psychologist B.J. Fogg suggests that “goals are harmful unless they guide you to make specific behaviors easier to do. Don’t focus your motivation on doing Behavior X. Instead, focus on making Behavior X easier to do.”
In short, eliminate everyday “choices” so that you have one, optimal routine. Fogg says that “by designing for laziness, you can stop or reduce a behavior. For example, put bad snacks in the garage on the shelf that requires a ladder.” Or placing your packed gym bag near the front door ready to go.
To achieve our most ambitious career goals we need to carefully observe our thoughts, habits, the company we keep, and our environment. As you notice what may sabotage these important goals, you have the opportunity to create a strategic action plan that will get you to your goal. Successfully reaching your career goals is the result of creating change in many aspects of your life. Remember, not only is it okay to ask for help with your ambitious career goals, it is exactly what smart, on track people do. They get people on their side to help them. High achieving people have a positive support network, they have coaches and mentors, who help them get there. Fortunately, you have an expert team right here who are ready to help!